My Travels

My Travels
Koh Phangan, Thailand

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

 My Thailand Trip- Landing and Arriving in Bangkok- Leg 1

Yes, it has been ages since my last post. I do apologize and I promise I will not forget my first blog and will stay faithful to my first, though I have others now....:) 

 I am now teaching in Taiwan, after a busy summer working at camp in the states, I am glad to be overseas again! I know I disappeared for a bit and it may have not the best idea not to update for so long,  especially since leaving to Thailand was my one of last posts. How worry-causing of me to let readers think I disappeared in Thailand or never made it past customs from China ;) (I did write another post, I know, but still!)

Anyway, this post on Thailand was much overdue, I know, especially after seeing how many readers it attracted. I know that even though it's ages later, I still need to share my awesome trip to Thailand with you, my dear readers! 

Coming off the plane 

I went through customs fine even though I had been scared about not having the return/outbound ticket- so was happy I got through fine- I had thought there would be a problem. I was a little unsure, as one of the guys in front of me did not have an outbound ticket either, and they told him to step aside for a moment, so I got worried. But it turned out fine for both of us and we both got through.

Getting a taxi from the airport was a little confusing at first. I had to stand on a line and show my ticket from the plane and then I was handed over to a taxi driver waiting in line.  I tried to bargain the price down caused it seemed high, but then figured that’s the airport price and it was quite far- plus a lot of traffic.

I saw kids walking through the traffic and on the sidewalk in between the highway selling flowers to passerby. It reminded me of reading about this- how some kids in Thailand are made to sell flowers all day on the street, no matter the weather and some parents will even make them stand out in the rain all day or until they sell a certain amount. But I didn’t see any one with these kids. I don't know what's the best way to help these kids. I wish I could do something for them. But you hear how giving them money will not actually help them- it just continues the cycle. What can you actually do to help them? Here are some ideas.

I stayed at the Rainbow Hostel on the famous Khao San Road in Bangkok. I had reserved this one- it was owned by people from India.  Unfortunately I was on the third floor- it was very hot and carrying my heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs was not fun!

I went to the market, bought some sandals, then got some dinner at the hostel- cheese naan. It reminded me of the time I had Indian food with my brother who lives in New York City, in Manhattan.

I met a guy from Germany and a guy around my age from Japan. We went to the night market together.

I met some people from Israel- one of them was smoking hookah at the table outside the hostel. They talked about how they were going to Seoul for Passover.

The night market is a very exciting place. It has a carnival-like atmosphere, there are so many brights lights and different things to see, that you feel like a little kid again trying to take it all in. It had lots of different cheap food and tons of clothes, shoes, accessories, movies, souvenirs and even tattoo artists.  

I was going to go to bed early. But then I met a couple of guys and we went out on the town. The next day we hung out and talked about going to see Muay Thai boxing, but went to Chinatown first and lingered there drinking coconut milk from straws in the shade, so we didn’t make it. 

I also got to see some temples on my own. It was quite the experience. I liked how they did their chants, it was quite peaceful. Temples were on every other corner in Bangkok. 

We also looked at water guns for the Thai New year that had been coming up at the time. One of the guys, Brett, brought his Thai girlfriend along. I talked with her and we had fun together hanging out. Thai New Year, called Songrakan is a big holiday event that takes place all over Thailand- it’s basically like an all out water fight with everyone you see when you go out. But water fights would not be the first fight I would see here.

The Break-Up: or what to do when getting threatened by an angry Thai girl

We had Thai and western pizza for dinner. Brett's girlfriend had hung out with us during the day and dinner. But he decided it was time to break up with her—she wouldn’t leave his place and said she had nowhere to go. He wanted us there for support because he knew she would not take it well. She put up quite a fight- asking why he had a problem with her and yelled at his friend when he said something... he asked us what to do and we suggested he try to give her her stuff so she could leave and not drag it out. This was not cool with her and she literally held onto him when he tried to get up and wouldn’t let him leave. He had given her an option- she could stay at the room for the night, but he would be going out or she could leave now. She didn’t like either choice. I left the room as the guys tried to get her to leave. Brett's friend had to help pull him out because she wouldn’t let go of him as he tried to leave the room to go.

(Don’t try this at home or anywhere for that matter this is merely a description of events and is not meant to be advice in any way. You may not want to turn and walk away- especially if there are any beer bottles or heavy/glass/sharp/throw able objects around. I had heard warnings about this- about getting hit in the back of the head with a bottle if you make someone angry.  Is there witness protection in Thailand?) 

After we all went outside, we were waiting in front of the hostel. Brett was trying to get a taxi for her, which he paid for. I got out of the way and sat at  one of the tables, away from the girl, as she was quite angry. She had lashed out and yelled at me in the hostel when they all came out of the room, accusing me of being the reason he was leaving her. I had nothing to do with it and was not overly friendly to Brett in any way. But she said that she knew how "you teachers" are. I left after this so she could cool down.  

I was at the table and the other guys joined me. Then she came charging behind me with a bottle, which I didn't see. Brett thought she was going for me. He got up and went to intervene. But she wasn't going for me. She was going for Brett. She almost hit him, but the bottle fell and he tried to subdue her. After that, I went inside to stay clear of her. She finally left in the cab with no further damage. 

We went for dinner and talked about changing hostels. Brett didn't know if he should just change rooms, but then he said she had said something about her cousin being one of the workers there. So maybe it would be best to leave the place... go to a different climate perhaps?

I longed to get to the islands, myself, so I planned to leave the next morning. I did not want any trouble with this girl trying to get revenge or her telling her cousin there anything. I was not afraid, but knew I should be careful. I decided it was a good time as any to get out of there.

After all, I had come to Thailand to get to the islands and see the beautiful ocean. Not to deal with this drama in Bangkok and get a crash course in how not to date the locals. It was too hot and humid here anyway. With visions of palm trees, walking barefoot in the cool sand and waves rushing at me as I swam, I took a cab to the bus station the next morning and was ready for island paradise. 

Stay tuned for the next part of my Thailand travels series: Getting to the Islands! 

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