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Hello Thailand

Our Airplane landed in Thailand, I looked out the window, and my jaw fell open. The Bangkok airport is amazing, like a giant metal caterpillar sprawled across the tarmac, airplanes suckling at its many teats. We exited the plane to find the interior to be not so different than that of Icheon, that is to say, a giant hyper-sheik shopping center.

Bangkok Airport.JPG

Scott explained to me that the place we were going to spend the night was called Khaosan Road. So when I was at the immigration desk, I scribbled “COWSAN” on my card and handed it to the man. He laughed out loud and stamped my passport. That was it. We were into Thailand. As far I was was concerned you could have told me this was Tokyo, and I would have ate it up. I scanned the gleaming hall for Scott’s Panama hat. I quickly located him, but not as quickly as in India. One of the first things I noticed was that there were white people here. Lots of Europeans and Britts. And American music was playing everywhere. We went to an ATM to procure some Baht (see the symbol below) and we hopped a bus to Khoasan Road.

Thai Baht Symbol

We had no time to search and compare and prices, as my dysentery demanded we find a bathroom post-haste. We checked into the Pannee Lodge, which turned out to be a clean and affordable establishment. At the front desk, we were immediately brought iced glasses of apple juice, and shown in person to our room. The bathroom was clean, the bed firm, and toilet paper was included in the set. Princely.

Our Hotel.JPG

We then struck off into the fray of the Bangkok night (that is, as much as one can explode into the fray, returning back to the hotel every 3 or so hours to explode into a different fray). Khoasan road was, dear reader, a sight to behold. It was packed with white people, and lined with layer and layer of stands selling mostly knock off clothes, food, and booze. We saw stands proudly advertising “strong drinks” in “buckets” and “no checking of ID here”. Also there were a number of fake ID stands, advertising fake press passes, diplomas and UK of EU identity cards and driving permits. Behind those we more restaurants and cramped alleys also packed with places to transact. The street was completely saturated with commerce, and it looked good on it. The shop owners seemed healthy and well dressed. The restaurant bathrooms had pleasant and clean amenities. We wandered around, shocked a the lack of crumbling buildings and not open-ness of the sewers.

Khao San Rd.JPG

After our walk, we asked at the front desk where to get a good thai meal, and they directed us to a hidden, but quite large restaurant called Tom Yum Kun, after the soup which they prepared so very well there. We proceeded to feast on the best Thai food I have ever had. The Tom Yum Kun was savagely seasoned, to the point of clearing the sinuses of the eater. It was also packed with fresh shrimp, tofu, mushrooms and big chunks of lemongrass and ginger. We also had a giant plate of pad thai, so piled with bean sprouts, peanuts, both fried and steamed shrimp that the non-noodle ingredients nearly outnumbered the noodles themselves. The final dish of this most succulent meal was crispy pork with chinese broccoli, the crispness of the pork making it more akin to bacon than pork-chop and the greens crisp and bright green, bathed in a clean unobtrusive sauce. Ah, as you may have guessed, this was the first food I has successfully eaten in some time.

Now, dear reader, it is important to know that at this point, unlike your fine self, I did not know I had contracted the E-Coli, rather I just knew I had a case of the Mogul Surat Shuffle, and was hoping it would pass (no pun) on its own, much as Scott’s spot of bad luck had. And indeed it was improving. My ability to eat dinner was testament to that. And, due to the time change, I had not yet received an answer from my doctor as to the discoloration which had now all but faded in my hands. But the recovery was too slow, and I was savagely dehydrated. So that night I began taking a savage antibiotic, Cipro, which had been stocked in the AsiaWheeling mobile pharmacy pouch by my dear mother. The next morning I awoke feeling even better, and spurred by my renewed health, we dashed down the street and got a quick Thai massage.

The Thai massage practitioners kick the pants off those fellows on the ghats Varanasi, though they did no strange hallucinogenic eye manipulations (hmm.. dream machine?). What they did do was dig in, and it felt great. We vowed to, next time we were in Bangkok, to get a much longer massage and perhaps try some of the fabled Thai redbull energy drink, which has secret ingredients and additives to fuel the rage of Thai kickboxing masters. But that must wait until asiawheeling 2.0…


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