A pretty awful day

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

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Grand Palace
Everyone else in our group of 14 showed up last night, so we had a little city tour the next day. We were bused together to the Grand Palace, to look at the gold leaf stupas and intricate carvings of Hindu gods. We saw the emerald Buddha statue, which changes with the seasons, right now, it's the rainy season, so he was wearing a leses intricate robe than in the other seasons.

Canal ride
I asked Kayla if I could skip out of the riverboat tour and she said probably, yes, since she was the one that scheduled me my other boat tour earlier in the week. Our schedule had been changed so that we wouldn't have to drive the bus near the protests. Yeah, I guess they were worried about our safety, but I'm thinking they were more worried about the message going out in the paper later. So they were really reluctant to let me go. However, I left my money and bag and everything in the bus, but we were not going back to the bus until after the river tour, so I couldn't leave. After about 30 minutes of convincing time, I didn't even get to go out on my own anyway. They fed me every line in the book. "Oh, you don't want to disappoint our tourguide by not showing up do you?" and guilt tripping me into taking the same boat tour. Honestly, I learned way more about life in Thailand on my own on Saturday and at that protest on Tuesday. I don't see how shuttling us around to fancy restaurants and spas is going to teach us anything positive about this place. So, anyway I went on the boat with everybody else, seeing the same thing that I saw before. They gave us bread and I fed the catfish again.

Mediocre lunch
We got off the boat near our lunch place, it was OK. There was a particularly good prawn in chili sauce side dish that I enjoyed. As well as lemongrass soup. A lady was singing with a piano man, songs like "Let me Call you Sweetheart". I had a really great lemon ice drink, with an orchid stuck in the top.

Awful spa
Later we came to the S Medical Spa. It was pretty horrible. I really enjoyed my Thai massage earlier in the week, but at this place, a Thai massage wasn't even on the menu. We could choose from Japanese, Swedish, or detox massage. *eyeroll* What about all the typical Thai stuff we are supposed to experience? I don't know. I felt bad that everyone who got here yesterday will only experience this much of Bangkok. Their whole memory of Bangkok will totally suck. I think mine is a little bit more detailed than theirs, but I don't know really. Anyway, I had the detox massage which was nice. When we were supposed to change into our robes, I didn't know we weren't supposed to change in the locker room so I just started doing it, everybody else around knew what to do but here I am all naked and stuff, being a retard, changing in semi-public. Oh well. They wanted me to wear this disposable thong underwear and I really didn't get the point, why be 99.9 per cent naked and uncomfortable while having a massage when you could be 100 per cent naked and comfortable while de-stressing.

New dress
By the time we got back to the hotel, it was about 4:15, only fifteen minutes before the tourguide shows up. I went to the bathroom, and literally did not have time to wipe my butt before the delivery man was ringing my telephone. Oh man, when does it end? My dress is MUCH better now, it looks great, and fits perfectly, like I imagined it was supposed to. Yeah, I think it was a pretty good way to spend $600, I would recommend visiting a tailor in Thailand, if you have a few days, definitely check it out. Five minutes, and I have to get on the bus to the convention centre for the party tonight. I had no idea how huge it was going to be. They told us that the time of dinner had been changed, and now we had to get there an hour earlier. This means zero time for relaxing, checking out the pool, or anything personal that we decided to do. Ridiculous. I wanted a nap, I was not looking forward to this dinner. On the way there, I talked blogging with a couple of older women, who barely had a clue. So yes I once again plugged TravelPod and perhaps convinced a few people to switch over to our site. Maybe.

We got to the convention centre WAY too early and just shuffled around, looking at demonstrations of Thai culture. People stringing jasmine garlands, playing music, giving massages and dancing. You could even get your picture taken on a blue screen which would be superimposed in front of some famous Thai landmarks. I thought the purpose of us being here was to actually experience those landmarks, but whatever, I got one done anyway. I got extremely bored doing this, and found my way outside, promotional bag in hand. I went through the piles of crap that they gave us and threw 80 per cent of it out. There was some nice soap and a notebook in there, but that was about it. Breathing in the warm night air, and watching the night go by, I tried to imagine that I wasn't where I was. A teeming mass of humanity in business suits, networking an handing out business cards. One Asian man named William asked me for mine, I said I had forgotten them, it took him a split second to withdraw his handshake and turn around to find someone else who was more obviously worth his time. Everyone was getting restless, and eventually we were let into the huge convention hall. Probably 1,000 people shuffled into their seats. All these dignitaries were there, completely ignoring the carbomb that went off killing those two people in the process. They continually referred to it as the "incident", barely acknowledging that anyone was hurt or traumatized by the actions of police. It was extremely disappointing, once again. I started to get the same feeling that I got when I was bawling my eyes out at Sandals at Tara's wedding. I was just overcome by the extreme wastefulness on display at this convention centre. There was too much food, too much drink, ridiculous, neverending, cheesy entertainment. Before dinner, I noticed some of these Thai dancers were chowing down on white bread sandwiches... typical Thai hypocrisy. I had begun to realize that the money the government stole from the people, is being used to directly finance my trip to Thailand. I was being used as a tool for the Thai government, a stooge to perpetuate the idea that Thailand is a wonderful place to visit, with no social hardship, or frustrations.

