Hello from the heat.
I’ve never really appreciated, or even understood air conditioning until today. It’s about 95 degrees and beautiful, but crazy hot. The Internet cafe has air conditioning thankfully. It’s a long way from Alaska.
Anyway, thank you everyone who wrote back. It’s so cool to be such a long distance away and still be able to communicate with all of you. Yesterday we saw the real Bangkok: from the back of a tuk-tuk. Imagine a motorcycle motor with a bench behind the seat and a roof. Three wheels and a lot of guts. I can’t believe what a Thai driving test would be like. The streets of Bangkok are jammed packed and relatively quiet. Malachi and I sat on the edge of a round-about last night and just watched everyone, as we commented on how Bangkok traffic is ordered chaos. There is never an accident, but I can’t believe what kind of attention you have to have to follow the traffic patterns. There doesn’t seem to be as many lights as there should be, and drivers take liberties whenever they are available. Today I was in a store and a motorcycle came down the aisle as if he had utter confidence that he should be driving through. Bizarre and amusing all at the same time. I’m completely charmed by the city. I love the hustle and bustle and the friendliness. I don’t feel unsafe at all, the only thing I have to watch is being too kind and paying way too much for something that I didn’t really want in the first place. I have gotten the hang of haggling, it is easier to do with men than women. Women are more intimidating. Probably because they are the ones who shop in the market places themselves. It’s hard to bargain with someone that is good at reducing prices themselves.
Back to the tuk-tuk; when we were wandering through the wat at the end of Khao San Road with Nick the Canadian we met the night before, a couple of guys gave us a lot of travel advice and warnings, and an itinerary of wats to visit. Probably a standard route, and we probably were ripped off a bit, but it was nice playing tourist and a few cents isn’t all that much in the greater scheme of things. All three of us piled into the tuk-tuk and stopped at the beautiful gold standing Buddha (which is immense), the Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple), the Lucky Buddha, and a very posh tailor shop. The tailor shop was recommended by a tourist agent at the Lucky Buddha and it was very professional. Not even close to being in the same category as the tailor shops on Khao San, more like something you would find in Italy with rooms and rooms of silks and very professional staff. Considering the fact I will probably get skirts a plenty in India, I decided to get a dress and Malachi is contemplating a shirt. Not quite the budget of a backpacker but I think the experience is worth the rate.
After the tuk-tuk we wandered around and happened to stumble upon a British couple who were coming out of a beauty salon where the woman just had a facial. She was raving about her skin and how soft it was. They said it wasn’t a tourist place, it was where Thais themselves went. Her skin was absolutely beautiful, so we stopped in and I did a facial while Malachi had a foot massage, and the only other customers where Thai. I fell asleep half way through listening to a Thai soap opera on tv. It was the best facial I’ve ever had. I wish I could have seen what she did and what she used. When I got up Malachi was passed out in the chair where he had his foot massage. It took awhile to wake him up and the masseuse thought it was hilarious. She didn’t speak any English but He was completely out of it but obviously enjoyed his foot massage. We decided to call it a night and headed back to our room. A very calm night to a jammed packed day.
Today has been more wandering. We’ve decided we need to get out of here asap, so we should be heading down to Ko Samui maybe Sunday. Beaches, beaches, beaches. I can’t wait. We’ll probably be there for close to a week and then perhaps head up to Chaing Mai and fly out of Bangkok. Nothing is official yet. We’re playing it by ear.
Love to all of you,
PS. We tried fried worms yesterday! They tasted salty but you would never guess it was a worm. Something more along the lines of a hallow chip. Oh and Melea we’ll try to find the Happy House. And we did find the banana roti vendor, if we weren’t so tired last night when we did, Malachi would have been all over that.