At the beginning of our travels, we wrote a lot! As we started to get better at making videos and sharing information in that medium, we decreased our written entries. So, you will see a good number of written entries. Enjoy them, there's a good number of laughs!
Kyde's 5 Senses of Bangkok
Sight - Bangkok looks like movement. Everything is on the move from a huge cockroach making his way on the sidewalk to his next feast to huge groups of people cramming themselves on to a tiny khlong boat. You can constantly hear people getting around in many different way from motorcycle taxis rarring to the millions of high heels clomping. We read that people move like water in Bangkok and we have plunged in!
Smell - Two s-words come to mind when thinking about the city, smog and sewage. Surprisingly, that is broken by occurrences of the best smelling incense. Buddhism is wonderful, because if it wasn't for it there wouldn't be a good smell in the whole of Bangkok! Side note: Chinatown smells like pepper and spice!
Sound - The sounds you hear most are transportation! The rar of the motorcycles, the honk of the taxis, the tv ads of the skytrains, the vibrating motors of the river ferries and khlong boats and the constant jabbering of the tuk tuk drivers might drive a person insane! Oddly enough, the metro provides a comforting quiet.
Feel - Bangkok has a ying-yang of sweat and air-conditioning. You spend an hour or so getting a nice sweat going and then pop into a 7-11 and it's like stepping into a convenient ice age! You can feel your sweat beads freeze instantly.
Taste - Bangkok has knocked our taste buds out! 98% of our meals have been spiced to perfect. I watch Eric each time he takes his first bite and he melts with every meal. I believe we have only had 3 meals which warranted a "that sucks" out of the over 200 in the past month. I'm not sure how to put these meals into words other than taste has been our favorite sensation of Bangkok and hopefully will continue as we venture on.
September 11, 2009 - Kyde:
Our Days Inn stay in New York was pretty good. We had internet and not just two pillows to lounge around with, but FIVE. Oh yea!! To be honest, the Days Inn is actually the best place we have stayed thus far, aside from Eric's parents house. The shower in the Days Inn was incredible. It's been a while since Eric and I have felt good water pressure and my hair is pretty happy about it! And Debbie, I haven't cut my hair... yet. It was imperative that we find a laundromat before leaving NY, because we were down to our last sets of underwear. Using google and a little help from the front staff, we managed to trek the mile long walk in the rain to JFK Laundromat. Keep in mind that we are in queens and I honestly expected a lot of attitude, it's freakin' New York. That was not the case though, everyone was very nice. It only cost us 4.50, and an hour and half, to clean all of our clothes and watch some Classic NBA games. There's nothing like packing up clean clothes. The walk back was wet, but fun!
We hitched an early ride to the airport on the hotel shuttle, because staying out in the rain would suck and sitting in the hotel lobby would suck even more; although we did get to see a couple crazies while we were there. One of them was in a frantic conversation with the clerk. While the clerk was checking on something for her, the lady called someone and said "I need to get the hell outta New York." Never did figure out what was happening there though. So, we arrived at JFK with 6 hours to kill. Ever sat in an airport for 6 hours? It gets BORING!!! There was no free internet, so we couldn't chat at people or do internet stuffs. We ended up wondering around not being able to find our flight company. Turns out that we had the wrong name in mind, it was China Airlines, not Air China. We should be ashamed of ourselves for getting those two completely different names mixed up! We went to our terminal and just hung out on the floor playing games. The plane arrived and dished out a tremendous amount of people. Seriously 200 or so. We noticed an odd trend though. I counted 20 people who were wearing medical masks. I haven't had a chance to figure that one out, but I'm gonna look into it. I have to say that I was surprised that there wasn't more of a hubbub in the airport considering it was 9/11, I mean we were in NY. I guess it's been 8 years and we were on the outskirts of the city. So, we got on a plane on 9/11 at New York City! Spoiler: We survived!
September 18, 2009 - Kyde:
Yea, I haven't been putting up an update, but let me explain. The day begins and I manage to get a shower and head out. We are out for hours and we don't take the laptop with us, because getting robbed is not cool (not likely here, but we don't want to entice anyone). We get home and I'm usually out within a half an hour. We are working on extending our awake schedule. We've seen Bangkok at 8AM and I think it might be more entertaining at 8PM!
