The arrival to Bangkok in the early morning allowed me to see the city waking up and have my first shock. So, as the bus was advancing into the city, I could see how advanced, organised and clean everything seemed. That was the first shock. It felt like getting back to the civilization! Not necessarily a good thing, of course. But nice to see and have.
I got the hostel, wasted after sleeping just a few hours in the plane. And I did sleep but the flight was too short. I only woke up once or twice in the middle of the flight and I do remember I complaint to the Indian man sitting down next to me because he was watching something on his phone with no earphones. I only asked him to turn it down and that was enough, I could sleep through anything. So, once I checked in, I spotted a common area less common than the reception and laid down on the floor, with the only help of a cushion. I come from India, this is usual stuff there I suppose but not the norm here!
I was woken up by some noisy Brazilians packing and unpacking in the area I was because the floor was wooden and I was getting echo by the floor. I decided to get my computer and get a bit of research done, because I was feeling absolute crap. Tired and not in a good mood after flying for some reason. Then I felt hungry enough to decide to go for some food and on my way out I got to meet an English guy who I went for my first Thai lunch. I could see meat, meat everywhere! Paradise! They have meat in the soups, or with the noodles and pad thai or justin sticks… There was a barbeque smell everywhere and street food at every step. Happy days!
We decided to go back after lunch to check in. I could leave my stuff and then decide what to do…But just on my way out, I was invited to do stuff by a girl that was going to be taken by the receptionist and I just had to join them! And it was super fun, the girls were amazing! We got to visit Wat Pho, which I loved, and some Temple where I shaked and shaked some sticks until one fell, as per tradition here. There were many people doing it and praying and doing offerings and I loved to fact of watch and make an understanding of what I was watching, plus I was with Yui, the Thai receptionist, even better. The lose stick was number 7 and Yui translated for me. She told me it was something about getting everything I want and just wishing things that I would get. Like for example a long-distance relationship, she said. What?!
The oracle made me realise that I already have everything I want and that is was true: everything I was wishing for, it was happening. All I wanted, I have it. I make happen anything I want! And it made sense in my head and smiled. I was happy, life was good.
On that afternoon, we visited a few things, took a jetty to cross the river, a local bus that took us to Chinatown and also a motorcycle-taxi, as we got lost on our way back. The bikers were giving free rides in memory of the king. As some food and water that got around the Grand Palace and on our way to Wat Pho. Actually, all was full of pictures and memories to the King of Thailand. 70% of the population was wearing black. And I was advised to wear black as well for visiting the area, but no black in my backpack… Sorry!
I went back to bed completely wrecked, with a nice feeling in between happiness and satisfaction. The first impression of Bangkok was good, I liked it.
The next days passed by with paperwork and bus here and bus there. I am fun number one of the red buses (which are the free ones) and managed to got my visa for Myanmar. Yuhuuu is happening. But between paperwork and buses all around, I didn’t have time to do decent sight-see. It was frustrating to spend so many time like that, as it was to find so many tourists everywhere. Many of them were here for a few weeks holiday and you could say that the main thing to do in Bangkok for them was partying. Despite I missed the bars a lot, I wasn’t feeling like doing that everyday… So I did go for party one of the nights, with a super nice girl from my city called Lorena and some girls she knew from somewhere else that were so much fun. We were in bar listening to live music (insert sight here and good old memories from Dublin) and I ended up dancing my ass off, first with the live music where nobody else was dancing but us and then in Khao San Road, where the music was everywhere and people were super drunk. I also managed to get a video recorded for Alicia, dancing on top of a table until security kicked me off and I screamed at my phone to wish her good luck. Super fun night that was more needed. Not so much for the alcohol, in fact there was not much alcohol involved, but for the music, the dancing and the good craic in general. I danced as nobody was watching and enjoyed myself despite a few hours before I was thinking that I didn’t bring any nice clothes to go out or barely any makeup. It didn’t matter. Nothing did. I was wearing shorts and red lip stick and that was all that could be done. More than enough, if you ask me. I must say that it took me a couple of days to get use to see girls in shorts, or in very short shorts and II felt weird about being possibly disrespectful, as if I still was in India. It also made me realise how aware I was now about showing anything that I shouldn’t or showing parts a bit too much. Weird feeling that I don’t know how to describe, despite the fact that I was happy to wear shorts in the heat.
Next day I woke up super late and because I had to get back to the Myanmar embassy to collect my passport, the only thing that could be done that day was to head to the Golden Mountm which was convenient enough. I loved it, it was beautiful and it gave me some nice views of the skyline of Bangkok. I enjoyed the civilised city it was presented before me and picked my favourite building: a high building that looked like a lego piece or something of the like and had some parts as if they had fallen apart. I actually saw it the first day, from the jetty and I knew I loved it already. Then, I got to “pray” and throw off the sticks again to check my luck. When I checked my number, I laughed out loud a bit and the Thai guy next to me that was checking his number, asked me: “Any luck?”. No, I answered and he asked me for my number. When he checked, he only gave me a look like saying, yeah…you were right, no luck. The number was pretty much saying that nothing would be good for me and no luck at all and that I needed to be patient. “Patience” I said and smiled, amused by what I got and he smiled back. I found it very funny because the same way that the first day I actually believed what I got, now I did not believe a single thing of it and I knew it was wrong, because I am the happiest I can be.
The last day, in an attempt to fix the fact that I didn’t have any full day for sight-see because of my laziness, the embassy stuff and getting train tickets for my next destinations, I woke up early, checked out and went straight ahead to the Grand Palace to check it out. I found the same kind of temples and architecture in between a thousand people doing the same I was doing: visiting the Palace. Moreover, I found that you only could get to one of them, the one with the Emerald Buddha inside and got annoyed. It didn’t seem fair to me, considering the price of the ticket. I was sick of being between tourists and I was comparing the city all the time with India since my arrival to Bangkok. I was trying to avoid it, comparisons are never good, but could not be helped. Damn it. I miss India. I miss the warmness of its people. I miss being in the spotlight, I miss the thousands of stimulus you get per hour. I miss the crazy adventures happening at all times and not understanding but getting close enough to the locals to see and learn and think why and wonder, knowing that you will never be able to reach understanding but enjoying whatever you got to see, the authenticity.
I had been trying to fix the feeling and cover it but it is what I feel. So I got to the Dusite Palace, which is another bus away from the Grand Palace and the entrance was free with the Grand Palace ticket. And everything was fine and started to admire the buildings and the sights without tourists when…. “Miss, you need a skirt to get in” “you can’t enter with your main belongings, or phones, or cameras and you need a skirt, do you have a sharong?” I heard. No, I didn’t have anything because I was considering more than enough that I had my legs and arms covered, despite the heat. And it spoilt everything and made the situation ridiculous. Bloody tourism business, so now I need to get something to cover my trousers that cover my legs….
Thankfully, I had a sleeper train ticket for that night to head South. Firstly because I really need to look for more adventures and more stuff to do somewhere else. Secondly, because I love trains, maybe they remind me a bit of India. But I was sure that the train experience had to be better here in Thailand! Either way, I was looking at my train journey with excitement!
I suppose it is a sweet and sour taste what it is left from Bangkok, although I did like the city and I call it the Asian Madrid. It is a living city, like Madrid, but in an Asian version. With its buzz, its people rushing, the tourists, the party, the bars, the metro, the transport…. A modern nice city that will be my house to celebrate New Year’s Eve!!! And yes, I do feel excited about it, so the feeling that Bangkok left cannot be bad at all.