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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TEN NIGHTS IN BANGKOK

WORLDS LARGEST MALL

Today I went to what is arguably one of the largest malls in the world. However I didn't hang out there that long because:

1. I don't like malls.
2. The stuff there is pricey.
3. They didn't have anything I needed. If I can't carry it, I don't need it.
4. They didn't have the gauloise cigarettes the internet said they would. I get lied to a lot.

But I did check it out. It was a shiny monument to extreme capitalism in downtown Bangkok. For people who have houses to send their purchases back to, it would probably have been more interesting.



KOREANS ABROAD

There are tons of Korean tourists wandering about SE Asia. This tells me that Korea has become a lot more affluent than when I was there in the 1980's. Affluent equals expensive hence it could be awhile before I get back there to visit.



THAI ROYAL PALACE

I was passing by and noticed some colorful pointy topped buildings so I decided to check it out. The security guards were inside telling the hoards of tourists they would have to dress appropriately to visit. You have to have things like long pants and shoulders covered on a shirt. For females, you can't dress like a whore. [Logan - are you saying that many female tourists dress like prostitutes? Why, yes I am. I have no idea why they do but I've seen it in very conservative countries as well. Weird.] This makes it more difficult for many of the tourists. Fortunately, they have a system all in place to help correct this. You get clothing there. They charge you a deposit of 200 TBH per piece and you get it back when you return the clothing. Pretty cool. I decided I didn't want to go in because I discovered that tickets were 400 TBH. I'd rather spend that money on going to the 600 TBH amusement park. I am a simple creature.

I think that the clothing restriction shows the true nature of the Thais. Although this country in many people's minds is synonymous with women firing darts from their genitalia at balloons and prostitution, the average Thai is actually pretty conservative. This comes out in odd ways. For example, buying cigarettes is tricky here because they aren't allowed to openly display them. Much like the marijuana in Amsterdam, you have to ask to see the cigarettes. Weird.



THE PUBLIC BUS SYSTEM

One person told me it was 60 TBH to ride the public bus. I made the 'six-zero' fingers and got confirmation. I figured he was absolutely lying - Thais couldn't afford to regularly take the bus at that rate. A different guy said 8 TBH. Both were wrong.

They have red buses and yellow buses. Most of the red ones are free. The yellow buses cost 16 TBH or so. Under a half a dollar.

You do get some odd looks on a bus. Not angry looks but more 'hey that's weird - a white guy'.



TOURIST VILLE

I've discovered the actual temple name is not 'the booty'. Had it been, that would have been much cooler. The actual name is 'Wat Chana Songkhram' which means 'victory in battle'. They got some monks to go do the fighting against the Burmese awhile back. The first version was cooler but I wanted to put in the correction I got from going and looking at the temple placards. I have no idea why the Thai sport of 'Lying to Logan' is so popular but I hope there are good prizes involved.



MEDICAL STUFF

Since my left eye is still blurry in spots from my latest bout of iritis, I went to an eye, ears, throat, etc hospital. It costs 500 TBH to play a complicated hospital wide game of musical chairs that eventually culminates in seeing the doctor. After he saw me, he was pleased to announce that the blurred vision was nothing that a large cash injection might not be able to at least diagnose if not treat. I was contemplating forking over the $50 or more. After all, it is my vision - it's important. But, lo he said I must schedule well in advance. It is looking like I will get this done in India when I get there if it hasn't cleared up by then.



BANGKOK TRAFFIC

Bangkok has a huge traffic problem. Unlike most drivers in the world, the Thais don't have the idiotic belief that blowing on a horn will cause the other drivers to suddenly get out of their way. This results in a fairly quiet roadway given the amount of traffic they have here. I suspect it is partially the Buddhist influence at work here. Mello.

If you ever need to get through Bangkok traffic fairly fast, you just need a scooter and balls of steel. Swirling in and around the larger slower vehicles while hoping not to get killed is a game that many people here play.



WILL JANA GET LUCKY?

I might be able to actually mail off some of my completed journals to Jana from here. According to the post office, for two of them it will be about 332 TBH. I'm going to try lugging a couple of them over to the post office and see if the price still holds or suddenly rockets up.



WHAT IS LOGAN DOING IN BANGKOK?

I'm working on playing with the public transportation system, riding around on the buses and exploring the city by foot as much as possible. Today's game got called due to heavy rain. Tomorrow's game will be to find a nearby post office. Every day I am trying to set some useful goal for myself. Get to some place, find something, etc. Otherwise, I'll go stir crazy in my bad smelling but cheap and tacky guesthouse.

Sorry I don't have anything huge and dramatic going on right now but I have made some videos to help keep you entertained.



VIDEOS

Dead food - Cambodia

Royal Palace 1

Royal Palace 2

Lost in Bangkok

Logans Room

Shark Roulette

Smoking View



COSTS

Pedicure, including removal of excess dead skin, 150 TBH
Beer, 70 TBH (over double the price you'd find in Cambodia)

2 comments:

  1. Heyas logan... In your smoking view video, you said you were looking for chinese food. Well, unfortunetly the food you would consider good "chinese food" (Kims I believe) isn't really chinese food but food the chinese invented for americans. Actual chinese food is different consisting of a lot of fish and chicken mostly. Especially odd parts of chicken because they use the whole bird so there is little waste. So, good luck finding the neon orange sweet n sour pork over there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ...Shit...

    I like me some neon orange sweet n sour.

    ...shit...

    ReplyDelete

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