We got on our plane a little before midnight. The plane ride over here was LONG! I find it hard to sleep in vehicles, so I got to feel every minute of our time in the air. Eric is a pretty big guy, so we had to put my bag under the seat in front of him and he crossed his legs over to the seat in front of me! He managed to get a little shut eye on the flight from NY to Alaska. I managed to get really good at the game Scribblenauts! We landed in Alaska and decided it was time to reserve a place to sleep in Bangkok (proactive, but lazy!). We called a hotel and got a private room. The 9 hour flight to Taipei, Taiwan consisted of more Scribblenauts, a movie and some food! We also had some quality time with Vegetable Lasagna! During the layover in Taipei, I made a very shy friend. A little boy who starred at me for a few minutes and I said "Hi!" And he moved away and slowly came back. As time passed the kid got closer and closer to me, checking out what I was doing on the computer. By the time his parents and him left, he was basically sitting 3 inches away from me. He would never talk to me, but he was pretty awesome. On the last flight, I watched the Hangover and it was good! We landed and I was happy to be on the ground. I'm not a big fan of flying and I had actually had to do some breathing exercises to get through the turbulence. Holding Eric's hand was very comforting, even if he was asleep. After the flight, I talked with Audrey. I actually had to ask what day it was because the last few days had been a little disorienting, especially since we spent most of it in a skytube!
We realized the hotel we were staying at kinda sucked. Refill Now was nice for the two days we stayed, but we managed to rack up $70 bill for the two days we had stayed. They almost include nothing with what you get other than the bed and a towel. The shared bathrooms were pretty crappy with bad water pressure and pretty unprivate bathrooms. Anyways, the next morning, with our bags packed and on our backs, we headed out to find a better place to stay. We went to one hostel that wanted to charge us for even more things! Eric brought up the idea of a long-term place to stay and we kinda... rented an apartment! Let me tell you a little bit about the place.
We are located about a 20-minute walk from the skytrain, which is slightly long, but I'm gonna have thighs and calves of steel after our lease is up! We also live on the 4th floor, so that will help with my toning as well. Being on the 4th floor gives us a pretty nice view! We can see a few office building and if the sky clears up a sunset!
The bathroom is oddly spacious! The water pressure is OUTSTANDING! You just have to commit to either extremely hot or pretty cold. Most of the time, you've been outside sweating to death, so cold showers are preferred! Our apartment complex has a maid service which cleans our place and replaces our towels with fresh ones everyday (but Sunday)!
The bedroom is small, but we've got a queen sized bed which the maid makes up everyday! The mattress and my pillow are hard as a log, but amazingly the neck problem that I've had for some time now is gone! So, I'm loving it!
We spent the next day getting to know our neighborhood. I had been feeling nauseous a lot lately from jet lag, but having a place that I can get a descent nights sleep helped that problem. We got to have some more great street food! We went to an express grocery store which we thought was a real grocery store! We later found out the bigger grocery store is further down the street. We got our stuff home and I immediately had some cereal! A lot of people have said they miss cereal the most and I thought that was crazy, but it completely hit me too! The cereal was delicious!
September 20 2009 - Kyde:
The last two days have been lazy days. Yesterday, we spent some time relaxing. Eric took a nap and I got some interneting done. Around 1PM we headed out into the world and did a few errands. We got some needed groceries and hit up the laundromat to get our clothes. Let me just say that for $4.50 you get your clothes washed, dried and folded!
After the rain ended, we headed out to find some food and fun. We walked for a bit and found a place called "Sunrise Tacos Mexican Grille." The menu was pretty authentic American-Mexican and we could get a Chipolte-like burrito. The prices were expensive, but Eric has been dreaming about Chipolte for a while so we went for it anyway. As many of you know, Eric is keen to spicy things. So, he decided to go crazy and get the spiciest salsa they offer, which provided a few laughs! I, on the other hand, got a pretty bland burrito, but was still happy to have some food that reminded me of home.
We left the burrito joint and just walked. Then the food we just ate hit me! Needless to say, I found the comfort of a mall bathroom quickly. Body satisfied, for the moment, we decided to find out about the sex district in Bangkok, Patpong! A short sky train ride led us to a lit up street which we had heard much about. We were approached by guys with a laminated card in their hand advertising "Sex DVD," many men came up to both Eric and I offering "Ping Pong Shows," and we saw a few scantly clad ladies. In all honesty, this was not the sex extravaganza we were expecting. I was disappointed. I certainly expected to see at least one boob! We did if you count the boob that both Eric and I saw on the main drag earlier in the night on a ladyboy with a new boob job. So, I guess Thailand delivered! I assume you have to pass through the doors of the bars or "brothels" to find out more about Patpong, but we weren't going to risk the STDs!
On the way home, the burrito decided to say hello again! It is amazing that we have had so many meals from street vendors, and we get (Eric later) sick from the place which doesn't have any Thai writing on any menu or sign in their entire establishment! I'm pretty jaw dropped and I plan on sticking to street vendors, their food is so much better anyways! Today, we are still recovering from our tryst with American cuisine. Eric has had a pretty bad go of things, and I've been taking it easy. We have caught up on the Daily Show and I read an entire book! We don't have anymore clean bowls, so tonight we will have to venture out and get us some street vendor deliciousness!
