I’m using an internet cafe for free and listening to the club next door play “Who Won the World?” (it’s girls by the way, they won the world). In just a minute, I’ll explain how you, too, can come by free internet at a cafe in Bangkok. It’s two in the morning here which means my body actually thinks it’s 3 am because I’ve only been here from Taiwan for a few hours. Sorry if this post doesn’t make much sense, but it might be due more to strange events than to me being tired.
I got in a taxi straight out from the airport. I made sure not to get the “Official Taxi Service” which is actually double the price of the public, metered taxis that are only a couple steps further. My taxi driver was awesome! He taught me how to say “thank you”, “how much”, and “good morning”, and he laughed at how I had written my destination address in Thai. I like to think he was impressed since he kept asking, “YOU wrote this?” When I say he taught me how to say those words, he didn’t just speak them a couple times. He asked me to repeat it over and over, correcting my pronunciation until I was good enough to be released among the locals. And he handed me a pen and told me to write notes so I won’t forget. Hearing Chinese has helped me pick up on these Thai sounds. They do not feel as foreign as they probably would if I were “fresh off the boat” as they say. That about sums up my night here so far actually. I don’t feel fresh off the boat at all. I’m alone in a busy, happening place, but I’m not nervous or overwhelmed as I would expect. Even when I couldn’t find my guesthouse for about 45 minutes, I just kept walking up and down the street, occasionally asking someone for help. No one was terribly helpful, but piecing together their tiny hints got me there eventually.
Earlier tonight Sierra helped me figure out that it’s actually Christmas for me right now. So to all of you in the U.S., MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE FUTURE!!!!!
Okay, so the attendant at the guest house (it’s basically a crappy hostel, but the companies here insist on glorifying them) isn’t the friendliest, and is obviously annoyed that he has to work, especially when he has to get up and walk to the gate to let the guests in once he decides to lock the gate at 1:30 am. I don’t blame him really. I’ve just about had enough of Khao San Road already, so I’m sure he has a perpetual eye roll from hearing the guy across the “street” play the same Bob Marley cover songs as the night before, and the night before, and the night before. This street reminds me of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Not the style of music but the way everyone is friendly, relaxed, and partying in the street. I read that Khao San Road is a bunch of loud, young foreigners and that it’s better to go elsewhere in Bangkok, but I wanted to see what it’s all about, and thought it’d be nice to talk to some people in English. It’s not that nice, though. The bad club music and me being sober are just not really doing it for me although I’m having a good time observing it all. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with Duncan in Chiang Mai tomorrow and getting into some trekking (hiking, rafting, elephant rides).
I was wandering around the street taking pictures and eating my pad thai (it’s delicious btw) when I decided to check out one of the alley ways. Don’t let a map fool you; what looks like a side street can barely even be called an “alley” it’s so tiny. And, I’ve been in Taiwan where things are already much smaller than America. So in this alley way, a lady walked out of her internet cafe and stepped in front of me. It took me a long time to understand what she wanted, but it is crystal clear now, so I’ll explain it to you. She wanted to take a picture of me holding a laptop, and I needed to walk across the alley (three steps away) and bring it to the owner of a different shop. Not random at all. And she even said to “take my time on the computer, no hurrying”, so I can sit here until the sun comes up, listening to remixes of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” mixing with remixes of “All I Need Is You” from another club. This street is packed with clothes, jewelry, and music. And there is a place with a huge sign that says “REALLY STRONG DRINKS. WE WILL NOT CHECK YOUR ID”.
While perusing the internet if you see a picture of me with bags under my eyes holding a laptop, you won’t even wonder. You’ll be like, “Oh yeah, that’s when Emily sold her body so she could get three dollars worth of internet.”
Wait, a new development: she wants to buy me a beer now. Wow, I’m going to like Thailand!
New development #2: She brought me water since I declined the beer offer. What a nice lady… but it does make me wonder why she thinks what I did calls for so many favors… what exactly did I do? As I carried that laptop across the alley, visions of that horrible movie Brokedown Palace entered my head. The one where the two foreigners stupidly help a guy smuggle narcotics from Thailand into Hong Kong and are sentenced to life in a Thai prison. So far I haven’t seen anything sketch like that, but I’ll keep looking. Thailand is supposed to be way more rogue than Taiwan. Oh, speaking of rogue, in my last post I told you about that naughty boy (who incidentally will not be receiving gifts from Santa this year), and guess who sat beside me waiting to board the EXACT same flight as me? Yep, Santa!
He really did, though. And when they called for the elderly and disabled to board, he got up and walked up there.