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I’m back!

Well, I’ve been back a few days now but with all the kids coming back from school camps, the youngest daughter’s 14th birthday, the eldest getting braces on and the hamsters breeding I haven’t had time to do more than go through the 387 emails I came back to, plus it’s end of month at FAR so we’re all madly trying to get everything done for upload. Me? I had a couple of reviews I’d neglected and so I had to sit and read. So hard to do! LOL So anyway, finally I’m getting around to blogging about my trip to Bangkok.
Bangkok. Mmmm… So many different things to talk about. I’ll start with arriving. I really didn’t take too much notice as we got off the plane but after getting through customs, in the fast queue because Hubby has a special pass, we headed out to get a taxi. Stepping out of the airport building I got the feeling I’d just stepped into a space station. The architecture is very futuristic and you’re led to believe that Bangkok is a modern international city. But you should never judge a book by it’s cover.The taxi is your first clue. Don’t get me wrong it was no worse than your average bumb back home, but the driver doesn’t speak a word of English and I’m pretty sure he had no idea how to drive. Then Hubby motions for me to lock my door and alarm bells are going off in my head. I guess the safety of Singapore isn’t such a good thing when I forget that not all places are like it. The freeways are modern and new but that just means the driver can take his rattle-trap at unimaginable speeds. Unimaginable because the speedometer had to be broken otherwise we were barrelling down the road at about 200kms an hour. Once you get further into the city you notice the tall buildings starting to pop up, most appeared old and run down, definitely dirty. Even the newer buildings were dirty. It’s similar to many other Asian cities we’ve been in and I’m not sure why but it has a completely different feel to it. Most of the places we’ve been are just developing so they’re dirty and third worldish but for some reason Bangkok gives off a sleazy dirty feel. Maybe it’s Bangkok’s reputation as a sex captial that proceeds it but I don’t think so. It just leaves you with a feeling of filth and I don’t mean dirt. I’m not sure I’m explaining it right but you really need to know about the whole city before venturing out on your own. I was tempted but then I’m usually game for anything that involves exploring new places, but there was no way I was heading outside the hotel without Hubby or Ann. In saying all that the hotel looked grand and we were looked after by two bellboys and three check-in clerks. We were given a welcome drink before being handed our key and sent on our way. Once in the room the first thing I did was throw back the curtains to check out the view. Couldn’t see it. The windows were filthy. The room itself was clean and comfortable if you didn’t take in to account that the mattress was made of stone. Around lunch time a big storm rolled in and I was hoping the rain might clean the windows a bit so I could take some pix. No such luck. I think even the rain was dirty. When Hubby got back from work, poor baby it might have been a little holiday for me but for him it was all work, we headed out to the nearest shopping center to get some dinner and have a look around. I found it bizarre that even the main roads gave me the feeling that they were dirty back streets but all the new buildings with their huge shopping malls, even with their layer of dirt gave me a glimps of what the future holds for Bangkok. Lots of brand name shops but the fact that you walked through a security check to get inside told you what kind of city you were in. After eating we headed back to the hotel to check out the spa and see what was on offer. I was feeling a bit sick still from the flight and didn’t think I’d get much out of having a foot massage but Hubby went off to have an Indian head massage. He was suitably impressed. The hotel we stayed in offers 24 hours in-room spa facilities, but what struck me as hilarious was that between the hours of midnight and 6am you don’t ring the spa you ring dial-a-smile. Mmmm….. interesting name for the service they’re providing. You can imagine the things running through my head. On the second day I waited for Ann to come and pick me up for shopping, what else would we do? Anyway, by just after lunch I’d run out of money. 5,500 Baht in about 3 hours. Not bad. Okay so we were taking our time, I probably could have gone through more but I didn’t take my cash card to get money out and I was determined not to use the credit card. I came home with 4 outfits for me, 4 necklaces, one for each of us girls, 8 pairs of boxer shorts for the boys and a cool little action figure made of twisted wire for my youngest. The shopping is fantastic and I’m saving for when we go back. After running out of money we headed to Ann’s to see Jade, now I may be over the having more kids thing but she’s so cute you can’t help but get clucky. She was one in Feb and now she’s walking she’s even more of a terror. Once I’d had my fix of Jade we headed back to the hotel to meet Chris for dinner, we decided to stop in the bar for a drink first. We never left. Come on, two for one drinks, who’s gonna leave that? Luckily they had a range of snack type foods to soak up some of the alcohol. My cocktail was called Sexy Girl, don’t ask me what was in it I can’t remember and no the lack of memory has nothing to do with how much I drank. Up early the next morning to be at the airport by 6:30 we were home by midday. It’s really mind boggling to think it’s only a two hour flight. So even though Bangkok gave me such a sleazy feeling we’ll be heading back to explore more. We’ll take the kids this time, safety in numbers and all that. Next month I’m off to Manila for a couple of days, it’ll be interesting to see how that makes me feel.
Oh, I will add that I couldn’t get the song ‘One Night In Bangkok’ out of my head while I was there and a very interesting couple of scenes rolled across the screen in my head.
‘See’ ya soon.
Rachel

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Categories: Life, Writing
  1. April 22, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Sounds like you had a blast! I understand what you mean about the “filth” feeling. That also happens with a positive spin. There are places I’ve visited and returned to and as soon as I step foot on the soil the air has a “feel” to it that affects me emotionally. Glad you’re back. Now that I’ve read this, I REALLY can’t wait to see what story you’ve got running around in your head!

  2. April 23, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Welcome back. I’ve never been to Bangkok (such an unfortunate name?) but I’ve had colleagues who’ve been and mentioned similar feeling.

    Dial-a-smile — WTF? Funny though.

  3. April 24, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Welcome back, Rachel. I was all for Bangkok before I read your post. Now I’m a little uncertain. I don’t know anyone there and my husband is NOT adventurous when it comes to seeing other countries. And I definitely don’t want to go on my own…

    I’ll definitely have to think more about the appeal…

    Tami

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