work, work, work, no play

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Me and a little boy begging for money (yes, I gave him 40)

Coming to Thailand, I thought I would buy a few odds and ends to sell in the US to pay for my trip but the prices are phenomenally inexpensive here...next thing I know, I'm asked to set up for a jewelry convention in Tucson, Arizona and bringing 50 pounds of gemstones and jewelry back for a start. I'm not businessman LOL! But "I become business man." Being here has not fared well for my English skills...I feel like I'm speaking like a Neanderthal sometimes (Thais speak Neanderthal English). The high points of my day are speaking to Brits, Austrians, Germans, etc. I haven't seen a single American (kind of a relief but I do miss the common threads we have). I had no idea there was a Russian community here, too....this is verrrry strange but fun! Now I want to travel to Kabul, Tehran and everywhere in between! (I hear Iran makes great gold earrings)!

A couple hours ago I got finished eating another mutilated animal on a plate (with my hands) at the trusty old Arab place we've been frequenting.

Shelling out money to the hooker I paid to take the photo (she spoke better English than many Americans and she was from Tanzania)!
Sometimes I forget to eat and I told them the truth when they asked "when last time you eat?" I normally eat once, maybe twice a day..so they start piling my plate with food (and I'm getting stuffed)! I suppose the delicacy is sheep brain over there. I wasn't quite sure and my friend scoops some right out of the skull onto my plate! I asked, "What's that...then I said, "Don't tell me" but he already had. I'm not one to offend (I speak my mind here typing but I am quite considerate and polite in person). Anyway, now wanting to offend them when they asked how it was, I said, "Very good, Very good...I like" (hoping they'd see two plates of food was enough). But nooooooooooo! They scoop the rest of that blessed BRAIN on my plate! I fought back a couple mini-gags as I washed it down with water fastest I could.
"Long Live the King" on the side of the Grace Hotel
I can tell you the consistency was like that of sticky pudding..coating your mouth, sticking to your teeth.....I HAD to get this down (as I gulped the rest of my bottled water).  OK, so I passed the polite test (note to self, be a tad honest when it comes to gaggable foods or you'll learn your lesson)! I just didn't want to offend them.

 I guess they're quite formal feeling I'm their guest and feel the need to feed me constantly (I want THAI food)! They're truly nice but a very different, (sometimes suffocating) close culture. One guy wants to show me something, walks me over while holding my hand. I felt awkward as hell but didn't shake off his hand. I guess many countries do this showing a gesture of friendship-sort of looking after your pal. It's endearing. Actually the day before I left, my friend became visibly saddened! I had no idea I has such an impact on him!  He 's my first Afghani friend and I'm his first American friend  (he has met very few Americans in his life, as have most at the hotel I stayed at).

The street at night on Sukhumvit road in front of the Grace Hotel

I've been debating extending my stay here for a few days so I can just relax but I miss home and long to be away from this place but I also LOVE IT. I understand why people return and stay for long periods of time. I'll likely have to come back soon but at least I know all the ins and outs and have no issue dealing with someone trying to be dishonest a bit more bluntly (I'm normally a very polite person- and I remain polite but my answers have become more conclusive).

I read on the internet it's best to mail your things back home rather than wading through customs. I almost had my packages mailed at the Silom post office until the manager came up and raised the price to $1000! The US post office doesn't pull this crap and I was beside myself when he insisted $1000 was the bottom line (I've been buying from here from the US for a long time, so I know their true shipping fees).

This is the view of the far end of the lobby near discoteque 2. Apparently they reinforced the rules of NO VIDEO in or near the hotel since so much seedy action was taking place there.
I debated saying many things but I declined (remembering they don't have freedom of speech here). Hot under the collar, I left so I'll try UPS tomorrow (at least they're American owned and hopefully no BS?). I'll try to upload a photo of the tens of thousands of bugs flying in the post office, up my nose and on the papers I was filling.

Vegas has nothing on Bangkok. Practically every female gathered at any tourist spot or hotel I learned is for sale. I suppose they think nothing of prostituting just for the hell of it to make a buck--anyone, that is? I'm SURE there's a normal contingent. I can sit here in my big house and blah, blah, blah but I'm not living there in whatever conditions some of these people grew from, therefore I should do the right thing and not judge (and hope the best for them) So all the women I met were for sale (almost).

Bugs in post office Silom, Bangkok Thailand
...and I was thinking of meeting a good friend…My pea brain mind actually thought it was possible! LOL!

 ...Wish I could have some nice stories for you and excellent tourist photos but this became a work vacation and I had nothing planned, so this is what I get (but it was fun)! I did buy some strange tropical fruit at the fruit stand...but of course I learned later I paid 5 times more because I'm Caucasian. Little bitty mangoes you pop into your mouth and some other cool fruits (Lychees and Longans). The mangothingies weren't stringy at all. I imagine the monkeys live on this stuff. I'm a fan of tropical fruits so this was fun. This country has a very strong undercurrent of prejudice filtered from the King all the way down to the Tuk Tuk driver. I've learned some of the Taxi drivers (not the one's pushing smut joints) seem to be decent and honest, being very grateful when I pay triple the $1.50 cab ride (half an hour) to my destination. It just bugs me when they take me around the block 4-5 times to  hike up the meter...(if they need more money, ASK)!  I just don't like being deceived. I found I pay MORE when they're honest than they would get when they're ripping me off!

Getting the simplest task here takes a long time...days to straighten credit card shutdowns (notify your bank so they don't think someone stole it and is blowing money in Thailand). I stayed up 'till 4am, bought an international phone card and was on an empty main street on hold for 10 minutes before my bank opened my cards back up again. One other issue is there is a12 hour time difference between my home and Thailand keeping me up all night to get stuff done (but I'm a night owl, so it's all good)!

If anyone has any questions, I'll do my best to help. I would highly suggest finding a travel buddy and going together. I long to speak to someone from one of the larger English speaking countries....I long for someone to tell the truth first time around! I miss the US!

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Me and a little boy begging for mo…
Me and a little boy begging for m…
Shelling out money to the hooker I…
Shelling out money to the hooker …
Long Live the King on the side o…
"Long Live the King" on the side …
The street at night on Sukhumvit r…
The street at night on Sukhumvit …
This is the view of the far end o…
Bugs in post office Silom, Bangko…
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photo by: Deats