Today I flew solo and I’m proud to say I managed to get by with very little Thai vocabulary and a few directions from Ehren. The commute felt like traveling in New York City. The subways and skylines are efficient travel and heavily air conditioned thankfully. I walked today to the MRT (the subway) because in terms of fuzzy fire icons it was at one lonely fuzzy fire icon, which had come as quite a shock considering I feel like I’m melting. Today, however, the air was cooler. It was probably due to a few grey clouds hovering over the city which I welcomed. It started to drizzle but I didn’t care, I kept walking even though there were taxi’s and motocycle taxis whizzing by. I explored a few random streets camera slung around my neck, Hershel back pack equipped and ready for a day of museum hopping while Ehren worked. On my wanderings I got bullied by a bunch of dogs when I made a wrong turn down a dead end street and became slightly worried but I managed to make it to the busy street unscathed and began shooting glimpses of the Bangkok architecture, windows, doorways, gates, you know, neighborhood personality! At this point it’s more than a drizzle. And I’m now the “haole” who’s walking in the rain!
I hesitantly bought a bag full of what looked like fried shrimp or fish cakes in perfectly rounded balls. There was awkward communication between me and the older Thai man about it being “vegetarian” but at this point, it’s what I get for taking chances. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find out that they tasted like coconut sesame doughnut bites.. warm and delicious and not too sweet. I am finding, however, that the Thais put sugar in everything and I mean everything. On the walk home I found a vendor who had a a line of fresh ingredients, crushed nuts, spices, bean sprouts, tofu… So I stopped. She said “Pad Thai” but I was too inundated with Thai accents to realize what she meant. The Thai language is fuckin’ hard (I put that fuckin’ in there for emphasis, cause if you don’t use the right inflection you lose the meaning of the word you were attempting, which is super frustrating). She was tossing all the ingredients together with such ease, whipping things around, steam rolling up onto her face, smells emulating.. I couldn’t wait. After opening everything not only had they included a spice pouch to make things a bit more heated (damn, I thought everything would be at a 4 fuzzy-fire-icon level spiciness, but, no), AND they included a packet of sugar. Sugar? Really? It brings to mind that scene from Elf where he’s pouring maple syrup on his spaghetti. Hmmm, interesting! Then on my journey I also bought a bunch of weird and random snacks. All of which were lightly sugared somehow– spicy and still sugary nori bites, pumpkin waffle snaps– only a bit sugary, and smoked almonds were more like sugary smoked almonds with a strange camel character on them? Amusing.
The transportation here is good, but none of the forms of transportation connect, meaning, the Skyline is different from the MRT which is different from the city busses. So you have to get tickets for each individually. BUT on the other hand, if you’ve ever been to NYC you buy a one time use metro card, many of the times, they just get tossed in the trash. Here you literally drop the token or feed the card back into entrance/exit carousel, no waste!!! Ya hear that, New York?
I headed into the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Center which I was excited about. I don’t know what it is about museums but they make me feel safe and loved, as if the ideas, art, and handmade large scale paintings are feeding my hungry loveless soul! And to couple with my architecture hunt from earlier, an exhibit on just that was in place. Architecture, sustainability, and designs from around the world were the focus. Next was the “White Elephant” exhibition which was featuring Thai artists in a range of styles. No cameras allowed, so, I’m sorry there’s no photos. The Thai woman sternly pointed to the lockers where I could stash my camera. I wandered there for 3 hours. The great thing about looking at art is it makes you want to do art.
Then made an escape to the MBK which is a massive mall. That’s apparently a hobbie of the Thais. Mall walking aint just for gramps and gran, anymore y’all! It’s air conditioned, it’s people watching at it’s finest, and then later we can go get a smoothie! HA!
Made it safely back to Ehren’s place. Where we’ve been binge watching True Detective! Ok, that’s all for now, friends. Thanks for reading.