September 24, 2009 - Kyde:
So, since my last update, we've spent a lot of time in the apartment! Sounds exciting, but really it wasn't! Thanks to the amazing mind of Tess, she figured out Eric had food poisoning from that burrito joint. During Eric's epic burrito bash, I got to go out into our neighborhood on my own for the first time. My first adventure out was pretty normal. I walked about half a mile to a store to get some gatorade and hit our favorite place to eat on our block for some rice on the way back. I haven't been alone in a good while. Probably not since I was sitting in Champ before I left. The second day of Eric's near death food poisoning, I went to the larger store near us. I walked around for a while, and it actually hit me how alone I felt standing in a store with a million other people that I can't talk with. During this outing, I couldn't help but get frustrated with the way Thai people walk! Our guidebook explains that they move into any open area, and I understand that. What bothers me is they aren't too keen on looking where they are walking or they try to take the harder path to move around you. Totally driving me crazy! That night, Eric got really bad. He started to run a fever and wasn't conversing very well with me. I got worried and charted out the route to the hospital. Then I thought about how difficult it was going to be to get him down the 3 flights of stairs in our building considering that the walk to the bathroom was hard for him. I sat down with the computer and thank goodness Will had IMed Eric! We got to talking and he got to chatting with Tess and we managed to make a good game plan for the next 12 hours. We got Eric's fever in check in a few hours and I actually got to sleep a little that night! Thanks guys!
With my buddy almost back to normal, we decided to do something easy on our first day back to Bangkok! We went to the Zoo! To get to the zoo, you get on the Sky Train and take it to the boat ferry. The boats have different colored flags to tell you what they do. No flag, orange, yellow and blue. We wanted to get a yellow boat because it was an express which stopped at our destination. We got on a boat that was blue and yellow, we figured it's got some yellow stops. Wrong choice, that turned out to be a tourist boat. While it goes down the river much slower than the other boats you get to listen to a loud speaker as someone tries their best to talk in English. On top of that, it turned around before it got to our stop. Needless to say, we were baffled, but we managed to get off and hop on another boat which was full orange. Orange is the way to go... it's express (with a few more stops than yellow) and it's cheaper! We landed at our destination and right off the bat we saw something cool.
The Dusit Zoo was pretty cruddy, but it was definitely a good time! We were there for about 4 hours and we only paid $3 bucks each to get in! Here are some pictures of our adventure!
We stayed at the park until closing and realized that we had an hour to get back to the boats before the last run! The area, Dusit, that we were in was pretty nice. There was large sidewalks with nice shady trees! There was also a police station with a guy holding a machine gun. Safety first! We managed to get on a boat and it was nice to get a night view of the river scape.
On Thursday, I got to take my first motorcycle taxi! 20 baht and I got my mind blow. It was pretty cool! I'm pro-motorcycle taxi because it is cheaper than taxis, doesn't get stuck in traffic and provides an adrenaline rush! My afternoon was spent at the Emporium, a ritzy mall near our place. I got to check out Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada, Gucci and many other designers. It was pretty cool. I've never had a chance to stare at such high-priced designer stuff up close before. I ended up leaving the mall with a 6 pack of donuts, a new book and some deodorant. I'm a big spender!
September 25, 2009 - Kyde:
We heard about an international film festival passing through 2 cinemas in Bangkok. The first film to interest us was a documentary about Iran called "The Queen and I." The film maker was involved with the revolution which exiled the monarchy (kicked the king and queen to the Iranian curb) and was threatened with execution by the powers she helped put into place. She fled the country and landed in Sweden. Time brought her to question what had happened to the Queen. The movie shows how she wrote to the Queen and suggested an indepth interview to show what was going on with the Queen, now living in France. It's odd to see a woman go from being a Queen to being a commoner. The Queen is still very interesting and surprisingly personable. The movie was very good.
The theater we saw the movie in was pretty up scale (topiaries = up scale, right?). There were actually tickets you could buy which would get you a love seat to relax on with pillows and blankets to boot. I'm not sure if they cost more, but our tickets (for mega nice single reclining seats) were only $3 per person. Our snacks (large drink to share and a medium popcorn) were about 4 dollars. So, for a total of $13 we got to see a good movie in a grand theater with snacks. I will never pay to see a movie in the States again!
You may not believe this, but we managed to find another mall which we hadn't investigated yet. There is seriously a million malls here. I can't even figure out a way to express the approximate number of malls here.
