Friday, May 25, 2007

I've never sweat like this in my life - May 24, 2007

Right now I'm absolutely exhausted even though it's only 8:22pm - the jet lag is hitting hard I guess, not to mention that we walked all around Bangkok. I must admit, the Bangkok of my imagination was considerably cooler and more exotic than the Bangkok of reality. It doesn't really feel like I'm in Thailand, maybe because I've held all these preconceived notions of what it ought to be like for so long. Still, it remains incredibly hot. I've never sweat like this in my life. Last night's sleep was incredibly bizarre - the bed was stiff as a board, and yes, you guessed it, the room was filthy hot. Thomas got in around 12:30am right after I had passed out, so that kind of threw things for a loop and I couldn't really get back to sleep. We talked for a while and the last time I remember looking at the clock, it was around 2:30am. Being that our biological clocks are all fucked up, we awoke around 7 - actually, Thomas awoke around 7, inadvertently woke me up with his noise and I couldn't get back to sleep. We made our way into the city after a short walk to the skytrain that took us to a ferry taxi that carried us up the river to our destination: the temples of What Po and the King's Palace. Both were incredibly extravagant and rococo. I took plenty of pictures and video footage so you'll basically get to share in the entire experience minus the pollution, annoying impostors trying to hustle you every step of the way, and the excruciating amount of roundabout walking that we endured. We also indulged in the famous Thai massage at the hands of the renowned masseuse's of What Po. Now hold on, hold on. Before you get all bent outta shape - THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SEXUAL ABOUT IT (if you don't count the bizarre butt rubbing part). My masseuse was not at all attractive and it was at a legitimate joint where I received the massage in an open room alongside all the other people getting one as well. And to tell you the truth, in spite of the fact that she did some nifty things I'd never seen before, she hurt me like a motherfucker and at times it felt like she was doing some Chinese pressure point torture instead of a massage. It also weirded me out a bit that she started things off by massaging my dirty feet and finished with using those same un-washed fingers on my face and head. Needless to say, I'm gonna have some nasty pimples and sore ass muscles in the morning. We got back to our side of town not too long ago and I must admit: I sold out. I ate Pizza Hut for dinner, which costs more than triple any Thai meal you can get. Strangely enough, it turned out to taste exactly like the pizza hut I've come to know and love. The reason I got it is that so far, the Thai meals just aren't cuttin' it - each prior meal has left me hungry and unsatisfied. My attempt at being vegetarian hasn't worked out so well either as the menus have proved challenging. As for money, while Thailand is much cheaper than America, I've still managed to drop almost $60 in two days (including Taxi, meals, 10 bottles of water, hostel, etc.) Speaking of cheapness, Thomas and I met this asshole earlier in the day - a pompous/contemptuous nerdy traveler from California - who tried to haggle an old lady vendor selling him a chicken breast down from 25baht to 20baht when for him that would be a difference of 20 cents and for her a difference of survival (maybe that's a tad bit dramatic, but still). In the end, he refused to settle for the 5baht difference and walked away. It was some petty shit and I hope that I don't ever turn into that.
Thomas and I were planning on heading out to the notorious Khao San road - if you remember from "The Beach", it's the place where travelers convene to party like rockstars and exchange the kind of travel secrets you can't find in books - but we're not going anywhere. Pretty much after I write this I'm heading off to bed. Today was a long day.
On a tangential note, I've learned to count to 100 in Thai.

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