Hello from Bangkok, Thailand! It’s hard to believe that we are really here after so many years of planning and waiting. We only arrived two nights ago but I couldn’t wait to give you my first impressions.
We found a good deal on Agoda.com and decided to stay at a slightly more expensive place for our first two nights since I knew we would be jetlagged. This will have to change tomorrow because their rates have already gone up in anticipation of peak season. This room is nice but they charge 30 baht an hour for internet and the staff are extremely rude.
A rooftop swimming pool. This is the kind of thing I spent many a freezing winter night in Prague dreaming about. I can’t wait to go further south to one of the islands. At the same time, I’m nervous about the future. Now that I’ve sold my bar in Prague, I need to figure out what I’m going to do for a living. This is the first time since I was 18 that I haven’t had a job. Over the summer, I had been doing some freelance social media marketing for restaurants in Prague. Now I’m going to be a full-time freelancer and the idea is a little scary.
First Impressions of Bangkok
1. 7-11 is a brilliant store. You won’t understand this if you are from the United States but I’ve been living in the Czech Republic for many years now and I love the fact that I can buy all the little things I need in one place. In Prague you would need to go to a lekarna (pharmacy) for things like aspirin, a drogerie (drugstore) for shampoo and household items, an optician for contact lens solution, a papirnictvi (stationary store) to buy pens or notebooks, a tabak to buy a magazine, and a potraviny (small corner shop) to buy drinks and snacks. Imagine my joy at being able to get everything in one place. They even have giant cups of Thai iced tea and the store has the coldest air conditioning in the world.
2. Indian food that is actually spicy. As a general rule, spicy food is not popular with Czechs. I always had to ask for “extra extra spicy” to get any satisfactory curry in Prague. The first night we were here, we went to Rainbow Indian Restaurant near Khao San Road and had a delicious curry for half the price we would have paid in Prague.
3. Khao San Road. What can I say? It’s loud and bustling and everything you have heard about it. You can buy a fake diploma, switchblades, a huge bucket of alcohol, and pirated DVDs. Touts will harass you daily by asking if you want to see a “banana show”. Scams are everywhere. Indian men keep telling Micheal that “You have a lucky face sir!” and try to grab his hand. Tuk tuk drivers are not to be trusted on this street.
4. While I have seen kindness to street dogs and cats from Thais, it makes me sad to see so many running around with injuries or obvious skin diseases.
5. Thai food tastes very different from the versions I have had in the States and elsewhere but I expected this. The prawns in my Tom yam kung smell like the river. This is not necessarily bad, just different.
I’m not sure how long we will stay in Bangkok before we go South. Probably not more than two weeks.