Greetings from Bangkok. I thought the blog title would be a good way to draw in all three of my three readers who would have read it anyway, since they are close friends or family.
In any case, I arrived in Thailand, exhausted after a long flight from Europe. I was happy I splurged on a hotel in Bangkok since I was so tired and needed good rest. A friend’s husband who grew up in Thailand recommended that I stay in the Sukhumvit neighborhood. After checking in and resting, I had to make a pit stop at a beauty salon to get my waxing and threading done. Apparently the Thai are not big into threading, so I had to get my eyebrows waxed. It was on okay experience, but what I learned is that Indians are expert at hair removal because our hair is much coarser than Thai hair. It took two ladies to wax my legs in the same amount of time it normally takes one Indian lady.
I decided to try food cart food since it’s supposed to be amazing in Thailand. I have always been weary of food carts, having grown up visiting India, chowing down on street food, and then becoming deathly ill. But I survived the last few times I went to India, after being wiser and more selective about which street food I try (in other words, hardly any) and after surviving street cart food in Mexico. So I had pad thai my first night, which was delish and only 30 baht ($1)!!! I was still hungry so i stopped at another stall and got some kind of noodle soup. I was happy until I started walking home and noticed several rats hanging out by the restaurant on the corner by my hotel. I was so disgusted, but have tried (unsuccessfully) to put it out of my mind. My new fave street food is mango sticky rice. It’s some kind of dessert food that comes with coconut milk. Sooo good.
So you may be wondering about the blog title. Well, my first night in Bangkok, I decided to stroll around the Sukhumvit neighborhood. I had heard a little about it from reading John Burdett’s mystery novels, all set in Bangkok. I should have put two and two together when I remembered that in the books the cops mostly visit Sukhumvit to interview the “whores” (his words, not mine) who work the bars and the tourist scene. Wow, I was so disturbed to see old white dudes hand in hand with young, 20-something Thai girls. And there were soooo many of them. From what I understand, they are mostly very poor women from the Isaan region who don’t have many other options and often send money home from their earnings in Bangkok.
There is also a street market on Sukhumvit, which mostly sells junk, trinkets, counterfeit clothes, bags. etc. But I also noticed several tables selling Viagra or Cialis. I have no idea if these are fake or if they are illegally smuggled into the country. But it was really disturbing. I saw some guys go up and inquire about them, too! For some reason I thought the whole transaction would be a lot more discreet.
Anyway, aside from that whole scene, Sukhumvit was relatively nice. I am now in another neighborhood, which is backpacker/tourist hell. I think there are more white people here than Thais.
All in all, I find Bangkok to be cleaner, less air and street pollution, more orderly traffic, less frenzied than Delhi or Bombay. But I will be leaving Bangkok tomorrow to do some sightseeing. Excited to be outta here. This is what people must feel like when they visit Delhi or Bombay. Thankfully I have family in both places that take care of me and plus I know the language to be able to get around.
See pics from Bangkok below.