Continuing the international film festival on Saturday, we went to see a Australian claymation movie, Mary & Max. I guess that I expected claymation to mean little kids movie. This movie was AMAZING!!! Hard to describe, but I can manage. A little girl in Australian longs to have a a friend and she finds a phone book for New York. She writes to a slightly crazy 44 year old man there. There is a rooster, attempted suicide and a lot of chocolate. I demand if you ever have a chance to see this movie, DO IT!!
By the time we left the theater, it was 3 PM. We spent a bit of time trying to figure out where the Build-A-Bear was in the (yes, yet another) mall. This mall is called Central World and it is the 2nd largest shopping mall in south east Asia. We searched for a directory of the mall to figure out where we were, but it made sense they would only invest in one area with a HUGE display of the malls layout, all 9 floors of it! The 9th floor is only the cinema, so it's really only 8 floors of shopping, but HOLY SHIT! It turned out there was not a Build-A-Bear in the mall we were at which was pretty disappointing, but it made it so we didn't end up with another friend whom we would have to figure out how to get home!
After taking a little snooze on Eric's shoulder, I decided it was time to get my hair cut (calm down Debbie, it's not short!). I looked through a couple books and came up with something. I managed to get good service for my money, but I didn't get exactly what I wanted. I went in knowing that I could possibly get butchered because I have no idea how to tell them what I want. I had 3 different people work on my hair. The first lady washed my hair and I got a scalp massage. I sat down and lady 1 and 2 went at trying to comb my hair. There is a reason that I don't brush my hair very often, there's a lot of it and I'm not investing the time. I seriously had these two ladies just hacking away at my knots. I couldn't help but laugh. I should have made a movie! After the combing was done, Lady 2 got to cutting my hair and she actually didn't use scissors. She had a razor blade on a handle. It was interesting. She chopped away for about 30 minutes and she gave me the layers that I was looking for. I actually wanted some long bangs, something that would still reach into my ponytail, but would be a little more framing on my face. That never happened and I knew what I had going was good and didn't want to mess it up. Eric came back just in time to see the lady hit me in the face with a wad of my own hair, it was pretty funny. Lady 2 and 3 then started the 45 minutes of dual blow drying. I realized why I don't do anything fancy with my hair or pay anyone to do this... it's kinda annoying and blow drying is hot! I left with 75% satisfaction and a lot less weight on my head. My hair though did make me look like I was a 14 year old going to homecoming. Never blow drying again!
Looked around the mall for something to eat and came up empty for something that wasn't super overpriced. We headed outside to find better prices and value. We could hear girls screaming! We followed the sounds and found a room full of girls screaming at a screen with some boys on it. There was a girl around the age of 15 (can't tell the age of anyone here) and I asked her if she spoke English. I asked who the people on the tv were and she said something that might have been a band name, but I have no idea what it was. I asked if they were singers and she said yes. There were like 30 girls sitting on the floor in the room of a department store screaming at a tv screen. I seriously saw a girl wave at the screen, and I thought that was bizarre then I realized what I was looking at. It was all a little weird.
We turned the corner from this little girl get together and there was seriously a food festival! We jumped in and slowly made our way to the real food. We watched one vendor which was making coconut pudding. They have a heated metal plate with circular indentions. In each little cup, the guy puts in a little batter and then tops it off with some coconut milk. It cooks a few minutes and then the ladies put 12 of them in a box for you! The next stand had some chicken going, which I had no idea how they made it, but a girl helped us get some. It was really nice of her to work out our food situation! We ended up at a stand where a guy handed me some weird food.
When we sat down, the girl who had helped us asked if we would like to sit with her. She was with her boyfriend and both of them could speak English, her a little more than him. We shared all the food we had, so we got to try their and ours. They had a rice pudding concoction with mango, which was delicious. Nothing we got to taste at the food festival was bad, everything was delicious! We walked around a bit more after getting some direction on how to get to a good weekend market from our buddies. While walking, Eric found a concoction of blended frozen strawberries with some yogurt on the bottom. Simple and great tasting! Mom, you may want to try that with your frozen treats, swirl a little yogurt in it before you freeze it!
September 27, 2009 - Kyde:
Today we have spent the day at the apartment. I've had a pretty bad migraine and Eric and I managed to get a nap in during the afternoon. This has given me time to catch up on some interneting! I'm planning on watching Super Troops while I eat the amazing ramen that I have here. It's SPICY SHRIMP. I'm totally addicted!!
