The land of sheep and chocolate

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thai Time

Half-way to New Zealand and who can say how I am feeling about the whole enterprise at the moment? On the one hand I have a lovely new life to look forward to, but on the other I have made my mother cry. Nothing's easy I suppose.

I arrived at Bangkok in the heat of the afternoon in the rainy season. I booked an expensive hotel through Trailfinders and what a mistake that has proved to be. Instead of the friendly backpackers home from home of the Khao San Road, I am across town, through some of the worst traffic in the world, in what can only be described as one of the sleazier areas. A larger than average percentage of the tourists around the Sukhamvit Road are men travelling on their own and I am aware that I am one of them. Well, I am sick of the constant demands for sex from ladies on street corners and I have fled to more familiar surroundings.

The journey here in a Tuk Tuk during the Thai rush-hour was an adventure in itself. We swerved through the traffic and the drizzle, over the pavements, narrowly avoiding motorbikes and street stalls selling unidentifiable food; but then the rest of the traffic was doing the same. I breathed in the fumes of two-stroke exhausts and raw sewage, the smell of an Asian city. The only disappointment has been my bargaining skills (I paid 130 baht, probably twice the going rate).

Now I am off for dinner at a backpacker restaurant where they show illegal copies of the latest movies, filmed at the cinema and complete with the backs of peoples heads and people getting up to go to the toilet. And afterwards, if I want to go and buy some stripey trousers, then I will. That's how much at home I feel at the moment.


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