First Day in Bangkok

I will probably go back and re-write these entries…for a number of reasons.

I am making updates just for friends and family to know that I am alive…it is hard to be creative when I am being charged by the minute in a busy internet cafe, and who wants to sit in front of a monitor when a whole new world awaits outside? :)
I set off today on a walkabout. I deliberately had no map and just started walking. I wanted to be far from Khao San road. Pretty soon, I realized that I was the only guy over 5′7″ and white. I wandered into a huge open outdoor market and began looking…it was only minutes before I met a very nice Thai man.
He told me that this market was just for locals…?  Oops. He walked with me down the sidewalk and we became friends. He wrote a number of places in Thai script on a paper for me and then helped me hire a tuk tuk. He spoke Thai to the guy to supposedly keep him from ripping me off. We said farewell and I was off in my tuk tuk.

Anyone that has been in the back of one of these 3 wheeled motorcycle open air taxis knows that a messy death is only an arms reach away. There is no seatbelt and driving in Bangkok is MAD! It was awesome, the lines are merely a suggestion and many times we found ourselves going the wrong way down a street just to pass. We hit many wats (temples), and I saw so many Buddhas that it is now a blur. I wish that I knew more about this culture and religion, maybe then these places would mean more to me, but for now it is just interesting. The driver’s name was Moonbee (most Thais seem to have very long names and so use nicknames instead) and I was with him for over 4 hrs, at a cost of 20Baht…about US .50 cents. Thats not a very good days pay for the hellacious drving this guy had to do. The catch is that he stopped at a couple crappy shops where I had to go in but not buy anything and they gave him vouchers for petrol.
Had my first dinner of Pad Kee Mau (drunken noodles). It was hot as hell but not very flavorful. I know that I can do better…I just need to find some little shop O’ dysentery on the street and I’ll be set.

I dont think I can stomach this town long enough to stay for Chinese New year on the 29th. Im going to hire a bus and head out to Kanchanaburi region tomorrow to see what I can find. I may come back to Chinatown for the celebration…hate to be this close and miss it.

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