I think it is safe to say that my first day in Bangkok was eventful to say the least. I met up with a fellow greenheart teacher, who I actually went to university with but amazingly never crossed paths until now, in Thailand. We took the sky train- yes it is as cool as it sounds- to Sathorn Pier and then got on the river boat to the Grand Palace. For want of a better word I have never seen anything so grand before, the palace was so beautiful and rich in art and history.
Before I left for Thailand I had done some research into the social do’s and don’t and one of them was that you must cover up in order to go into a temple. So I put a lot of thought into my outfit wanting to make sure I would not be disrespectful, I made sure my bottoms covered my knees and brought a sarong to cover my shoulders. What I didn’t realise is that although this is acceptable cover for a school it is not for a temple, so I had to rent out this man sized mint green shirt and wrap my sarong, which also happened to be mint green around my legs like a skirt so that all that was showing were my feet. I looked ridiculous but I went with it as it seemed a lot of other people seemed to have made the same mistake I did.
We decided for lunch to try out some local street food and although this little shack in the middle of a market didn’t look like much we definitely made the right choice. I got this really tasty spicy fried rice and a drink for around £1.50! Once we were done exploring for the day Lauren and I parted ways and headed back in the direction I thought my hotel was in, it wasn’t. I realised pretty quickly that I had no idea where I was going, surprise surprise, because my sense of direction is as about as useful as a wet paper bag! I jumped in a taxi and asked him to take me back to my hotel, then around five minutes later I realised that the driver had less of an idea where he was going than I did so I paid him and got out. Getting slightly panicky I turned on my internet data to try and find a map and in what felt like 30 seconds I managed to whack up a £30 internet bill, so that options was clearly out of the question. So before my panic turned into a full blown melt down I decided to try another taxi, I pulled one over and told him about my ordeal so far, to which he responded by laughing at me but also promising he knew where my hotel was, he didn’t. That man, as lovely as he was, had a worse sense of direction than I do, which I thought was impossible. He even typed the address into his phone and still managed to get me even more lost than I already was! After numerous phone calls and two hours or more of driving round in what seemed like a big circle he finally found out the right directions and took me to my hotel which was only actually ten minutes from my original starting place.
My evening in Bangkok went a lot smoother, Lauren and I took a trip to khao san road, a place I can’t even put into words it’s just one of those things that you have to witness for yourself. Lauren sampled Chang and a fried scorpion where as I kept it safe and when and when for the most popular dish in Thailand, Pad Thai, it only cost me 70p I can’t believe how cheap it is to eat here! Overall I had a short but great time in Bangkok. It did open my eyes to some of the difficulties I am going to face here but as the Taxi driver repeatedly said ‘Mai Pen Rai’ which in a roundabout way means don’t worry. So I guess with this fast paced new lifestyle I am heading into I should probably adopt that as my new life motto.