Day 3: Bangkok
I woke two hours before my alarm, groggy as hell. The day ahead seemed daunting…Freedom is overwhelming! What to do? Blow this popsicle stand of a hotel room, first off. I gathered my pack, threw on some damned hippy pants and hit the road. Across the street was a cheap hostel with free breakfast. Bingo.
After a coffee I wandered the shop lined streets. The amount of socially acceptable comfy clothes was thrilling. I got lost in the maze of alleyways for a while before sitting down to some street food that still haunts my dreams. Halfway through my meal a girl looked up at me from the table across.
Where in the world can you go but to a city of six million people and run into a friend from home? Nice seeing you in Bangkok, Devon! She was off to do some errands with a friend, and I had plans to meet another traveller named Sven at some temple nearby. On the way, a motorcycle pulled over and offered me a ride for 30 baht. Motorcycle taxis! FUN. He did, however, take me to the wrong temple, where I met a group of international friends who all live in Bangkok and meet up every week to do some exploring. Today was temple day. I joined them climbing the stairs to the tip of a temple from which Bangkok stretched out until it turned to haze in every direction.
Afterward we hopped on the river boat and jetted past shacks and temples and stores as a man in a vest climbed along the outside collecting our fare. A few of us jumped ship near the center of town to look at some boring-ish tourist crap and an art gallery that seemed like more of a strange tiered shopping mall with some weird paintings on the walls.
By now it was dark and time to go home. One guy from the group was adamant I take the bus home as it was so cheap, but I was dazzled by the insanity of rush hour traffic… I wanted in. I bartered with a motorcycle taxi and spent the next half hour swerving through gridlock traffic, speeding between busses and cement mixers of opposing lanes and cutting through sidewalks. Extra fare – totally worth it.
I finally met Sven by the hostel when I got back. We walked Khao San…insane at 9pm! Deformed bodies asking for change and a mom and her little boy sleeping on cardboard amongst douchey drunk tourists and fried bugs. A street vendor challenged me to a fried scorpion and it tasted just like every other fried food you’ve ever had. Salty and frankly pretty good, but stay away if you have sensitive texture preferences. We walked down a busy market street and sipped on a beer, then took a seat for a Singapore Sling at the restaurant with the big white Buddha. By this point, jet leg was hitting in perfect sync with my annoyance of the mediocre company, so I bade farewell and went home to prepare my things for the next day.
At 3am the Khao San douchebags were up to no good when they came crashing into the dorm room arguing loudly and taking turns vomiting in the toilet. After ignoring my request to be quiet (please), I slept like an old man with sleep apnea for a couple hours and was up long before my 6am alarm.