A Blur

Janel’s Soi (street) – quiet and peaceful


What day is it today? Where am I? Why is it so $#%& hot??!!

Yesterday went past in a blur caused by jet lag and the introduction to life in Bangkok. We woke up relatively early and enjoyed a peaceful morning at Janel’s house. We took a very short walk down tree-lined streets to her favorite “coffee lady” where we had the absolute BEST iced coffee I have ever had. A person could get seriously hooked on this stuff. I really didn’t watch the process of making it because I was already in sensory overload. It came to us in little plastic baggies with a straw (as are served most drinks on the street). Sinful.

Janel’s Coffee Lady

We also bought some pineapple from a little fruit stand and headed back to Janel’s house where she prepared muffins. A great way to leisurely start our whirlwind. We sat around and gave Janel her late birthday presents and other goodies we brought from Arizona. We gave her a digital photo frame filled with tons of family pics. She loves it! She also received a treasured Phi Beta Kappa key from Mama/Papa.


Fixin’ Breakfast

Wearing the PBK Key

After breakfast we decided to venture out and start the insanity. Janel’s house is Northeast of the city in a pretty quiet area. We took a taxi to a local market and spent time just wandering through the stalls of produce, meat, fish and anything else you could possibly want. The colors were beautiful, the smells were overwhelming and the amount of items for sale was vast. We didn’t recognize most of the fruits and veggies, but they looked awesome. Rich wished we had a place like that to shop at home. Carlos purchased a few items for tomorrow’s meal – corn, carrots, mango and sticky rice.

Carlos scoring some fruit

Bird’s eye view

Shoppin’

Carlos and Janel do a fantastic job of being able to ask for what they want and communicating in general. Rich and I were totally at a loss. I am not sure we could navigate on our own around here. We have certainly traveled to many places where English was not the native language, but somehow it feels different here. I have never visited a place where I felt like I couldn’t even say “hello” or “please and thank you” or “Where is the bathroom???” Very strange feeling. I suppose it is because in say France or Spain or Italy the language is all Latin-based and you can sometimes get close to the word you want to say. Here – I can’t even guess what any of the signs say.

general hustle and bustle

Did I mention how HOT it is??? Oh sure – we live in Arizona where it gets pretty hot. But this is nothing like our heat. This is STEAMY. Janel says you get used to it.

After the overload of the market we decide to head into “town” (Bangkok proper) and Janel negotiates the BTS – metro system. We wind up at one of her favorite places – Lhimpini Park. It is an oasis in the middle ot the bustling city. Wandering around this beautiful park is Janel’s idea to “ease” us into the city. We finally come to a spot where Janel says there are lizards and we begin to look for them. I think I am looking for some small creature or maybe even an iguana-type animal. But then out of the lake comes this huge monitor lizard!

Chillin’ at the park

He’s HUGE!

Ok – enough relaxing. We decide to go full on into the downtown area of Bangkok. Once again Janel negotiates the transit system. We travel first by metro underground and then by skytrain. We wind up at the Siam Paragon a serious shopping/entertainment mecca. The “mall” is 6 stories of luxurious shopping with all the designer names you know and love – Gucci, Versace, Bottega Venetta, Chloe, Hugo Boss, etc, etc. (we all decided that Janet would LOVE this place!!) They even have several car showrooms – lamborghini, BMW, etc. It is amazing! We wandered into the food area which is larger than any other actual mall I have ever seen – the choices were endless. We ended up getting a few snacks (including a Sweet Bomb) and smoothies. Your credit card could take some serious hits in this place. We bought nothing.

Outside the Paragon

Shot from the SkyTrain

Inside the Paragon

Sweet


Time to try and head back home to change for dinner. Easier said than done. It was now around 6pm and traffic was decidedly thick. Janel attempts to get a taxi and gets turned down 3 times! I don’t understand how they can refuse to take you – they are at a dead standstill with no passenger and they would rather tell you “no” than accept a fare? Oh well, we walked a few blocks and were finally successful with getting a taxi. However it really didn’t matter since it took us almost an hour to drive a few km. . . Traffic is a nightmare.

We quickly showered, changed and headed back into traffic gridlock to get to a wine tasting that Janel had been invited to. It was a very cool setting with interesting people. We sat around nibbling and drinking wine and then after 10 we retired upstairs to the Nest. The Nest is a rooftop bar/restaurant with a great view over Bangkok. We relaxed with new friends and hung out for a bit until we all were about to drop from exhaustion. A short cab ride later we were home again and passed out in our beds.

I am not sure what is on the agenda for today, but I know we can’t spend every day like the last one! It is great just hanging out with Janel and Carlos and I can’t wait to see what happens today.

typical Thailand

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One thought on “A Blur

  1. Wow! What a way to start your Bangkok experience. Even the photos seem overwhelming . . . can’t imagine how it feels to really be there and experience the heat, crush of humanity, foreign language, etc. I suspect you’ll get to know the coffee lady well.

    The Paragon definitely looks like my kind of place. Can’t believe you left the plastic in your wallet . . . live a little!

    Coolest thing is the lizard. I think it would be great to just hang out in the park and watch for them.

    Enjoy another whirlwind day . . .

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