September 28, 2009 - Kyde:
We decided to get out and do something we had been trying to do for a week or so now, which is go to Jim Thompson's house. You might be wondering who Jim Thompson is... so I'll explain, badly. Jim Thompson was a man who, after an assorted early life, landed in Thailand and was very interested in textiles. He was introduced to the silk being produced here and in return presented dyes to the weavers. These two things, silk and dye, made an explosion in the textile market via Vogue magazine in the late 1940s. He lived a very wealthy life and one day went into the jungle in Malaysia and never turned up again. So, you might then wonder, why do you care about Jim Thompson? Well, with his wealth he traveled around Asia and collected art, pottery and teak houses. Teak houses, the traditional Thai house, are usually small, but Jim Thompson needed a bigger house so he crammed six of them together with a little glue and a couple nails. We were pretty excited to see this much talked about "mansion," but were kinda disappointed. The house was cool and you could see many of his possessions, but there was really no spectacle for it and neither of us felt we got our baht worth. I actually got in half price because I was under 25 years old! It was cool to see, but I wouldn't say it's a must see. We did get a free English tour and it was very interesting getting to converse and listen to a native Thai girl speak English.
We left Jim Thompson's to find food and landed at a street vendor where Eric got sweet and sour chicken, which was so much better than anything I've ever ingested with the same name in the States! I was jealous of his food, so much that I have no idea what I got. After our stomachs were happy, Eric wanted to show me the Khlong boats he had visited the other day. We sat over a bridge and watched one, Eric told me since it wasn't rush hour things were a lot less hectic. We decided to take the boat in the direction of Wat Arun. Khlong boats are a really weird phenomenon, unlike most of their transport which kind of caters to your eyes, this one doesn't. You get in a skinny boat and there really is no view other than the canal walls. It does feel very fast since you are in such an enclosed area. We weren't sure how far the boat would take us or even where it would drop us off, but when everyone else got off the boat we took that as the hint that we needed to get off too. We wandered up to the streets to figure out where we were. Guidebook in hand, we tried to locate ourselves (which isn't very easy since our book isn't the best) but tuk tuk drivers pounce once they see that you're white and they pounce hard if you are using a map. We honestly have to strategically plan out when to open our book. We'll either get behind something where the tuk tuk drivers can't see or approach us or we'll plan ahead on a boat/sky train or in a restaurant. I know that you are told that tuk tuk drivers are annoying, but some of the assholes are fucking relentless. They get to the point where if they want our attention they will touch Eric and that's not cool. If we are ignoring you to the point where you feel that you have to get our attention by touching one of us, you're gonna get a pretty evil look. So, we had no idea where we were, but we did manage to get away from the tuk tuk drivers by just picking a direction and going. A couple hours later we found our way to a boat which would take us to Wat Arun. Upon our arrival at the Wat we were met with annoyances, unproper clothing choices and a sudden downpour. We decided not to enter the Wat and we'd come back another day.
Our next destination was food and we decided to consult our guidebook for it, and once again were unable to experience one of their food recommendations (keep in mind we have been here for 2 weeks and have tried almost daily). We got to the restaurant and I asked the lady for a menu. Eric and I both noted her disgusted look as she headed into the place and talked with a co-worker. She brought out a menu after talking for a few minutes. We were looking at it when the other co-worker came up to me and said "(word I couldn't understand) food." Since I heard the word food and she was pointing to the menu, I said yes. After going around in circles for a few seconds, she managed to associate a sign on the wall with what she was trying to say which told us that they were closing in ten minutes. So, I asked a lady for a menu, she walks away, bitches and brings me a menu. Then her buddy comes up and jabbers at me and finally points at a sign which says their closing time. You know what would have solved this? It's not being able to speak the language, but having the first lady that I talked to point at the sign. It's confusing situations like this which characterize Bangkok for me. It's hard to sometimes put them into words, but this is one of the many.
We headed back to the boat since it only runs til 7 pm and we didn't want to get stuck with a hefty taxi fare. The boat drops us off near the sky train in an area called Riverside. We decided to investigate what Riverside had to offer in the food department. We walked for what seemed like a half and hour and there were only 3 food joints. They were not in our price range, but Eric had noted a "Food Court" back where we started our journey. To me, seeing the words "Food Court" means they are catering to westerners and they plan on making shitty food for outrageous prices. I was completely wrong about this place. It's pretty much a bunch of seats next to a line of booths that are rented out by Thai cooks. We found the one sign with English on it saying "Pad Thai" and figured out how to get chicken for me and shrimp for Eric. I'm not keen on pad Thai or rice noodles, so I wasn't excited about the meal but I was extremely hungry. Let me just put it bluntly, I thought the pad Thai was FABULOUS! Eric said it wasn't amazing, but it was the first time that I was happy to have ordered it!
After that we headed back to the apartment. I have been sleeping with a log of a pillow for a while. At first it was nice, because it was a stark difference from normal, but it started to cause sleeping issues because I couldn't get comfortable. Eric was quite awesome and said I could use his pillow from heaven and he'd use the log. Sweetest boy ever! I slept very well that night!
