Monday, November 16, 2009

Yes Siam

One of the Golden Chedis inside the Wat Phra K...Image via Wikipedia
Greetings from the Kingdom of Thailand It is Sunday, my second full day in Thailand, and I am starting to feel myself again after the long journey.

The flight was horrible, though less horrible than I had anticipated, given that I had moved the expectation bar to absolute zero. I was also blessed with seatmates who were cordial, but had no inclination to share their life story with me.

It turned out that I had a ninety minute layover in Tokyo, and I was eternally grateful to find a little bar with a smoking room inside the terminal. It was a refreshing change from the relentless march of behavioral fascism that permeates the gaping maw of North American "culture". Plus, I was really dying for a smoke.

After that, it was back on the plane for the "short" hop from Tokyo to Bangkok, only six hours or so.

From the airport I grab an overpriced limo to my hotel, aware of the taxi scam that "mistakenly" takes you to the wrong hotel to coerce you to stay at that location. I am simply too tired to play that game. I pay the extra and arrive at the White Orchid Hotel in the heart of Chinatown.

As I check in I glance at the hotel bar to my left. Loud music blares and a gaggle of young ladies dance and laugh among themselves. Strangely, they are the only people in the bar, save for one young man who seems to know them. Curious, I think to myself. I had specifically chosen a Chinatown location to avoid the annoyances of the infamous Bangkok sex trade. Easier said than done, apparently.

The next morning I wake up in a daze, unsure of where I am. After a few moments, my head begins to Grok my newfound reality. Oh thats right, I'm on the other side of the world for some reason.

I look at my watch, remembering that I have a breakfast voucher that expires at 10am. I had last changed the time in Japan, but having no idea of the time difference between Thailand and Japan, I was clueless. The only thing that I knew for sure was that I had missed breakfast in Japan.

I shake off the cobwebs, shower, and head off to the hotel dining room on spec, pink voucher clutched in hand. Luckily, I am golden with three minutes to spare. It is a pedestrian buffet, but I am grateful to be eating anything not served by a stewardess.

Now it is time to venture out into the great bustling unknown.