All that I want to do in Bangkok is eat.

All that I want to do in Bangkok is eat.

In this post I wax on and on about all the food I’ve been eating and my visit to Chatuchak market…where my highlight was once again, eating. 

I don’t think there has really been a moment where I didn’t have some sort of food in my hand. Street food is everywhere and I find myself unable to walk about from 10 baht pineapple sleeves (essentially a USD nickel) or skewer of unindentified roasted meat (I think it’s pork?) that is so tender and delicious I have been double fisting them down the street as I tour about. 

Two nights ago I had pad thai that revolutionized my understanding of the dish. I visited Thip Samui for an early dinner before meeting up with some friends for drinks (also of note I can honestly say I think this was the first time ever in my life I went to a restaurant alone…I don’t think I”ll make a habit of it) and WOW. the pad thai. 

  
They make it…and then they have some sort of special egg concotion that they toss it into for about 10 seconds and it creates this eggy membrane surrounding the noodles. This place was incredible and the line for what was street food was about a 35 minute wait, which is totally nutters. 

  
I am having to stop myself from visiting again. Also this insane concotion cost USD 2.25 I’m never coming back to the states. 

Last night I went to another dinner with  a very different vibe than the clammering street food atmosphere I had been enjoying. I went to Krua Apsorn, a restaurant that was named best of Bangkok in 2006. The excellence has not dulled. 

I ordered way too much food for 1 person and regret nothing. I got a crab omelette (one of their notable dishes according to a foodie blog I read) thats spices were so incredible I will probably never be able to appreciate an omelette again. Then I got the curry which was beyond description. My bill totaled out to 6  USD, ‘expensive’ by Thai eating standards. Once again, I am never leaving.  

  
Weirdly, even though I am constantly surrounded by tourists everywhere it seems, Krua Apsorn which I expected to be a lot of westerners was literally full of just Thai  and their food servers didn’t speak any English.  in three days I have become quite adept at maneuvering this language divide. I am especially proud of how I’ve learned to communicate with taxi drivers to get back to my hostel. I quit even trying to say street names accepting defeat on that.. So instead I say BTS which is the sky train and then attempt to say the stop that is by my hostel. It starts with an R and I just hit that sound really hard and they seem to know what I’m talking about. Very proud of this invention. 
I visited the weekend market yesterday as well. Chatuchak Market is the most overwhelming absurd market I have ever been, and I say this having visited the labryinth that is the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. 

There are over 3,000 stalls and you can literally buy anything there. I mean anything..I decided I was done walking aimlessly through this chaos after a guy with like 2 teeth started pulling live snakes out of a bucket in front of me. I can deal with rotten fish soup making me gag as I walk by but when a guy starts shaking snakes at me…I’m out. 

   I took a lot of photos but none really can communicate the largeness of this place….or the odor. 
After retreating from the absolute ridiculous amount of mostly junk, I found the street food vendors and ate more pineapple and skewers. 

I’ve made lots of friends but am still eagerly awaiting Hanna’s arrival on Monday so that I can go to cabaret  and drink at the sky bar…and introuce her to meat skewers. 

I survived day 1 in Bangkok!!

I survived day 1 in Bangkok!!

it was touch and go. 

I had quite the day and I don’t want to brag or anything but I kind of killed it. 

Besides being utterly lost frequently, sweating like a wild boar, and taking a 50 cent water taxi ride that should have left me in the very brown ‘river’. (Name still unknown…that’s how lost I was.)

Jet lag left me wandering out into the city at 6:30 a.m. with a city map that had all the street names written in Thai symbols and my passport tucked into my bra. Absolutely a recipe for utter success. 

I hopped onto the first city bus that passed believing it was taking me in the direction of the grand palace.  It wasn’t. I got off the bus when I saw an unbelievably giant Buddha. I still don’t know where I was and upon polling people in my hostel about the giant buddha, they said they’d never heard of it. Super mysterious. 