September 29, 2009 - Kyde:
We slept in because that log of a pillow ruined Eric's sleep. I think that if I wanted to sleep for 24 hours straight, I might be able to do it. Something about not having anything that you must do opens up that area of your brain that believes you haven't slept enough in the past couple years and a few hours more wouldn't hurt at all!
Our most important plan of the day... find a Build-A-Bear! My ankles are tingling just thinking about it. We were told there was a bear factory in Central World, but looked and even asked a security guard, but couldn't find it. I did some research and went to the Build-A-Bear website and told it to tell me about the Thailand branches. That took me from the English site to the some-parts-are-in-English-but-mostly-everything-is-in-Thai website. So, if you aren't very internet literate, lack patience and really want to go to Build-A-Bear in Thailand, you better learn how to read Thai or you're screwed! I managed to grab a few words and piece a couple things together which led me to believe there might be a factory in a building near Central World called Chidlom Central. It's all a bit confusing, but this is in the name of Bears, people! We headed over and found the factory with ease. I wanted so badly to build an owl, but we don't know exactly how much it would cost to ship it home or whether it's worth the hassle.
Our next mission was to see our last movie at the international film festival. The movie was called "Every Little Step." It is a documentary about trying out for the Broadway play "Chorus Line." If you are even remotely interested in theater or documentaries it was a very good movie. You got to see from start to finish how they cast the whole show and what the people who audition have to go through and it's a lengthy try out. I've never been very interested in being in theater and after seeing how many hoops they jump through I'm still satisfied with just being a spectator. The movie shows how some people crumble and others go so much farther than expected. We left the mall and found a fun place to take pictures!
September 30, 2009 - Kyde:
Eric and I have been together every day for an entire month (minus about 8 hours tops). Believe me, I'm driving him bonkers! Anyways, we decided some time apart would ease some of our bickering. I decided to relax at the apartment and watch "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." It was much better than I had remembered it. I downloaded the first episode of Season 3 of Six Feet Under. Sorry Jenn, but I got bored and couldn't wait. I'm dying for you to get those discs! Need to continue!!! A bath and some reading made my day!
Eric went walking. Mega walking for miles. He went on a huge path around Limphini Park and on his way back home watched the free aerobics offered at the park at night time.
October 1, 2009 - Kyde:
Had an interesting morning. We used a different laundry place. Instead of being able to pick up our clothes at the same time on the next day, they said we would have to wait til 5 pm. Lame. On top of that, we gave them the same amount of clothes as the last two times at our other place and they charged us twice as much. Live and learn. We will be returning to our old faithful next clothing cycle! So, we woke up this morning with annoying clothing issues. I brought a tank top with a built in (crappy) bra. It's normally okay to wear, but in the heat with the thin cotton material, I look like I just took a bath in sweat! Eric only had the pants and boxers he wore the day before, so he had washed them by hand and hung them to dry. The pants were still on the damp side and he refused to wear them. We hung them up outside and to our surprise it was the coldest day we have felt since August. There must have been a mid-morning rain which cooled everything. It had to be in the upper 60s (HEAVEN!). We have been so used to the upper 90s that I was pretty excited. These pants were not drying any faster outside and I ran through in my head how I was going to dry these pants so that Eric and I could both enjoy the weather. Could I use the microwave? Not sure the zippers and fabric would be okay with that. Is there anything hot in the apartment that I could use, not that I could think of. Then I remembered, while Eric was sick I took a chair out on the balcony with the A/C unit and it kept blowing hot air on me. It worked like a charm!
Considering there wasn't much of the touring day left, I just took a peek into the guidebook and randomly picked a place. The place advertised the largest golden buddha! I was pretty excited and we'd actually get to try out the metro for the first time. Our first stop was to find some food! We had gone down Soi 16 many times and noticed a place called FoodLand and figured it would solve the hunger issue.
We walked in and sat at a Waffle House kind of bar stool seating arrangement. The menus were laid out and the waiter was on us right when we got in the door. In the States, you would order your drink and the waiter would come back. We told the guy what drinks we wanted, he told the lady on the other side of the bar and she got them for us. We made our decisions for food and looked around. The waiter was no where to be found. When he showed up, Eric made eye contact and we figured service was on its way. Moments later, a lady came over and shoved a piece of paper into a cup in front of us. I pulled out the paper and it was our tab for the drinks. We sat there wondering... will we be able to get some food. We have come to the conclusion that you need to get your whole order ready before ordering. Finally, another guy came up and took our food order, HOORAY! I got roasted pork which fell apart at the slightest touch, it was great! Eric got sweet and sour chicken and it was just as good as the time before.
