Continuing from my previous email, where we had just got to bed in our hotel in Bangkok.
Breakfast was a buffet that came with the price of our room. I chose a harmless little number that turned out to be really hot curry. Who would do that to someone without at least planting a skull and crossbones flag beside it? Sadists!! Thankfully there were several sorts of pastries to compensate for the singeing of my tastebuds. Sadly, they didn’t have condensed milk to pour over them, like they did last year. And you try to explain ‘condensed milk’ to someone that doesn’t speak english – no amount of miming covers it, so I just gave up and scoffed them dry. At least they soaked up the curry.
Over the road to the On Nut BTS station (skytrain) where we bought a day pass and hied off to the Pratunam market for my annual swoop on the scarf stalls. Our bags also contained the usual amount of gravity that attracts things like tuktuks made of beer cans, shoes for hot climates and other dire necessities. And we ran around in circles for a while organising Thai sim cards for our phones. Again, try asking for a sim card that covers internet, messaging and phone calls and finding out just how long your credit will last, all in Marcel Marceau language. In the end we just forked out and hoped all would be well.
We ate at the food hall, not so much for the food as for the air conditioning. Cripes it’s hot over here! The food was good though, and I like how they serve you a little bowl of soup to go with your fried rice.
We Skytrained it back to our hotel and after a wee rest (read: flopped on our beds after cold showers in recovery position) we wandered across the road again to get lost in Tesco Lotus. I love that place! So many items and groceries with mysterious wording and ingredients, and pretty bakery items and strange-shaped fruits. Like a couple of bloodhounds we sniffed out the chocolate-centred-marshmallows, banana Pocky sticks (the sticks are chocolate-flavoured. Are you sensing a theme here?), Pringles and Spy’s, which are delicious natural flavoured wine coolers. This year I am more onto it and have a bottle opener attached to my bag. Blowed if I’m going thirsty like I did last year when I discovered these wine coolers weren’t twist tops and I had just given away all my kiwi souvenir bottle openers to tuktuk drivers I liked and other arid-looking types, then couldn’t open my own drinks. That’s right up there with having $10 worth of hot chips and no sauce.
Back to our room again for another cold shower (which turned out to be tepid due to the outside temperature, so essentially we were now just hot and wet), and the mandatory quality control test for the wine coolers. We were joined by a mad little black cat that talked really loudly and took an enormous liking to Peter, his bag, his lap, his feet and any other uncovered areas of skin and his glass of alcohol. City cats, pfft!
I took Peter for a tour of Khao San road that night, a crazy street known as the ‘backpackers area’ that has heaps of stalls, bars, neon lights and random travelly types. This meant him having his first tuktuk ride. Aaaand he loved the tuktuk! He’s thinking of buying a fleet of them. If you want to get hold of him later this year, just call 0800TUKTUKNZ.
He did way more shopping than I did (including a new pair of monster-toe shoes, much to his delight) while I just ambled around taking in the sights. While he was haggling over a new wallet I spotted a the biggest cockroach I’ve seen in ages and wondered if it was a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. I nearly stepped over for a close inspection then realised that it probably wasn’t really the done thing on a public street.
Later on we took another tuktuk ride to the nearest BTS station, then followed the instructions of a man in uniform – as you do – and caught the wrong train. We were tired, our feet were sore and we weren’t quite with it due to jetlag, and our heads were going silly places. We’d seen heaps of people with IPods and earphones on the trains and we were imagining having two lots of earphones on one IPod and both dancing to totally different beats, just to see what people’s reactions were. It took quite a few stations before it dawned on us we weren’t recognising the station names as they were called out. We ended up going right to the end of the track – Lord only knows where that was – and had to sprint up long staircases and along platforms, to catch the last train running for the night back the other way. Therefore our nice little journey on an airconditioned, rapid transport system turned into another experience altogether. I just knew things were going too smoothly!
Theme song for the night; ‘Take the Long Way Home’.
And so, when we finally reached our hotel, we were naturally quite thirsty. Luckily there were a few wine coolers left…
That’s all for this posting. Catch you all in the next round.