Sunday, September 7, 2008
Day 13: Bangkok-Lite
The one main thing I learned here in Bangkok is that you've got to have an open mind and fairly care-free attitude to enjoy it. The so-called ladyboys are everywhere, and sometimes it's impossible to differentiate them from real women (the usual signs to look for are a taller stature, an Adam's apple, and, sometimes, a manlike voice).
There are a lot of tourists-freaks in Bangkok, too. My room is a prime example. When I arrived, I had a Thai dude in my room who spoke good English... but he seemed to have some disorder. He asked me the same questions multiple times; then he sat down on my bed. I complained about him and he was moved to a different room, but when I came back he was back in my room, sleeping above me; then he sat down on my bed a few minutes later. FREAKY. At night, when I went to the bathroom, I found a French tourist sleeping on the bathroom floor. Yes, not on the bed, but on the floor. Then there was a foreign aid worker who was staying in the hostel. He mainly works in Burma (Myanmar), but he was mad at the world. Schizophenic, possibly. Anyways, the people here in some aspects match the city in its uniqueness.
I'm off to Vietnam tomorrow. I'll be off to Hanoi (Ha Noi), and then to Halong (Ha Long) Bay. I'll try to write from there. After that, it's Ho Chi Minh City, and then the likely highlight of my Southeast Asia experience: Cambodia and Siem Reap, which is near the Angkor Wat site! Everyone without exception says that this place is absolutely amazing--and that is an understatement, they add. Soon I'll see for myself.
As it relates to Bangkok, I've spent as much money as I had planned. OK, maybe a little more, but not too much: about $105 vs. $100 originally budgeted. I need to start saving more to cut my deficit of about $80, most of which was racked up in Laos. True, although nearly half of that is because of the flight to Bangkok I had to buy when the original plane to Phuket was cancelled, I still don't want to end up without any money. For an economist like me, that would be a sin!
P.S. Enjoy the pic of me and a Thai government official.