The metro was almost nicer than the sky train. The view was not as good since it was underground, but there were more seats open. It was definitely a much sleepier form of transport considering there were a lot of people napping. We headed over to the Wat containing the golden buddha. When we finally got our bearings from the crazy road system, we found the entrance to Chinatown!
We found the Wat, but I can honestly tell you that I don't know if we ever found the golden buddha. We searched around and finally gave up. If you ever find the golden buddha, let me know! We thought Chinatown was worth a walk and we found a few cool things.
We headed back on the metro and looked for a place to eat. We spotted a sign that said Pizza Hut. Even though both of us are big fans of the place, we were jonesing for something that tasted like home. We got a medium half pepperoni and half pineapple dish! It was much better than I thought it was going to be. Then, I ended up in a very confusing bathroom incident. Too hard to write out, but bathrooms can be pretty confusing here. I ended up visiting another one a few minutes later to see how I fucked up, still clueless.
October 2, 2009 - Kyde:
We took the sky train and ferry to the Thornburi area. I had read about a forensic science museum and I thought it sounded pretty interesting. Eric said he might not want to go to the museum, and I guess I should have figured that if he wasn't interested then there might be something wrong with the place. We walked through a hospital compound to get to the place. Here's how I explained the place to my Mom:
(10:19:09 PM) Kyde: so, you walk in and on your right are a bunch of skulls that had something horrific happen to them
(10:19:44 PM) Kyde: and then there are a bunch of pictures of people that have been shot, stabbed and had other horrific things happen
(10:20:00 PM) Kyde: ever seen what it looks like when someone is in a train accident?
(10:20:09 PM) Kyde: I can recall the picture now, and it's pretty nasty
(10:20:11 PM) Mom: no
(10:20:23 PM) Kyde: to the left, there is a display about tsunamis
(10:20:43 PM) Kyde: which was pretty interesting til you turn the corner and they have made a display of life-sized people cleaning up the bodies
(10:20:46 PM) Kyde: weird
(10:21:07 PM) Mom: doesn't sound like something that should be open to the public
(10:21:16 PM) Kyde: you would never see this in the States
(10:21:18 PM) Kyde: and then you go further into the room and on your left are 3 bodies standing up in boxes
(10:21:28 PM) Kyde: the first body says "mummified body"
(10:21:42 PM) Kyde: which is interesting, what happens to a mummified body
(10:21:57 PM) Kyde: the second guy above him it says "murderer rapist"
(10:22:06 PM) Mom: did u take pictures
(10:22:13 PM) Kyde: you weren't allowed to take pictures
(10:22:30 PM) Kyde: and in all honesty, I don't really want to recollect that much, but I do want to explain it to people
(10:22:47 PM) Kyde: the third body was a guy who was a serial killer back in the day
(10:22:54 PM) Kyde: he killed 30 kids and ate them
(10:23:06 PM) Mom: yuck
(10:23:08 PM) Kyde: there was a living picture of the 3rd guy
(10:23:10 PM) Kyde: and that was weird
(10:23:28 PM) Kyde: but you couldn't tell ethnicity from the remains
(10:23:37 PM) Kyde: the bodies are seriously just decomposing there
(10:23:39 PM) Kyde: it was weird
(10:23:56 PM) Kyde: and next to those bodies are cabinets full of boxed dead snakes
(10:24:04 PM) Kyde: like they are preserved
(10:24:40 PM) Mom: odd
(10:24:47 PM) Kyde: and in this area the walls are pretty much covered by babies both before birth and after
(10:24:54 PM) Kyde: and it tells what happened to them and why they didn't live
(10:25:11 PM) Kyde: like car crash caused a miscarriage and I couldn't bring myself to read what happened to the babies that died after birth
(10:25:27 PM) Kyde: there was seriously a kid that was about the age of 1 1/2 preserved
(10:25:35 PM) Kyde: it was shocking
(10:25:41 PM) Kyde: then you enter a library of body parts
(10:25:47 PM) Mom: sounds depressing...
