Monday, July 24, 2006

Epilogue: Bangkok

We left our cocooned existence in Phuket on thursday morning, but before returning to Italy we decided to stop in Bangkok for three days. Our first wake up was at the Phuket airport where we realized that Linda's travel agent had not put us on the same flight, and she had missed her's by two hours. A little scrambling around and exchange of credits cards, they were able to put her on a flight right then and there, but in first class. Not only did she have to pay for the upgrade but she also had to pay a penalty on not taking the other flight. Never heard of this before, but, whatever. In the end it all worked out and we met up again at the Bangkok airport. Bangkok was sweltering hot and we took a bus to our hotel. By now we were slightly spoiled by our luxury resort enviroment and the more than adequate hotel room in Bangkok seemed small to us. Oh, well, we didn't really have to spend a lot of time in the room...It was about five o'clock at this point and the we just started wandering the streets looking around. Bangkok is an insane city. It has tons of traffic, lots of pollution intermixed with all different kinds of people. At one point we were just starved so we walked into this local restaurant where they had a picture of the food for a menu. Guess they're used to the international crowd... There were about ten cooks crowded into this little kitchen. I ordered some sort of chicken curry with rice dish and Linda a vegetable and noodle dish. It was really,really, really good and we only paid six dollars for the entire meal for BOTH of us. On the way back to the hotel to watch the world cup game (Italy vs Rep. Ceca) we stopped in an eyeglass shop where I ordered a new pair for myself (only seventy dollars!). Day two in Bangkok is sort of a blur. We started out thinking that we would just go shopping and actually we DID do that but we had two problems. Problem one: We couldn't find the stores we really wanted to go to. We kept getting sidetracked down all sorts of strange and crowded streets that then lead to scary quiet ones. Problem two: I ate something that my intestines did not like. I had to keep finding bathrooms and at the end of the day had hit them a total of about fourteen times. I was afraid to really go to far from anyplace that looked like it might have a restroom 'cause when I had to go, I had to go. A few times we were so frazzled and hot that we went back to the hotel just to sit in a quiet air conditioned room for an hour. On our last and final day we decided to go to a huge market on the outskirts of town. We found directions on how to get there by public transportation and were successful in getting there (Whee!!!) . It more than made up for our no shopping day from the day before. The market had everything we had hoped for: food, clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, spices, paper (I love buying paper in foreign countries), shoes. It also had animals and a lot of local Thais doing their weekly shopping for food and fruit and veggies. The one thing that I haven't talked about on this trip are the Monsoons. Every day has been in the 90's and then about three times a day it rains. But it doesn't just rain a little tropical rain, it pours like someone is pouring a big bucket of water from the sky. It usually doesn't last for very long but the force is so strong that the sewage system that they have can't handle it. Everything clogs up and gets swamped. This happened both in the city and at our little market place on saturday. We were pretty much trapped for about an hour because anyplace we wanted to walk to had a foot of water. We both had on disposable shoes but Linda was kind of squeemish about not knowing what was in that water. The monsoons reminded me of all those Vietnam films where they picture troops in the rain for days and days. It was always this pouring rain, at that really is how it is. We finally made our way back to the overrail transportation and went back into Bangkok. We stopped at a few of the really huge , five story, indoor malls (gigantic!) and then went back to the hotel to pack and leave. I'm pretty sure that I will go back to Thailand again one day. It is a really beautiful country and has such wonderful people. Definately a part of the world that I've enjoyed visiting.

1 comment:

dg said...

wow... i really enjoyed that! sounds like a fascinating place.