Visiting old haunts and some new ones
Trip Start Jan 21, 2013
7Trip End Apr 05, 2013
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Anyway later on that afternoon, I needed further directions and asked someone in the throng of kids massing the streets after 3 p.m. and it turned out she was sbright and smart, she was finished grade 12 and planning to go to Buenos Aires to University in the fall! I told I was there last winter so that gave us a connection and I joked that my Spanish was certainly better than my Thai, and we exchanged a few words in Spanish then! I happened to have a few Argentian pesos on me as I was trying to find an exchange place that would take them (no luck!) so I gave her 10 pesos and she gave me a Hungarian florint! as she had been there earlier this year. She wanted my email address. which I gave her, as I was running of the skytrain we had both taken on my way to getting sorted out as to where I was. Some of these instant connections are amazing and what really makes travel such a grear experience and to balance off some of the not so great experiences.
So I visited my old haunt Siam Paragon, looked at the cinemas, didn't go to any movie, but just thought it was teeming with more people than ever before and not so comfortable. I went to Emporium shopping mall which is near where I am staying now, and it is much less crowded and a flood of memories came back to me of the food court, cinema area, and the Thailand Center for Art and Design on the top floor.
A hightlight of my trip has been able to meet up with someone I met when I was here 6 years ago, Kim, from Texas, who is teaching in a school here. She doesn't teach ESL anymore, but Home Ec and swimming etc. but lessons are in English. We met up for dinner last night in a new area to me, Ratchathewi and a covered area known as Coco's Walk full of outdoor restaurants. We shared 3 dishes of an amazing meal and I will upload a photo. Today I need to get my picture taken for my CHinese visa. Tomorrow Kim and I are going to try to meet for lunch as she has three days off work. She has done some amazing trekking in Nepal and pictures are awesome.
I have booked my flight to Chiang Mai (Feb 18 - 20th) and back to visit my cousin Barry and his wife Lek who live in Manitoba and who will be there then. It will be such a treat to be able to stay with relatives while visiting this country!
anyway it is January 31 now and I have to update this and send it off. I have been preoccupied with trying to get my Visa to China - very trying indeed! lots of hoops. China has made it harder, as of this month, for people to get visas, go figure. more on that later.
Every day I have an encounter or two with the locals who want to speak a little English. A couple of days ago it was two pharmacists from Pattaya who were in town for meetings. They worked for "Boost" pharmacy - the English one - and then it clicked, they meant 'Boots' and so I taught them how to place the 's' at the end, not before the 't' - see my ESL training is paying off haha.
Yesterday it was a woman on the BTS who started talking to me, she was all dressed up, about my age, with very spikey heels and she said she now works 7 days a week and no longer has time to travel now that she is no longer a full time mom! I couldnt quite figure out who she worked for but think it is real estatel.
I bought a cheap Nokia cell phone mainly to keep in touch with my dad and it is slick - i called him a couple of days ago and got right through - no more chasing phone booths with the right phone and instructions or fast disappearing internet cafes. With WIFI and smartphones there is apparently less need for internet cafes. Thank heavens for my tablet and IPod. On my cell though I now get a Thai recording when I try to dial a local number (a travel agency to help with my visa letter of invitation) and of course not sure what it says but it may be I need phone card topped up.
I had lunch with Kim on MOnday at Siam paragon mall at Subway. A treat to be offered whole wheat! Found on Kims advice a great supermarket at Central World that sells all kinds of different breads. She has a US friend coming in this weekend and so plan to meet up for dinner on Sat. night. It is sure nice having a contact here. well better mail this off or it will be a perpetual work in progress!