Chatuchak market and getting lost again

Trip Start Oct 02, 2008
Trip End Oct 12, 2008

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Well, I woke up even earlier today, at about 4:30, but this is probably due to my neighbour's constantly ringing telephone. It goes off periodically at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and you guessed it, 4:30. I decide to get up and write the blog and take a swim. Definitely worth it and a very nice, salt water pool. I sit down for breakfast, yogurt, fresh fruit and hot pot, plus my favourite custard bun. By the time I get back, Keith's already online so we chat a bit too. I have about an hour to kill before Louis meets me in the lobby. He calls me at 8:30 sharp, so I meet him downstairs and we head off on the skytrain to the giant market. I buy some stuff for my dad and boyfriend, and also pants and a shirt for me. There is a large section for original art, so I buy a red painting of what Louis calls "real Thai art". Sounds good to me, plus it'll fit really well with my living room. Maybe I'll take all the crap down behind my couch and put these two matching paintings up there instead.

Louis and I stop for a snack of satay, Thai tea, pineapple and sweets, it's really delicious, nothing like anything I've had called "Thai" in Canada. There is a passing resemblance, but really, everything...totally different. The sweets are also delicious, made from banana, coconut and tapioca, also indescribable. Another snack is sticky rice with pepper and cocunut, not my favourite, but it's still pretty good. We walk through the food market, I almost lose my breakfast just walking past the fish section. I see crabs, desperately trying to rid themselves of the elastic keeping them from escaping the selling block, giant prawns, all kinds of random fish I can't name, and it smells...disgusting. There's also meat hanging on hooks and lots of different kinds of fruit to buy. You can get durian, four different kinds of mango, papaya, longan, a whole bunch of spiky fruit that I can't remember the name of.

Louis says that I should get a tailored dress and suit, so I agree, I can't really leave without getting one, can I? Plus, I have to look good for the welcome reception on Wednesday right? I pick out a pretty halter top dress and an amazing looking suit jacket with pants. The lady also talked me into a skirt:

"You can't just buy a suit jacket, you have to have matching pants and skirt!" she says to me. OK fine, so I ended up paying almost $600 for everything. More than I've ever spent on any clothes in my life, but whatever, it's Bangkok. Louis tells me James Tailor is one of the top 10 custom made suit places in the world. I pick out some fabric, medium blue for the suit and brown, pink, blue, yellow polka dot for the dress. The print is nicer than it sounds, trust me. So tomorrow, I go back to the store for a fitting, and then they deliver a whole new wardrobe to me the next day at my hotel. Wow, is that service or what. Honestly for that price, I don't think you could do better than that anywhere else on the planet.

Next, we head to the James Thompson house. He's an architect and credited with bringing the silk manufacturing industry to Thailand. He's got a nice house with a jungle for a backyard in the middle of the city. It's a very nice place, but I was confused by the significance. Apparently he just disappeared one day, tired with his life, he took a walk and never came back. The official version is that nobody knows why he left. So I guess I'll leave it at that. There was a modern art exhibit on top of the store, and really expensive silk for sale downstairs.

I wanted Louis to get back in time to vote for governor. The big election is taking place today, and he's pretty interested in getting "Number 5" (the incumbent) to return for another work term. So we went back to the hotel on the skytrain, I will see him tomorrow at 8 a.m.

I remembered a girl wanted me to call her to hang out tonight, so I did and she kept saying she would meet me at the McDonald's at "Ploem Chit" what I thought was a skytrain station. Nope, turns out it was right down the street from my hotel, not a whole skytrain stop away. I got on the train, went to the "Phloem Chit" station, couldn't find a McDonald's there, so I just went right back. I called K. from the McDonald's near Phloem Chit and she couldn't hear me speaking on the crappy pay phone. I didn't have any more change and I was too lazy to go and get some, so I just went back to the hotel, hoping she'd still be waiting there. When I got there she wasn't, so I just turned around and bought some more pants. I went through a little touristy night market, paid too much for the pants and bought a fake Thai porn CD, I know, I know, judge all you want. It's hard to resist in Bangkok and night. You kinda get swept up in the immorality just floating around in the air around here.

When I get back to my room, I find some notes from K. under my door. She was so sweet, coming and waiting for me to come back, she thinks that maybe I am lost or in trouble or something I think. I just thought she left and went home! Aw. I remembered my free drink coupon for the bar, so I go down there, order a guava juice (still no alcohol for sale in the city) and pack up my stuff to change hotels in the morning. Hurrah.

Touring around with someone is really easy, but I feel like I missed a lot of the "little things". For example, I had a lot to say yesterday, because I saw and experienced things on my own. Louis was translating for me the whole time, we never got lost, he knew exactly where to find things. It was helpful and everything went faster, but still I like being by myself a whole lot better and figuring it all out like that. I feel like I just "skimmed the surface" of things today. It was nice to "do everything" but I miss being confused and bewildered in a strange place. It probably sounds weird, but that's what made up half the fun of my day yesterday.
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ericlussier on

Pack some of that sweet sweet stuff in your suitcase and bring it back to us.

Sounds like you're having a blast. Be sure to do more solo wandering if you get a chance.

cheli on

Aww Jim Thomson elephants!
And your first wet market too. Bless ;)

starlagurl on

Re: Aww Jim Thomson elephants!
What's a wet market?

travelmonster on

Mango, rice and coconut sauce sounds delish!!

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