(10:25:50 PM) Kyde: and most of them are showing you like accidents
(10:25:58 PM) Kyde: the babies were pretty depressing
(10:26:16 PM) Kyde: in the body part area it would show you like a stab wound to the heart which was kinda cool
(10:26:27 PM) Kyde: it is digestible if you are able to take the person out of it
(10:26:34 PM) Kyde: if you can see that person, it fucks with your head
(10:27:05 PM) Kyde: we got to see the accidents and then the smoker's lung and alcoholic's liver
(10:27:13 PM) Mom: dad would really like it there
(10:27:26 PM) Kyde: if dad likes it in there, then he's a much stronger person than I am
(10:27:43 PM) Kyde: I told Eric he was not allowed to try and scare me, because I was on the verge of screaming the entire time
(10:30:35 PM) Kyde: we got to see a head split in half
(10:30:39 PM) Kyde: which was pretty interesting
(10:30:57 PM) Kyde: like right down the middle, so you could see the brain, nasal area, mouth, throat
(10:31:15 PM) Kyde: but you could also see the face on the outside and that was disturbing, because the eyes were still open
(10:31:16 PM) Mom: ok enough
That's the general gist of the place. As I stared at the photos of real people with their wrists slit, stab wounds and gun shot inflictions, I wondered if I could get a refund since I'd only traveled 20 feet into the museum. It was pretty fucking creepy. I found that I have a personal proximity to dead people. I couldn't get within three feet of the bodies. I could get closer to the body parts which didn't have exterior features. I've dissected a lot of animals back in the day, but it's especially apparent that I will not be in the medical field... EVER! People, this shit was freaky! I'm very happy we ate before we went in!
We headed to Wat Arun! It was the best Wat we've visited thus far. It looked amazing, we got to climb on it, there is a great view, we didn't have to take our shoes off (theft of my only pair of shoes worries me) and we could just lay on the ground and stare up at it!
October 3, 2009 - Kyde:
We started off pretty lazy. We had some breakfast and did some interneting and showering. We watched our much anticipated Peep Show episode and had lunch. We headed out to our first successful guidebook-supported restaurant visit to a place called The Deck. You're probably tired of hearing about Wat Arun, but tough. The Deck is directly across the river from Wat Arun and amazingly the sunset is perfectly positioned!
We ordered a rambutan shake and it was as delicious as we had hoped. Once again, our guidebook did not really put things into perspective. They said the meals were relatively cheap at the Deck, but it was far from our price range.
We headed back to the Food Court we had visited earlier in the week and forced ourselves to go to a vendor that didn't have English on their sign. Eric did a great job using a picture to tell the lady what dish we wanted and he even managed to get a fried egg on top. He works magic! I managed to get us a bag with soda in it! I do good work! Dinner was delicious, but I had to take breaks from the spice. I'm working on getting my spice level up, so bring it on!
October 4, 2009 - Kyde:
I stayed up very late (4 AM) last night writing out our update. I haven't been able to sleep very well, so I made the most of my insomnia. I knew we had plans to go to the biggest weekend market here in the morning. I did my best to get up and get started at 10:30. We showered and kicked hunger with a banana. We found out there is a metro stop that is a good couple minutes closer than the sky train we have been walking to. And when you are walking 15 minutes in the blazing heat, cutting out 5 minutes can mean all the difference!
We got to the market and our stomachs were ready to move on from our banana breakfast. We found a place advertising soup and rice for 50 baht. After being confused by the menu, a very nice man who spoke excellent English explained what we needed to do for the lunch special. We needed to look at a few dishes, pick one and hope we weren't picking some type of weird seafood. We both managed to get chicken in different Japanese concoctions. The food was okay, but for the second time we managed to get cold food. We got some miso soup with it and thank goodness that was warm or it would have been weird. Eric ordered some iced tea which was out of this world. It was oddly, and deliciously, thick! Not sure how they did it, but it was really good.
Once we met back up, he took me over to the art section. The paintings in this area were outstanding. If I ever want to decorate my house, I'm going to a market like this. We didn't get any pictures. I felt some of the artists might not want their work digitized if I wasn't going to pay for it. If you come to Bangkok and are interested in art, you have to come to JJ Market!
We headed to the park right outside the market for a little relaxation after spending a few hours in what can only be best described as a walking sauna. A lady was selling cotton candy, and I was very happy to finally end a craving I have had for a while. I have been hunting cotton candy since July 4th and the unlucky circumstances at the fireworks show. Welp, 3 months later and a plane trip around the world and look whose got the cotton candy now! YEAH!!
October 12 2009 - Kyde:
We have come to the conclusion that it takes around 3 weeks to do all the touristy things in Bangkok. Our last week has been lazy but enjoyable, until I got sick like Eric was weeks before. Here are some random pictures from our adventures! Enjoy them!
October 14, 2009 - Eric:
Kyde has been really sick for the past three days but is doing much better now. Our best guess is it was a intolerance for foreign bacteria, but who knows we aren't doctors. Anyways, our amazing and kind landlady Naneen has allowed us to stay one additional day in the apartment due to Kyde's illness, but we will be headed to Ayutthaya tomorrow. For now, I'll leave you with this picture I took ages ago from the Skytower II in Bangkok showing the distance to other cities.