Why is that? Thailand uses Buddhist era dating, which is 543 years ahead of our Gregorian calendar. Things are a bit different here in the distant future: meals cost 1€, driving laws seem to have been abolished and dancing to Gangnam Style in public is acceptable. However, some things never change – Tom’s timekeeping.
So, yesterday, the big day had finally arrived. Crazy how fast time passes. We’ve first been talking about this trip one-and-a-half years ago.
The flights out were pretty unspectacular. However, the plane from Abu Dhabi to Bangkok was pretty much empty, which meant we were able to actually lay down and have a sleep (Tom: and miss the food service!).
At 20:05, we arrived at Bangkok and it is PRETTY humid. We used the train and metro to get from the airport to our hotel in Chinatown which cost us a gigantic 1.50€ for both of us! As we arrived late, we went straight off to bed as we wanted to have an early start. We set the alarm for 9am…didn’t quite work out the way we planned it.
When we finally got up, it was already 14:00. We managed to hit snooze for FIVE(!!!) hours. That’s a new record! (I mean, we all know Tom is always late, but five hours?!)
Yesterday, we’d made a plan for what we wanted to do. Well, to hell with that plan! We were, therefore, in need of a new plan. We headed to Siam shopping centre and had a walk around Siam Discovery, from there we went to Siam Central where we wanted to buy some SIM cards. But…in Thailand, you need your passport to buy one. And, of course, we forgot our passports at the hotel (when I say WE forgot, I mean I asked Tom “do we need our passports today?” and he responded “no, what would we need them for?”).
After we had a wander through Siam Paragon (the posh bit), we went to Lumphini Park – the biggest park in Bangkok. At 18:00, the national anthem of Thailand is played and everybody stops whatever they are doing, stands up straight and listens. Afterwards, a quick bow and on you go with your life. A bit bizarre but quite impressive. Equally bizarre is that a picture of the King is hanging on nearly every street, lots of buildings and in every shop. Seems like they are quite devoted to their King (or just forced into it?).
The city is mad. There are traffic lights on the streets but nobody appears to take any notice of them (Tom: I’m regularly being told “he would be fined in Germany if he did that!” to every tuk-tuk who changes lanes incorrectly or “you have to be five metres from a zebra crossing in Germany!” for any inconsiderate parking. Just because the light is green doesn’t mean you can cross!). It is total chaos, but everyone seems to know what they are doing – it’s kind of an orderly chaos. Also, the city has this constant smell to it that I can’t quite make out – maybe sweet?
With our hotel being in the middle of Chinatown, there are loads of food stands around – who cares if it’s supposed to be a four lane road? Come dinner time, it’s only three! The food stands are quite overwhelming for your nose – walking five metres you smell sweet, sour, piss, spicy and piss again.
It’s definitely a totally different world but I like it 🙂
Till next time,