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Shake'n it Up

Sweet, Sweet Bananas

THAILAND | Monday, 2 March 2009 | Views [765] | Comments [5]

After three days of stuffing myself silly with pad thai and beer, I decided to grab a banana from the breakfast bar this morning. My first bite of a Thai banana was scrumptious and I'm not sure I will ever be able to appreciate an American banana. My banana was perfectly yellow and tasted like it was injected with cane sugar. Did I mention this inspired me to sport my yellow running shorts today?

I'm going to back it up a few days. I finally caught up on my zzzz's after 60+ hours of no sleep. I'm not sure how I powered through those few days...and without any caffiene! A miracle!

I've discovered many benefits of traveling solo, including the itch to reach out and talk and connect with everybody I encounter. I have 2 bunkmates who are also traveling alone the next few days and they've been incredible. One is from Germany, the other from Columbia, and the three of us have been on so many new adventures these past few days. There are so many ways to travel throughout the city of Bangkok: Taxi, Bus, Motorbike, Skytrain and my new favorite, the tuk tuk. The tuk tuk is a three-wheeled, gasoline-powered wagon that zips through the streets like a wild animal. It's a fantastic way to view the city and I'm now notorious for just sticking my camera out and snapping blind shots of the city streets. Tuk tuks are super cheap, especially when you speak a little bit of Thai and are familiar with bartering. An entire day of traveling around the city cost me less than a dollar. Unbelievable!

You would think after the amount of layoffs these past few months in the states, that there would be a handful of Americans traveling the world, but I guess I've been mistaken. Until last night, I had not met a single American. Lots of British, German, Australian travelers, but nobody from the states. I was passing through the lobby after dinner and spotted 3 Americans playing Jenga. Finally! We started chatting and soon enough, we ended up having our first beer at a bar down the street. One beer turned into my first Bangkok pub crawl. My bunkmate, Sandra, and I were highly entertained by our new American friends. They clearly were fresh out of college, due to their wild tendencies to drink copious ammounts of alcohol in one sitting. Not to mention their obsession with tequila. Ouch.

Thanks to a giant bottled water from 7-11 (which I substituted for my beer halfway through the evening) I woke up feeling fresh and ready to rock Bangkok!

Today, our tuk tuk driver, Mr. Porn, revealed that he gets gasoline $$$ for shuttling us to one of his "dealers." When you hop onto a tuk tuk, you must know that you're not just going to be going to your destination of choice. You get hasseled into visiting tailors, jewelers, etc. I've been warned about this from fellow travelers, but I wanted to see what this was about. It's a brilliant business tactic, yet annoying for travelers that don't have the time or patience to deal with the runaround. It worked out in our favor considering my friend ended up purchasing a tailor-made skirt this afternoon. During the process, we were all handed 3 cans of ice cold Singha beer from the tailors to celebrate her purchase.

Another highlight today was the Grand China Princess Hotel (thank you Hayden for the rec!) Chinatown is rather dirty and congested, but once you arrive at this hotel, you feel at ease! The three of us took the elevator to the 25th floor and treated ourselves to green tea ice cream while overlooking the entire skyline of Bangkok. Did I mention this city is huge? 10 million people, and who knows how many millions of tourists!

Three days in Bangkok, and three more to go. I feel like I've been gone for weeks. Ahhhh. I love this.

8-)

Comments

1

RV,
These are the adventures that even Tom and Huck Finn would envy. So sweeeet. Keep living it up and sharing with us so we can live vicariously thru you.

Love. L

  UnemployedandBusinessDegree Mar 3, 2009 5:25 AM

2

love yer posts! keep 'em comin!

  martha Mar 3, 2009 9:01 AM

3

So awesome to read your postings! Thank you for taking the time to share with the rest of us who are anxiously waiting to hear how you're doing. And this is just the beginning!? :)

Love you!
abby

  abby Mar 3, 2009 10:06 AM

4

Definitely hit the street vendors at the night markets. Send some pictures of street food and I'll put them up on our taco truck blog. I'm jealous!

  Chris Mar 4, 2009 4:23 AM

5

With coercing, the tuk tuk drivers will actually take you where you want to go. They're handy during rush hour when you need something more nimble than a cab, but aren't feeling suicidal enough for a motorcyle taxi.

Eat some chicken liver on a stick and grab an orange juice for me, will ya?

  Brett Mar 7, 2009 1:25 AM

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