Bangkok: Day 1

So, I found my guest house last night, and it pretty much looks like I thought it would: sort of scary, but somehow appropriate for the B345  I’m paying ($11). When I checked in, though, the receptionist was nice enough to let me see the room first, which was cool because when I came down from checking it out and said “I only need one bed…and do you have any with the shower in the room?” she said “OK; same price.” I’m like, Heh? All I had to do was ask? Curious.

Anyway, I was pretty rattled from the long flight, so I ended up laying in my bed studying a map of Bangkok for about two hours. When I finally did end up drifting off, I woke up about 5 min later to a group of drunk, rowdy Thai guys singing a medley of 80s showtunes–but I didn’t really care; it was kind of amusing. In the AM, I walked over to 7/11, picked up some water and toiletries, and came back and cleaned up. (Wasn’t really sure what to do with the shower head sticking out of the bathroom wall, but eventually I just realized that the floor was the tub, which is kind of brilliant, if you ask me.)

I grabbed some breakfast downstairs (mmm–fresh papaya and pineapple) and tried to make conversation with some British lady who ended up being not the least bit interested in making conversation with me, which is why, I’m sure of it, she led me in the completely wrong direction when I asked her where the Grand Palace was. Rude.

So that’s kind of how my day started: I wandered into some desolate neighborhood praying a royal, architecturally-genius gated community would just appear, until I finally gave up and hopped in a metered taxi–the type that was recommended if I did take a taxi at all. In my opinion, though, that should be everyone’s last option.

My day totally turned around when I met Don. He spotted me wandering around aimlessly outside a cluster of museums, temples and the Palace after a B48 cab ride, parked his tuk-tuk, pulled his map out and told me how it was. I was appreciative but weary as I’ve been since the moment I stepped out of the plane, but I decided that Don seemed nice enough, especially after he offered me a tour of the city for B10, which is like…not even 50 cents. I knew there would be a catch, though, so I spent half of the ride trying to figure it out. And then I did: When we pulled  up to a random jewelry store and he told me to go in and walk around for a second so he could get a free gas card from the owner, I’m like “You’re using me?” He confirmed, which is when I promptly decided that I didn’t care, that I loved tuks-tuks and that I loved Don. Anyway, he tried to distract me by buying me a ridiculously delicious pancake on a stick off the street which totally worked and we became best friends.

So, I spent two hours with this dude, riding around Bangkok in his wagon; he showed me almost everything and pointed out the rest, and by the time he dropped me back off at the Palace, not only did I feel like a completely different person, I knew where I was, and I knew which direction I had to walk in to get back to my guest house. Point of reference in a new city = totally satisfying. BTW, Palace is sweeeeeet.

So I got a little taste of the way Thai people live and work–how they pass along their business to everyone else, especially when it comes to American tourists. I ran into so many people today that were just appreciative that we were here after the protests a few weeks ago, and even happier that we were using gov supported public transportation. I also met a lot of people who only wanted to talk about Obama and how much they liked him. I finally asked Don why and he said “Money,” and then raised the roof, which I found highly amusing.

On our journey, he also swung by the tourism agency for me so I could plan the rest of my time here (bus tickets, train tickets, treks, tours), which a nice lady helped me do–though I probably could have done it myself…for less…if I knew what I was doing. But, I decided to give her my business instead, er, Don decided to give her my business. Whatever–I’m honestly relieved either way.

I strolled the streets for a few more hours and was surprised to find out a few things: how many stray dogs are running around the streets of the Old City, how many homeless people have decided to take residence outside the Palace, how many monks I caught texting and how hard it is to cross the street. Anyway, I finally made it back to that street vendor I was eyeing across from The Green House, where I’m staying, and sat down to a long-awaited bowl of spicy basil pork with a side of, no joke, fire.

Tonight, I’m meeting up with Chad’s friend Jun, and I’m pretty pumped about it. She seems sweet, I have a lot of questions that she could probably answer and it’s time to party a little bit.

I’m about to be kicked off,
Brynn

I’ll try to write as much as I can in the next two days because after that I think my internet access is going to be limited. That said, whoever wants me to bring them home a cool bag, skirt, bottle of Thai whiskey or whatever, speak now. One.

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3 Responses to “Bangkok: Day 1”

  1. Linnie P and Gina Says:

    BRYNN!

    This blog was a brillian idea.

    It’s Gina and Linnie, it’s about 10 am on saturday morning and we just rolled out of bed. Your travles thus far sound amazing, fingers crossed that you continue to have internet acess and are able to get update us along the way.

    Last night we had a mini H.S. reunion at Calli’s…you excluded of course : (. But it’s okay, you’re in Tialand making moves and innoncent asian men fall in love with you.

    Anyway, point of story -> our friend Calli should have her own TV show. Bitch made beauituful pillows out of the expresso bridesmaid dress!! They are crazy good and something only Calli can craft up in that basement of hers.

    OK, that’s all for now, we love you and can’t wait to hear how the rest of your adventures go!

    LOVE YOU.
    LP & GMS

    P.S. Don’t lose the money pouch.

  2. Rae Says:

    still not quite sure if i’m posting correctly, but just wanted to say hi and that i miss you. all your travels seem amaaaazzz so far. just shared all your blogging with CF. oh and p.s. i could KILL you for the dancing elf b.s.! I’m 90% of that dumb video!

    xoxo

  3. Lea Says:

    Brynny Brynn Brynn Byrnn!!!!! I miss you!!! It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. You have already experienced soooo much! I cant wait to here all about it when you return. take a lot of picutes! Please be safe! LOVE YOU!

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