A Final Explanation of Events, a week and a half after coming home

Portland Travel Blog

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The last thing to discuss concerning Thailand is the final portion of the trip when we got back into Bangkok after Pattaya.

Chris gave me a xanax for the bus ride, because sweet-talked it out of him. I spent the majority of the ride asleep or pretending to be asleep. Being on xanax made that entertaining. The bus to us to BKK airport where we caught cabs to get into Bangkok proper. Cab drivers are nuts there, and had I not been spaced out on a drug that slows the central nervous system, I may have had a panic attack.

Our hotel, Suissotel Le Concorde, was fancy. It was over the top. Marble everywhere. Sings about how durians were not permitted, chandeliers, etc. I got to take a proper bath in a full tub. It was amazing. We then all went out and took the subway, which is right by the hotel, to the famous Night Market, or the land of unlimited knock-offs. Copyright laws don't really exist there.

It's really easy to get disoriented at the Night Market. There are rows of stalls with hundreds of vendors. Bright lights, music, men trying to peddle pornographic DVDs or holding out "menus" for sex shows, street food vendors, dance clubs, S&M clubs, and Starbucks. Words cannot describe...

We shopped and ate, and tried not to get siezures from all of the commotion and lights. It was truly a din. Grabbing bottled water on the way back to the subway at yet another 7-11 (they are literally everywhere), we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep before yet another long day.

The beds were equisite (note, I gave this hotel quite a favorable review here). I think it was the most comfortable I had been. And I'd stopped getting bugbites, so I really felt better overall, albeit exhausted.

The next day, there had been plans to meet up with some of the Alaska debaters on Khao San Road. First, we took the subway to the weekend market and shopped some more. There I was enamored with pets for sale. There were so many baby rabbits and puppies. I also ate some fabulous food. I'd forgotten my hand-sanitizer and drank a coconut (well, its water) without washing my hands, and after touching animals. Cue the dun-dun-dun foreshadowing music.

We got taxis to Khao San Road, the Western Backpackers' Mecca, and hoped to meet up with the Alaska team (well, Nick, Drew, and Jenni). Chris Kolerok was with us still, and he was eager to see them too, but first we stopped for food and beer. I had some great vegetarian Pad Thai and a liter of beer. Or some ridiculous amount. It was cold and went down well. Most beer there is lager, and I liked it for not being too dark.

We spotted the Alaska folks and we talked and talked with them. Then, nearly everyone went to get massages, but I was kind of uncomfortable with that, so I hung out with Nick. We talked, I bought a pipe, we drank Piriku white tea and berry (my favorite beverage maybe ever now... I need to go to an Asian grocery store and see if I can find it), and then met up again with everyone else. We went to a restaurant and I drank another liter of beer. Chris, Sean and Josh drank vodka and Red Bull from a bucket. Then we wnet to get manicures and pedicures, which was so much fun. I've never gotten a pedicure before. Rebecca lamented the removal of her callouses, and Drew got his toenails painted blue. We shopped and walked some more, then decided to head back to the Night Market.

We decided to take Tuk Tuks from Khao San Road to the Night Market. I rode with Nick, and it was my first ever ride in one. Then they tried to scam us by forcing us to stop to go into a store to get free gas from the shop owners. We got made and left without paying... but no we were in the middle of Bangkok without any idea precisely where. We got in cabs to get to the Night Market with instructions to meet at the Starbucks on the North Side of the market once there. Well, Nick and I finally got there, but I, thinking there was only one Starbucks, took us to the wrong one. Nick bought me iced tea, we waited, and then left - finding everyone else almost immediately as they'd come looking for us. Then, round 3 of shopping and eating began.

Chris, Josh, and Sean went to a Ping Pong Show. Don't ask.

We made plans to meet the next day at Khao San Road to go see the Grand Palace together, and bid them adieu. I slept as deeply as I could, and we woke up to head to Khao San, albeit late, after a breakfast of pastry. My stomach at that point was starting to feel funky.

We got to Khao San and the Alaskans had already checked out of their hotel. I felt bad -- We'd been too late, I thought.

We got around and made it to the Grand Palace, which was closed because of a memorial service for the King's sister. The Emerald Buddha and the Reclining Buddha were still open, so we saw them. Sean was on his own because he'd seen these things on his Jan. 1st trip to the city. I was too "immodest" to go in there, so I had to wear my sarong as a skirt, and put a longer-sleeved top on as well. I didn't match, and that was by far the hottest day we'd spent there.

We got a cab and Chris took us out for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. This was around Siam Square, the high-end shopping district. We looked around, found a pharmacy that dispensed genreic xanax, and a computer cafe. I received an e-mail from Jenni. They'd left their hotel at 5 am to head to some islands (originally they thought they'd leave at 5 pm), so we unintentionally missed them entirely.

We took the Sky Train back to the subway, then got back to the hotel to rest. I went to 7-11 to get food for the team with the last of my Thai money, and then began really experiencing the harsh effects of food poisoning. Everyone else but Sean went to see a Drag musical. I spent the night - literally - on the toilet.

We got in a cab at about 4 am to go to the airport. I hadn't slept. i was dehydrated, and really, really ill. I got enough immodium to last the cab ride, and I nearly cried on the way to the airport with relief that we were finally going home.

Checking in for the flight took so long that we nearly missed it. I took a xanax and essentially slept from Bangkok to Tokyo. In Tokyo, I got McDonalds and took 2 more xanax, then from from Tokyo I slept nearly all the way to Seattle, except for frequent bathroom trips. Xanax helped me sleep better than Unison because it turns my mind off, so I can relax.

In Seattle, Sean kissed the ground, I ate Burger King (why, why why did I keep doing that to myself?!?) breakfast food, I called my parents, and saw snow outside. What I climate change.

I slept on the last flight home. Rebecca puked when we landed. I DESTROYED a toilet near the baggage claim, and my mom took me home. I slept all afternoon, and to this date I am still adjusting to a new schedule because I was so bad about adjusting when the trip was over because of the exhaustion, coupled with food poisoning. My stomach's better.

I'm sleeping better, and I can do nothing but look back on my trip and be blown away by what an amazing experience I had.
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photo by: alooides