Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cheap, cheap! You buy?

Night 1/Day 1

My flight left Seoul a little later than planned but I arrived safely in Bangkok around 10:45 p.m. I get picked up in the shuttle bus to the airport and find myself in a van full of people speaking foreign languages. I have not met a single American on this trip yet. I love the diversity of people and the different accents I can hear daily.

Sitting beside me on the airplane to Bangkok were some young Korean guys (Andrew and Jimmy) who were headed to London. They were amusing and fun. By the time I got to the hotel I was very tired. I relaxed in the big tub filled with bubbles and read for a bit. Overall, I was impressed by the general decor of the Novotel Hotel. Although the room was rather plain for the price paid. The breakfast buffet was enjoyable but a little too fancy for my taste. I like things nice and simple.

Throughout the trip I have had to control myself from saying "Thank You" in Korean. Strange that I find myself wanting to say certain things in another language than my native one. I suppose it is out of habit.

My cab driver, Somsak, took me to the Khaosan Road area to check-in at my second place of lodging. The Hotel de Moc. He was friendly and wanted me to call him if I needed to go anywhere. I did not.

My first impression of the hotel was not a very good one...but for a mid-budget hotel I can't complain. It had a tuk-tuk that took people to Khaosan Road and back, free of charge, which I used a few times. Khaosan Road was fine. There was plenty of shopping to do. There were even strange phallic and sexual position statues for sale. I laughed out loud a number of times.

Walking along the road I heard a remake of a country song by Kenny Chesney. This too I found amusing. The heat didn't immediately hit me, but when it did it didn't go away. There was a woman wearing a very heavy looking white sweater with a hoodie while I was waiting to exchange some money. She must have been taking some kind of medicine that made her body temperature low. It was WAY too hot for a sweater.

My first impression of Bangkok: run down and dirty. Although I did have a fine time. I didn't like the tuk-tuk guys hollering at me though. One guy, who was rather large and balding, even started to follow me and put his hand on my shoulder. I continued to ignore him and walked faster in to a local shop. The smells: sweat, spices, and sweetness in the air. Nothing too horrible that I couldn't stomach. Which reminds me, I haven't been able to get rid of this nausea. The entire trip I have had it. I hesitate everytime I eat afraid I might not be able to keep it down.

Enough for today. More next time: tigers, snakes, etc.

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