Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stranger in a strange land.

I suppose it is not written in stone that I enjoy every single minute of my adventure, right?

Bangkok is not my thing.

I arrived in a blissed out state from Siem Reap loveliness and barely paid attention to the long lines and hustle bustle at BKK. I was reading "Just Kids" by Patti Smith in the immigration line and didn't even notice everyone jumping lines to speed up the process. In the end, I think I was one of the last to go through.

Found a cab easy enough and started the long ugly crowded crazy ride into the city. I must not have been paying attention to all the Bangkok movies or my son's stories of his semester here (sorry Nick) but WTH? Bangkok is gargantuan and more crowded than NY combined with LA combined with some other crowded city.

We finally got to Khao San Road where I imagined I would chill on the cheap with the backpackers. The taxi driver dropped me off nowhere near my guest house and when I finally found it, I knew I was in the wrong part of town. I went to check out the room and smiled at a pretty backpacker on the elevator. I startled her out of her X fueled buzz. She said, "Wow." I believe that translates to "Shit, what's that mom doing here?" Or, "Shit, she's uptight."

Yes indeed. Especially when I saw the room. Can't deal. My room in Phnom Penh was pretty basic but the area was fantastic and the people were terrific. Not so at this place. So I fought with the front desk for awhile until the manager called me a big baby which is when I decided to bail to Silom, which had been recommended to me by someone else. I booked a cheap but nice hotel (I have come to discover it is only fake-nice) and took another long painful taxi ride to the hotel. Even with directions, the taxi drivers cannot find places. I don't quite understand that part. Illiteracy?

I decided to get some dinner and call it a day. Oh, I did get to watch them giving blessings in the temple down the road. Definitely more ornate than in the Cambodian countryside but seems to be pretty standard blessing stuff.

This morning I found a park to go to hoping to see masses doing Tai Chi (as the guide book promised). Another long confusing taxi ride to get there and there was one caucasian dude teaching an Asian lady Tai Chi. "You watch me now," was the main thing I heard, the lady to her teacher. Then another cab ride back to the hotel that it took like five guys at a fancy hotel on the same street to figure out.

I met another lone traveler at breakfast and she had just come from Thai countryside and was feeling the same as me. We headed off to the travel agent to cut our losses.

So now, I'm cutting it short here in Bangkok for a small island off Phuket. By tomorrow night I will be resting in my tent-room in a day-time only, generator-driven electricity place called Tenta Nakara Tent Resort. Check it out, the photos from online.

The beauty of it is you can escape from BKK and you can do it really inexpensively. For me to get the hell out of Dodge for four days, including airfare, hotel, and transfer, is about $350 USD.

But for now, I am going to drink Coke out of can, read the end of my novel and then load up a few more on my Kindle for the beach, then nap. Dinner tonight with my new ally from the hotel, then sweet dreams, then sweet beach.


P.S. Photo of hippy girl not actually the hippy girl but just for visual reference. Photos of tent resort actually the place I am going. xo

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