Monday, April 16, 2007
Back From Bangkok
We are home!
That has always been my wonderful thought every time our plane touches down and when we actually open the front door. Will always feel good to be home again.
I finally get to write about our recent trip to Bangkok, Thailand.
As the days passed by, I began to miss our home and its occupants. Not of the inanimate objects in it, but the living, breathing beings we left behind to go on this trip.
How were the residents in HamsterVille doing?
Hopefully well as we gave plenty of food and attached an extra water bottle to each cage. All to last the 3 nights we were away.
How was our corridor garden plants doing?
Hopefully our next door neighbor remembered and was kind enough to water the plants while we were away.
All these worries were at the back of my mind while we were trying to make the best of this trip. Not so much a vacation, but we did go on a complementary half-day tour around Bangkok City and its river market.
It was more of a "business trip" as we sourced for new stuff for our new shop that we hope to stock-up and open in early May 2007.
To do that, the best way is to go on foot, so... we walked the walk and "shopped the shops" till we dropped... dead tired, like our leg could pop out of its sockets.
Woke up at about 7:30am and got ourselves ready. Had our breakfast at 8:00am and left Bangkok Palace Hotel for shopping by 9:45am... in time for the shops that lined the streets, the makeshift stalls that filled the pavements and the shopping centres to open at around 10:0am in the morning.
Had lunch in any halal Muslim restaurant that crossed our path... and for the first time, we had the authentic Thai Tom Yam! Tom Yum-my it was!
We rested for an hour or two and then off again to look for more stuff from more shops till it was time for dinner.
Another hour of break to fill our stomachs and rest our tired legs before we headed off again to shop. This time to the night markets and bazaars till way past 11:00pm to midnight.
Our son gave up on us on the first day of our what would be our 3-day shopping routine. Being summer season in Thailand did not help at all as the humid weather heated-up the Bangkok streets to as high as 41 Deg C or 105.8 Deg F... amid the congested pathways, deafening traffic noise, smog and dust.
Instead, with a Predator-like action figure handmade with twining aluminum wires we bought for him, the hotel room was packed with fruits, snacks, biscuits and sodas... he chose the obvious, comfortable and more interesting option; he stayed in the hotel room watching TV, doing his homework from school and had hours spent dipping in the hotel pool. Smart choice!
I only get to check out the gym room but not get to do any workout. The walking was considered my cardio.
It was our second trip to Bangkok in over 2 years and everything looked exactly the same... we even can recognize the pothole near our last hotel when we took a ride on a Tuk-tuk.
It is interesting that the city is incredibly buzzing with business from huge shopping malls all the way right down to the small spot on the corner of the street. Locals and tourists alike are busy shopping and bargaining.
Hundreds and hundreds of choke-a-block makeshift stalls filled up the streets everywhere you turn... distractions to the shoppers senses from the noise, the dust and the ever pungent sewage smell that arose from the sweltering heat.
What was rare to find were trash-cans! Our son complained when he had to hold-on to his empty soda can for a long stretch as we could not find a trash can. We had in many occasions leave our trash among a heap of trash on little corners... guiltily!
It will amaze you when you realized back in your hotel room, that your boogger is actually jack black! I know it is disgusting, but I just have to mention this observation.
My admiration actually went to the locals there for their tough stomach and very high immune system. What we considered poor hygiene, is norm to them when they can consume food handled and prepared right on the streets... just awesome! It somehow made me feel such a weakling.
The most interesting part was that the food looked healthy with lots of leafy mixtures and smell... oh so nice, I would almost willing to endure diarrhea... until you see the peddlers fingernails! Holy-Super-Yikes!
Coming back to the order of the day... shopping, our hard effort to source for items really paid well as we got lots of what we wanted there. Wifey was happy with the designs available and I was happy with the competitive cost prices.
In a nutshell, Wifey was the most happiest person on the trip when I bought her a ruby studded gold ring and bracelet that set me back about S$2,000.00. While our son got his action figure and new shoes, I unfortunately got a measly S$7.00 belt to remember the trip by... sigh.
Then again, I am happy that Wifey is happy. I am even more excited about how our new store layout should look like and the way we wish to display our items. It is all up to our creativity and taste.
For this month of April, I will be busy designing the theme and deco for the shop. I cannot wait!