Losing bag
Well, I had moved seats and stupidly left my bag beside my chair. I had been seated at a table full of strangers, and I wanted to eat dinner with people I knew, so I came over to sit by them. Periodically, I would check for my bag, and it was always there. I looked away maybe, for 20 minutes and when I looked back, it wasn't there anymore. Immediately, panic set in. I figured that the workers had thought somebody left their junk-filled bag and left. So they probably threw it out. I told them to quick check for my bag, and they did, but they said they couldn't find it. I filled out some bullshit form, and they said that if it got returned to the convention centre, they would contact me. Honestly, I don't believe this could happen. I called Kayla to see if she could do something to find it. She asked one of the porters to send around a letter to everyone in the hotel who had been at the dinner. It said something like, "Please check your Amazing Thailand bag and see if there is a camera and notebook in it. If there is, please call 39490023" or something to that effect. But the message got a little lost in translation and the letter was pretty much unintelligible. By the next morning, no one had called Kayla.

Crying all night, canceling
Alan was so nice, and he waited me while I was going through all of these lost item formalities. I had been frustrated before, but now I'm just totally freaking out. This is really the last straw, the political situation, the wastefulness, the excessive consumption... and now...my camera and notebook are lost, because everyone's stupid marketing bag was exactly the same. I got back to the hotel, immediately called Kayla and started bawling my eyes out on the phone to her. I didn't mention all my political ideas, for fear of really getting kicked out of the country before I was ready. I told her I was going home, and she had said that I should sleep on it and tell her tomorrow. I tried to call my mom, but no one was answering, I was really at a loss for what to do. I just totally broke down, crying so horribly, curled up in the fetal position hugging my pillow to my chest. It was a bad bad scene. I also called Aor and talked to her for a minute about the situation, I assumed she'd have something profound to say, and she did. It was simple but effective. "Don't do anything you don't want to do," she said. Yeah, that was something I needed to hear. I fell asleep with my computer on beside me, in case Keith happened to be up and saw me online.
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lucky on

Well, at least you'll have a good story :)
Sorry to hear that you had such a bad day... we're all looking forward to hearing your stories when you get back.

Take care and come back in one piece!


ericlussier on

Keep on trucking!
Nothing an evening sitting on the street behind Wat Chana Songkhram won't solve. The Wat is right at the end of khoasan road and you can walk straight through the wat or go around. It's MUCH more quiet than khoasan road it self and it's a great place to sit on the street and get some yummy pad thai and a beer.

Check this google map.


gildo on

Adventures in Traveling...
Wow! You've been busy! I am sorry to hear that you lost your bag. :( It looks like you're hanging in there though. I hope the rest of your trip turns out better. Take care and be safe. :)

starlagurl on

Thanks guys...
I'm OK now...out in the jungle, eating bugs and stuff.
Thanks for the tips Eric, but we were being SO controlled at this point, no one could do anything except the meticulously planned schedule. That means, no walking in the streets and actually experiencing the place. I'l have another post later, I can't find an electrical adapter right now... ai yi yi.

mmbcross on

Not your wallet this time!
Goodness Louise..you certainly tell it how it is..no holds barred. Glad to see things are going better now. If you lost your camera, how come we are seeing your photos?

jacquesl on

It just seems to never stop! You have such an eventful life...good or bad. Just remember one thing though...things ALWAYS get better! I hope...aw Iknow you will find a way to enjoy the rest of your trip. Have fun and you can fill us all in on some Tuesdy morning...hahaha

starlagurl on

Thanks again everybody! I'm back in Bangkok, but have not had much internet access out in the jungle, which sucks...but anyway, the pictures are from Alan, the guy from the Toronto Sun. I stole his photos after I lost my camera.

travelmonster on

sorry it all got on top of you! What a day!!

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