So I said that I was becoming bored in Bangkok. And some people may have taken this to be a bad thing. I don't see it that way. I've often said that you never really get to experience a place until you feel bored there. Until that point you're rushing around on big missions trying to take everything in, without letting the city flow over you, through you, around you.
This morning I got up late, and went down to the 7-11 looking for my noodle lady. But she was nowhere to be found. As I needed some food for my malaria pills (which I'm so excited that I'll be taking all the way to Antarctica) I headed into the convenience store to grab a pastry stuffed with meat. This is something that I think North Americans need to look more closely at. They're quite delicious.
I have no doubt that I'll have tried every soda in that store by the time I leave.
Having taken my pills and embraced a less than healthy first meal of the day I headed out. No real direction, just out. I passed the giant swing that people used to use to get 80 feet into the air, trying to grab a bag of silver with their teeth. This practice as stopped as, you know, the locals kept dying. But this was many many moons ago.
Then I ended up making my way back to Wat Pho to take a couple of pictures that I missed out on the first time.
The sky was not as forgiving today. Drenched in the yellows and oranges of highly polluted haze, the sun was refusing to shine. Not that this did anything for the heat. My shirt? Still soaked in a matter of minutes. And I had such hope today.
From there I walked through a park, got blasted by gallons of water being used to keep the grass green, and realized just how much it is undesired to be wet in a humid environment. Yeah, it's hot, but you'll never dry. Namibian deserts, this is not.
And from there I kept on walking, stopping for some roadside noodles (not as good as the ones from my noodle lady), and then I grabbed some meat on a stick – I'm not really sure what it was? But it came with cabbage. Then I grabbed a soda from 7-11. I wish I could get across just how many there are. Someone must have made a map of this. Seek it out, be amazed. They're on both sides of the road in some areas.
McDonalds gave me a 7B cone (That's about 28 cents for ice cream. Sweet.) and then – and then – and then – then I headed back to the hostel, crashed a bit, waited until it was dark, and then went out to find my noodle lady. Apparently, like the Smashing Pumpkins, they only come out at night (the days are much to bri-i-ight) And it was good. You sit down at a table erected on the sidewalk, try to keep your feet from being run over by scooters, get handed a cup full of ice (into which you pour the free tea) and get served your pork and noodles in broth. Sure the pork has been out all day – but... and then you put in chili flakes for added perfection.
I notice that I have no problem using the chopsticks. I don't think about them. But the soup spoon? It feels strange and awkward. I've never learned to use it with grace or skill. This must be how we all felt using utensils in those times before we knew everything.
And meal complete I headed out to Khao San Road to take some pictures, at last. The pictures would be limited as I can no longer change my ISO setting (at least it's stuck on 80, so the images I pull off during the day are still a delight) – the desert sands were not kind to my camera.
On my way, I passed by a festival for the Bangkok Youth Olympic Games. I can find nothing on the internet about this – but believe you me, it's true. I was there, man.
And then to KSR, took some pictures, drank a 32oz beverage that almost made me ill, and then headed back to the hostel to crash for the night – watched me some Jennifer's Body. If you're ever gonna watch a pirated DVD it might as well be here in Thailand.
And that was that. I was bored, but I filled my day, and I enjoyed the slow pace. There are still things I want to do here – but, hey, they can wait.
Now... The thing I didn't get to is why my day took so long to begin. I had to book travel this morning. And while this should have been a painless process – it was not.
January 14th. That's when I'll be leaving Bangkok (kinda, sorta.) Where will I be headed? Cambodia. Now I didn't want to figure out the full day adventure that is overlanding from point A to point B, so I decided I'd just pay the money and fly – when will I be this close again, right?
So, fine, I would fly. The problem is only one airline flies this route, because they're evil and hold a monopoly that lasts for the next few months. Then life will be easy and cheap for future travellers. Jerks.
But still, I was willing to pay, so I checked the flights, and went to book them. I could select times, and dates, and enter all my information. The only problem? When I went to pay the site delivered me an error message. Now I don't want to get too much into this, else the rage may return. And oh what rage their was.
I used multiple computers, various web browsers, but no – the problem was on their end. You couldn't book a flight.
I watched as the times I wanted to fly filled up and sold out, leaving me with other choices. But finally I figured out a solution, and peace was restored. I could select PAY LATER and then attempt to pay. Now, still, this caused an error message 39 out of 40 times, but prior to this I had been required to fill out the whole three forms each time I wanted to role the dice (it worked once, once for me, when I was just screwing around – not filling things out right. Ugh.)
But now, with just a click, I could fail without wanting to smash my netbook. Which would have accomplished nothing. Which is why my netbook is unsmashed. Despite growing desires.
So that's done. I now have a flight to Siem Reap, and a hostel there. And a flight back to Bangkok (see, I said just kinda sorta) where I'll be spending three more nights – before, hopefully, figuring out a way to Chiang Mai – and then back to Bangkok... for three nights. And then it'll be good-bye South East Asia, hello Peru. Continent Number 5 will be mine.