I like you BKK

Trip Start Sep 18, 2010
Trip End Jul 27, 2011

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Where I stayed
Ma Dee Hostel

Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This is my third time in Bangkok. Or is it the forth? Depending on how I count, it actually is even the 5th time. There are still plenty of unseen sights and things to do here on my list. I am sitting in front of a coffee hut at Wat Arun. A hot, slightly overcast day, just before 3pm. Reading Life of Pi again and thinking about the rest of my day, my week, my month. Trying to not think beyond that.

Lately, I've occasionally craved some of the home comforts that seem so far. Waking up in my own place, calling up (long-term, not brief and new-found) friends for brunch, doing my own laundry, having a closet full of fresh clothes and uncounted shoes to chose from. I remember sitting like this in a café in Toledo 6 and 1/2 months ago (http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/henniterness/1/1285591132/tpod.html). It felt different then. The future seemed wide open and much more exciting. The only thing that’s changed since is the sum in my bank account, the countries checked off my travel list and the fear of the foreign. Instead, I now find myself fearing the known, old and familiar. Despite the cravings for its comforts. And I suppose I must have changed a bit myself too.

Wat Arun gets checked off my Bangkok list, as does Wat Po and Chinatown. Thankfully, I still enjoy temples if you can believe it. The smaller, ordinary ones not so much, I am skipping those. But the big, famous ones still leave me in awe. Chinatown on the other hand is not as exotic to me as it might have been months ago. Though some things there I plainly don’t understand. For example, what are they selling all these paper goods for? Paper shirts and shoes, paper crowns, paper money, paper garlands, and so on. Besides that and other items I don’t understand, it is a more intense version of a North American Chinatown. More dirty, more loud, more choice of dried sea animals and plants, more weird looking animal bits, more cheap looking textiles, more variety of cheesy, neon and gold nick-knacks, more lack of personal space, more variety of exotic fruit and other unidentifiable vegetation and meats. And plenty of small temples in between, all of which appear to be under construction. Most decorated with neon and pastel coloured dragons and Chinese style sweeping roofs.

I also meet two Couchsurfers for dinner and drinks. At different times. Both Indian film producers from Mumbai, one of them lives in Goa. Both are in town for a project. One a bit older, one a bit younger. I don’t think that they know each other. Both very interesting characters. Bizarre that they both reached out to me with such similar backgrounds. One I spent the evening with chatting away about film industry, religion, travel and CS stories, until I have to run and catch the last BTS train. The other I check off two more BKK things of my list with: Saxophone Jazz Club and Bed Night Club. Saxophone is amazing and I recommend it as a must see. Bed is an overpriced, spiffy looking club with pretty-ish people that lets in backpackers as well if they smell clean and bring in dough.

Overall, a very pleasant stay, making me feel more at home here than I had before. I am starting to get to know the city and the city is getting to know me. I am not fond of the large size and the disparate neighbourhoods that can’t be walked to. I prefer places that I can cover by foot entirely. But other than that, Bangkok certainly has its own charms. It’s more than just the loud, rude and touristy Khao San area. It’s a metropolis that has everything to offer. If you can’t find something to your liking here, I daresay you just haven’t tried hard enough.
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