  
From here, I flagged down a tuk tuk because (once again) I had absolutely zero idea where I was. Tuk Tuks are the loudest most unsafe things to be riding in whipping through Bangkok traffic that seems to have no laws. Kom chi, my tuk tuk driver, miraculously got me to the Grand Palace unscathed. 

I took way too many photos at this point that, now that I’m examining them, are all fundamentally the same. Except for this sweaty selfie of me eating a sleeve of pineapple.  

 I had an amazing time at the area around the Grand Palace and it’s going to take me a couple more days to see it all. A particular highlight includes me attempting to chant with all the worshippers and finding the incense unbelievably complicated. I was given to understand worshipping the Buddha involved removing your shoes and bowing. It does not and I’m still unclear whether it was even cool of me to join the flower (don’t put these in your hair, people glare at you) burning incense ritual. As I walked away feeling very spiritual I noticed that I was quite literally the only white person involving myself. But it must have been okay because none of the monks kicked me off the rug. 

I went to Wat Pho and saw the amazing/famous (and vaguely erotic?) reclining Buddha. 

 
This picture doesn’t capture the absolute immensity of this. It’s really quite spectacular. 

I then went to street food and absolutely hit it off with my pad thai maker… who didn’t speak a word of english. I mimed to her river/water? and she left her litle cart! (bless!) and led me to the river. This is where I made a decision that I am still chuckling about. Theres all kinds of boats in this crazy river, none of which seem completely seaworthy, however, I just hopped right on the boat my food cart maker pointed to. I found myself on the Thai water taxi that costs 50 cents and doesn’t have walls or life jackets and I was absoultely the only person that wasn’t Thai. Hi Ho captain! Hanna please hurry and save me from myself. 

 

This is the strap for you to hold onto. I didn’t take any photos because I was considering my own mortality.
 
I got off where I believed was vaguely close to a sky train stop.. Yes, you read that right I didn’t get off immediately…I rode it for like 8 stops. 

I then consulted my Thai map. A beautiful stranger interceded who showed me that I had it upside down and he pointed me in the direction of the BBTS or sky train which I rode right on back to the hostel. I’m now kicking back attempting to rehydrate after losing my entire bodily water supply through my pores and marveling that I survived. 

Successful first day of touring! cannot wait for tomorrow! 

13 hour flight survival

I have successfully made it to Japan and find myself awash in duty free shops while I wait for my (short!) connecting flight to Bangkok, Thailand. Still in mild disbelief that I’m here and about to start this adventure! 

My title is unfortunately misleading. When I saw how long my flight from Houston to Tokyo was I literally  did not believe it was possible to be trapped in the sky for that long. 

Here’s my best trick: everytime the adorable flight attendants come by with wine/tea/coffee (this is frequent. I’ve never seen such diligent beverage service) accept whatever they offer. At some points you may have 4 different beverages on your tray table, let it happen. This will cause you to have to get up frequently to use the bathroom. This circle burns a surprising amount of time while forcing you to get up and move around instead of powering down for 13 hours drooling watching grease for the third time a row. (why is grease ALWAYS one of the movie choices on international flights??) 

I actually got a lot done in my 13 hours. I watched the entire seventh season of Mad Men with Japenese subtitles which added another layer to an already very strange final season. 

Additionally ANA airlines are the homies. Their inflight service as previously mentioned wasn’t messing around. Here’s a very rough and incomplete schedule of what was delivered. 

moist towellettes (scented)–>lunch–>wine–>tea–>ice cream–>wine–>tea–> tea (green)–> sandwich–> coffee–>wine–>more tea–> pasta or breakfast omelette (very strange combo)–>tea–>moist towellete (different scent!)–>coffee–>tea. 

I kind of felt like I was just going to be trapped in that metal can forever. I don’t know how people fly that distance regularly. I’m sure it’s much more endurable if you’re not a peasant in coach.