Call me crazy but I love Bangkok! Sep 3rd, 2011

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Past Trips

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See those tuk tuk guys parked closest to me?  I decided to take a squat for a moment after siting the Mandarin and the Peninsula, took a super cool river taxi (15 baht!), a walk round the Grand Palace and then through a chaotic market and here I sit under this banyan tree playing with the aperture settings on my camera.  This round of Bangkok, I’ve found myself in places where people don’t really speak any English.  But I was chilling here for a little while and many kind smiles (almost a symbolism of the Thai) were exchanged.

They were eating what I THINK were lychee.  They were maybe 20 meters away from me the whole time but then motioned over and gave me a lychee.  They were so kind!  It is truly incredible how you can communicate without speaking the same language!  Words cannot describe how much I love this.

I found myself grateful that I still had a bottle of water from my hotel, the Sukhothai, and the map that the guy from Four Seasons gave me five days ago…. with certain ‘landmarks’ circled.  I didn’t even mean for that to happen.

Oh, and I think we’re all aware of my magnet tradition?  I tried to haggle this poor guy on the street market outside the Grand Palace, as he was closing up shop on a 90 degree day… for his magnet.  It was 40 baht, and I thought… “he, I bet I can get him to take 20 baht!”.  Freaking ugly American!  They say to haggle at the markets (the actual markets, not side of the road shanty set-ups).  When I realized that 40 baht was about $1.25, I was slightly embarrassed.

Anyway, my trek home from Krabi yesterday back to Bangkok (on a Friday evening at 5:00pm), gave me a renewed sense, or maybe it reminded me, of humanity.  It took us forever, me and this old guy, totally by the book, NO english, other than to tell me “you pay toll”.  My big ass suitcase was bungie corded shut in the trunk, his car was overheating, he had the meter on.  Anyway, my meter was like 260 baht.  I couldn’t even bear that after the 1 1/2 hours we’d spent together.  I mean just think about all the stupid f-ing things we spend $10 on.  Every day.  I upped the ante and did my part.  I just about doubled it.

Same thing happened today.  And this is not a ‘go big or go home’ ego thing I’ve got going on, it’s humanitarian!  I’m way the frick up by the Grand Palace, my current hotel is kind of in a central Bangkok crap location… and no one knew where it was.  Hence, the importance of that water bottle and map!  Sweet tuk tuk driver asked me for 100 baht and I knew it was kind of far.  I don’t think he did.  When I showed him the map, he said 150 baht.  No worries, mate!  Seriously!  There is a lot of traffic here in Bangkok and he got lost.  We stopped on the main roads once we were in the vicinity, did a bit more non English communicating… and the guy never huffed or puffed.  Never did a thing but smile at me in the rear view window.  With all the pollution and exhaust going in his face.

We found my hotel and I gave him 500 baht.  This is less than $20, people.  If he hadn’t taken me, if he hadn’t persevered… I could be stranded in a big city, though he would never have asked for anything more than his 150 baht.  Why don’t these guys realize their value!???

Long story short is that this country is AMAZING.  And I’ve not even been north yet where I hear is where the real culture is.  SO excited.

Tomorrow I am up at 6:00am… haha, okay I’m up at 7:30am and headed to the Chatuchak Weekend Market.  Apparently, this is where I’ve been told many department store buyers actually buy their store inventory.  We shall see.  But a ‘discerning’ client raved and said I must go.  Her words: “Theory brand quality, where I bought all my friends [10] pashmina and it was $90 US.”

This trip just might be cooler than Israel was.  Especially given my political views as well as beliefs with regard to religion.

I’m totally down with the wai and buddhism.

See.  I get to Bangkok and the hell that was my yesterday (first the 25 hours flight and Hurricane Irene, and now Judi and the Ritz) are just distant memories.

Oh!  For those of you who like these movies: I stayed at Four Seasons Bangkok where the Hangover 2 crew did, and got some insight.  The movie was filmed at the Ritz Phulay Bay, they stayed there for a few months… now as much as it will pain me to do, I’ve got to see the stupid movie to see what I recognize.

Tonight, I’m going to venture into what my Aussie mate (a hotel rep) told me is ‘the dark side’ and head to Patpong. It is apparently what gives Thailand it’s bad rap and I’m going to give it a quick spin so I can give it my Liz spin.

So if this is the last you hear from me, you’ll know what happened.  Call Liam Neeson and have him come save me.

I’M JUST KIDDING, GRAM!

Sawatdee Kaa!

019 My first tuk tuk!!!

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