Thursday, May 24, 2007
Broccoli & Carrots: First Night in Thailand - May 23, 2007
It's about 8am back in the states right now and 7pm here in Bangkok. The plane ride wasn't bad at all as Thai Airlines turned out to be nifty and I managed to sleep most of the flight (about 14 hours). I tried watching "Night at the Museum" with Ben Stiller, though it couldn't hold my attention and so I turned it off halfway through. I thought it'd be a shrewd move arranging for a vegetarian meal on the flight, but I wound up kind of regretting it when it turned out to be just vegetables (broccoli and carrots) and the guy next to me was indulging in salmon and filet mignon (there wasn't actually any filet mignon, but you understand...) The flight attendants continuously walked around offering unlimited booze, wine, and even cognac (indeed cognac) which I partook in none of. When I got off the plane, customs was a cinch and I retrieved my bags without hassle. I was out in two seconds flat before facing a bombardment of shady taxi cabbies and fake information people. Somehow I made my way to the legit taxi services, finding a ride for 400baht to take me into the city (later I found out I'd been overcharged by about 50baht and the cabbie never even turned on the meter, but being that 33baht = 1dollar, it wasn't too bad considering it was over an hour ride). Let me say, I went from one traffic clusterfuck in NYC to another traffic clusterfuck in Bangkok. Thank God I don't have to drive. To offer a humorous anecdote, I accidentally tried to get into the drivers seat in the taxi after forgetting that they drive on the opposite side of the road here. Now I'm at a guest house/hostel somehwhere in the city not too far away from the thick of things (Phayathai to be exact). Bangkok appears to lack a definitive center. The area actually seemed kind of like a slum at first while driving in - there were all sorts of stray dogs running around (which made me grateful I got my rabies shots) and these kids playing some sort of hybrid game between hacky sack and volleyball. It's pretty damn hot/humid now (about 90 degrees) and you can forget about AC. I should probably change into shorts or something. Ironic that I was wearing a hoodie while deboarding the plane. Right now I'm just hanging out at the restaurant/pool/bar/internet area of the hostel while waiting for Thomas to get here in a few hours.