They love and revere the Honorable King so much. A huge picture of him on a skyscraper. Imagine us loving Bush this much?
So there is an entire page of pics. Don't remember how many, but they are there. Enjoy! Some are even educational--imagine that, me seeking to educate about another culture. :)
Two Day Recap:
What to recap now, what to recap...yesterday was spent using my english skills earning a dinner and a trip to Phuket Island, shopping, bargaing, buying and bitching. Today was spent walking, sweating, getting lost (and found), finding the River Chao Praya and making plans for my aforementioned trip and one to Ayathuya.
Thursday, Thanksgiving In America:
In order: who knew that all those horrid hours spent with my mom proofing those damn papers in high school could pay off. The BWI (Best Western International) Asian Regional needed some help proofing their template for Hotel Directory information.
Relaxing at some hotel before proofing their menu. Shrimps anyone? :)
I proofed and rewrote some of the hotel directory template. So, if you ever travel in Asia and stay at ANY BWI franchised or operated Best Western--you'll get to read my writing. No, I did NOT use Kentucky vernacular. Though that would be funny: Ya'll need some shampoo, just give the front desk a holler. That makes me laugh.
Shopping: Oh my goodness, I have found my heaven! It is located in MBK Market. I don't know what MBK really stands for, but let's say the first two letters stand for MASSIVE BARGAINING. I bought so much stuff already, some for me, some for others. I have to save my money cause I still have three weeks and the night market in Sala Daing, the weekend market at Mon Chit and whatever may lie in Northern Thailand. So this MBK place is like a nice and climate controlled flea market, but cheaper and WAY more bargaining.
This is a traditional Thai Spirit House. Each building has one. Some say it is to detract the bad out of your building, some say it is to attract the good ones to say. I have to ask their permission before I take pictures of it.
I got nearly half off of EVERYTHING I bought except the "Diesel" jeans, which were only 1300 BHT for two pairs. A mere 36 US $ for two pair of jeans custom tailored at that. I got a cool red jellish watch for a couple bucks US and some souvenirs for some of ya'll!
Fatigue, heat exhaustion and last bit of jetlag REALLY kicked into high gear lastnight. I got so bitchy. You know how I get when I get tired, this was worse. But it was ok. I apologized for the "situation" and I think all is clear now. A word to the weary travelors out there, do NOT try to do EVERYTHING in three days! It is ok to stop and just be. Friday:
So that brings us up to about today (I am leaving some details out due to time constraints). This morning, I slept in until the late hour of 7:30 a.m. Made some Thanksgiving Day calls, took my first of already two showers and headed on my way.
Same purpose of a Spirit House, this one is Chinese style though. Please note, it is sideways.
I learned how to order iced coffee: Cafe Yen and re-learned that Sip is NOT 5, but 10 baht! LOL Everyday I get more comfortable with existing here solo, the Thai people make it easy. I also respect the culture, honor the King, Honor the Buddha and wear appropriate clothes. Another tip: Please people, do NOT wear sleeveless shirts, short-shorts or skin-baring tops, it is NOT appropriate. Do your homework and dress for where you are. It will get you so much further. I walked FOREVER to find a Temple I saw once from the BTS. After walking for 45 minutes with the near 100% humidity overwhelming every sweat pore, I decided to get a soda at McDonald's in MBK and re-route my day. I then switched to the other Route on the BTS and saw a guy bowing as we passed...wait, what's that over yonder, it's the Temple! SCORE! So I decided to get off at the next stop, go backwards following the BTW rail above my head until I found it.
I do not recall where this Spirit House(s) was located. It is same concept, and still Thai style. Look close and you'll notice little people in it as if Praying to the Buddha and/or Spirits. I have to double fact check this one.
Who would've thought they would put up a wall so you cannot see it from the street! FINALLY, I did discover it just as the rain began. Oh honey, that did not stop me. Cautiously, I entered the property paying my respect and asking the Spirits and Buddha approval in taking pictures for educational and memorable purposes. Deeming it ok, I proceeded. However, while taking a pic of an orchid, I noticed the scornful face of a young Monk, no older than 11 or 12. Thinking maybe he thought I was just another stupid Farang, I said sawatdee and did a wai, this did not deter his looks. I decided maybe I hadn't gotten permission after all and decided to get back on the BTS to see where my next adventure might land me. Chao Praya...We are going on the longboat tomorrow, so I did not do anything but walk around down there today.
No one I asked could explain this to me in English. The best I could decipher is it is either to Honor the Spirits, bring good Forture to home and busines or something like that. I also believe it to be Chinese style.
I bought something green and jelly-like (gelatinous ? ) for only 5 BHT, it was ok. I am totally clueless on what it was though. Something sweet, maybe with coconut and fruit in it?
Random Thoughts and Observations:
I find it of the utmost interest that this City of Bangkok is a city of contradictions. A Buddhist city full of beer and night clubs. A city of calm and a city that never sleeps. One of high-end retail and extreme poverty. One of superficial shops and of Enlightened Monks roaming the streets. Of high rises that go up in a month and no hot water in most homes. I find this oddly appealing and titilating.
Just one view of the City
This city is so completely accepting, and yet is based on elegant refinement. It has yet to cease to amaze me--but then it is only three days into it. On Acceptance:
I have felt so safe and accepted in this city so far. That is something I cannot say I've really experienced much of. I walk around and it's ok morning, noon or night. So far anyway. There are transexuals at every turn, and they are fully-functioning members of society and nobody cares. I am not equating myself to a transexual, but I do have several Trans friends, and they only get that acceptance at a trans-bar, not even a typical gay bar. And here, they are working in dept. stores, on the street markets and in upscale establishments and nobody cares, except maybe the tourist?
What's Next ?
- Tonight we're going out to experience the Bangkok night life.
Edited stories may appear.
A gate post.
- Tomorrow we are going to the River Chao Praya and going to do a trip on the Longboat along the canals.
- Sunday: Weekend market with North (another entry)
- Monday: Ayathuya (even though it is flooded still)
- Tuesday: Bangkok again
- Wednesday--Friday: Phuket (likely no Internet?)
MISS YA'LL!!! More pics after tomorrow and Ayathuya I am sure!