Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Bangkok Travel Blog

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So, Saturday night did not end up being the night out at Muay Thai Boxing that we expected.  When we arrived at the stadium to purchase our tickets we were told by one of the agents that there was not a good crowd that night because there was a Thai competing for the gold medal for boxing in the olympics that night and most people were at home watching that match on TV.  So, instead we purchased some VIP tickets in advance for Tuesday and headed back into the night market to figure out what our plan was.

While we were wandering around Thanh-Thanh thought we should call Ae (pronounced like the letter "A"), the girl that Jim had us search for during our scavenger hunt, and see if she wanted to meet up with us and knew of any good places to go hang out.  Thanh-Thanh was actually rather funny when she called because she made sure to let Ae know that she was using my phone which meant that when Ae called back she the cute farang (foreign) boy would be the one answering the phone... lol.  So, we gave her a call and she joined us and took Tom, Thanh-Thanh, Sarah G and I down to Khao San Road, where all of the international backpackers go to... well, have a good time.  We spent Saturday night having drinks and dancing in a club, and I got a chance to talk to Ae quite a bit and find out more about her.  She is really, really cute and is a very nice and funny girl so I was hoping to get a chance to spend more time with her before I left.

The night ended rather late, despite the fact that we had to get up early the next morning to hop on a bus up to Ayutthaya, the first capital of Thailand.  We spent the day up there with Ketsara once again taking us around the ruins of the old capital and showing us the incredible sights of the summer palace.  While I think that the capital was quite an incredible sight to see I think my favorite part of the morning was just having a chance to be around Ketsara again.  She will definitely be another person I miss when I leave this trip, because she was not only a wonderful resource to have around to learn about Thai history, culture and Buddhism but she has been a great person to talk to about life in general these past few weeks as well and I definitely consider her a new friend.

For the trip back to Bangkok we hopped on a boat and headed down the Chao Praya river.  Unfortunately the trip wasn't all that pleasant because we were on one of those touristy, party boats, much like the ones that they have on Lake Coeur d' Alene and it was noisy and hot, and the food that they served was awful.  In fact I was so uncomfortable on the boat that I started to get motion sick and spend most of the trip passed out on one of the benches near the buffet. 

Sunday night and Monday were actually rather uneventful.  The rest of the group took a trip to the floating market outside of Bangkok on Monday morning, but I decided to stay behind at the hotel to catch up on much needed sleep and start working on my travel plans for the next few weeks.  I figured that was probably a pretty important thing to take care of since I had no plane tickets or visas to get into Cambodia or Vietnam and I was planning on leaving in less than a week.

Monday night was our last dinner together as a group and Jim took us out to a Laotian restaurant not far from where we were staying.  After having tried Thai food from all different regions around the country he thought it would be a good idea for us to compare it to some other Southeast Asian cuisine.  The food was similar in many ways but quite different in others, a style of cooking that is really difficult to describe and is something you really just need to try sometime.  Anyway, we spent the meal recollecting about our experiences the past three weeks and drawing up mind maps of our memories that we had from the trip (all of which can be seen on our Flicker page).

The remainder of Monday night and Tuesday morning was spent in and around the hotel as most of the group was preparing to leave for home or various other destinations around Asia on Wednesday.

Tuesday night, however, was the Muay Thai match that we had purchased tickets for a few days earlier.  I had called Ae and asked her on Monday if she was interested in coming with us to the match, so she ended up joining me, Tom, Julie, Thanh-Thanh, Swastika and Sarah G at the Royal Benja before we headed down to Lumpini Stadium.  The fighting style of the boxers was rather unique, consisting of a combination of boxing similar to the American style and a martial arts type of kick boxing.  The 12 bouts were also rather interesting because most of the fighters looked to be incredibly young, around the ages of 12-20.  We spent about three and a half hours there watching the matches before we left to go get food and some drinks at the Night Bazarr next door.  When we left the stadium we all split off into different groups and Ae and I had a chance to go off by ourselves and eat and get to know each other a little better.  I found over the course of the evening that I was starting to like her which is a hard situation to get myself into since she lives there in Bangkok and I live about 7,000 miles away in Seattle.  C'est la vie...

When I returned to the hotel later that night I began to say my goodbyes to some of the girls who were leaving early the next morning to head off on their travels.  Julie was headed off to Singapore, and Sarah G to see her parents in Hong Kong and were both leaving around 7:00 in the morning, so I stopped by thier room for a bit and chatted with them and told them to keep in touch.

Everybody else but Suzy left at various points during the day today.  I had a chance to get lunch with Suzy, Tom and Thanh-Thanh, and said my short goodbyes to Terri and Shannon, but unfortunately did not get to see Swastika or Sarah L before they left on their flights to Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh respectively. 

I find now as I am sitting here writing this that I'm am rather sad that my friends have all left.  While I was anxious to leave my group and head off on my own after all the drama and problems that occurred during my trip to Italy, I really wished that I could continue on my travels with this group of people that I have grown quite close to over the past couple of weeks.  I still have about two and a half weeks left in front of me and I'm not sure how much fun those days will be without having other people around to share the experiences with.  Granted I do have Suzy around for the next few days and hope to get a chance to spend some time with her in Bangkok before she leaves, and I now have a new friend in Ae, who I already have plans to see again later tonight...

As for my plans now that school is over - I have decided to stay in Bangkok until Monday the 2nd to spend some more time with Ae and help Jim get his next group oriented with Bangkok.  I am also looking into taking some meditation courses over the next few days to hopefully help me find a way to better manage the stress in my life and stop worring so much about things that I can't control.  After that it's off to Cambodia and Vietnam for a week before flying to see Michele in Japan. 

It will be rather interesting to see where the coming days take me as I get to know my new friend, Ae, and then head off to explore the world on my own once again.  I will, of course, continue to keep in touch and let you know how my travels are going...

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photo by: halilee