Back to Bangkok....on my way home~

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Apr 25, 2008

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I arrived back where I started in Bangkok, here for two nights of Thai food and massages, and of course people watching on Khao San Road. This is one of those places that you either love or hate. At first it is overwhelming, its hot and busy and there are the strangest bunch of characters that you have ever layed eyes on, and I'm talking about the travelers! Stopping thru here for a short time, either starting their journey out, or just stopping in for a few days to trade out things from in storage and on their way again, its fascinating.
The first time I came to Thailand I stayed near Khao San Road, the famous cheap place that all the backpackers flock to with all the budget guest houses, amazing cheap food ( pad Thai noodles for only 50 cents! ) from the great street carts that line the streets. My first time however , I was overwhelmed, but after many visits, I have to say this place has really grown on me. I get it, why so many come here, its not just for the value, its for all the amazing people that you meet who have stories and adventures just like mine, and their travels are usually months , compared to my several weeks here and there, they are inspiring to me.
Last night I got the most amazing Thai massage, I have to say that they simply are the best. Its kind of like going to a chiropractor and a masseuse all in one, and the cost is only $6. Last night I stayed at Happy House, which is right across from my favorite spa/massage place here off Khao San Road. I then moved to my favorite Lamphu House which is just around the corner, this place is off the street a little, and quiet, and very popular. Its a little more boutique than the regular guest houses, and for the same price, its so popular that you have to book months in advance.
As I was leaving my massage, there was a huge thunderstorm. It was raining so hard, with thunder and lightening, and storms like that are so much fun to watch, so I hung out for a while and had to be brave and run for it to my guest house, which was only a half a block away, I got soaked, but it was so much fun to be out in that kind of rain. It doesn't rain like that in the states! It is just starting their rainy season here, opposite than Bali, where its ending theirs.
So as my vacation ends , I always reflect back on what Ive experienced, and learned, and am always amazed how quickly its over. Okay, so maybe only having two weeks is part of the quick part. I shared a cab with a guy from the airport who was heading to Khao San Road as well. He was out
for 4 months, and has been alot of places, he was heading home back to the states, and California on Friday. 4 months? He was alone, and had met lots of people along the way. I asked him how he had the time to travel for so long, he said, he saved his money, quit his job, and his experiences changed his life. Even in my two weeks, I feel the same, Travel makes you patient, makes you stop thinking about such nonsense, and makes you appreciate that there is such a bigger world out there than the small one you live in at home.
One of the things that I had a hard time getting used to in Bali, was all the questions....from the locals, everywhere I went, lots of times a day....." Hello, Good Morning,,,,,,Where are you from??? Where are you staying????" Now maybe its just a way I'm sure to start a conversation, exp if they want to seem personal so you will feel so inclined to go in their shop and buy something. And I can understand the curiosity about where you are from, but where are you staying? Everyone asks this as well, everyone. As a girl, traveling by myself, there is no way that I would ever tell anyone where I am staying? Thats a pretty personal question, and as a matter of safety, not one that I would share. I would always answer, I'm staying in Bali, and smile. I read that this is just what they ask, they want to know which quest houses are doing well, and asking just being they are wanting to have a conversation with you.
It amazing, I have lived places where I have never even met my neighbors, even when I run into them at the mailbox. Sat on planes for hours and never had my neighbor even as much say hello to me.I say goodbye to everyone who leaves the plane while I am working and up front, and I bet you only about a third even say goodbye back.. So here I am in a country where everyone says hi to me, and it throws me off. We all want to be acknowledged and apperciated, but it funny how when it happens it feels a little strange.
So the next adventure may not be for a little while, its back to Chicago, and work, and when its summer in my beautiful city, I never want to leave.
 I hope my you enjoyed my travels, as much as I enjoyed writing them. On this trip I saw beauty that I have never before seen, and met the friendliest people. Held a live Python, was almost attacked by a pack of wild monkeys, and rode on the back of motorbikes as transportation. I never planned to do any of these things. I just picked the destination, and left most of it to chance and fate, but the most important part , was that I was open to whatever came my way. It was an amazing adventure.
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