After a grueling 28 combined hours of traveling (29 if you count the drive to Nashville), Bangkok was finally visible out of the window of my plane. As anticipation grew, I glanced over at the plane's digital map, which informed me we still had 45 minutes of flying left... ¿qué carajo? I asked myself if this city I was seeing was indeed Thailand, surely it could not be so expansive? My confusion was soon resolved by the captain's announcement, informing us that it was indeed Bangkok. As we gracefully soared over this behemoth of a city, the distinct flashes of lightning could be seen all around us, a constant reminder of the presence of the rainy season. Though the weather was not wonderful, it was 11 at night and all I cared about was getting off the plane! However, I soon learned that one should be careful what they wish for...
The first thing I noticed upon walking off the plane was the ridiculous heat that almost knocked me off my feet, I have never felt anything like this before! Due to the fact that it is in the middle of the rainy season, humidity was at its peak which simply exacerbated the situation (you are almost instantly covered in a mixture of sweat and condensation upon leaving any air conditioned building). Furthermore, the air quality here is surely dangerous, easily observable by just glancing around at many of the natives wearing face masks.
Gloomy enough for you yet? Well it gets better! Today is the first complete day I have spent in Thailand... it's essentially impossible to describe how different of a world it is here. After getting ready, Adam and I decided to go to Future Park, an enormous mall with every kind of random gadgets and restaurants you can imagine. We left our apartment and walked across the interstate overpass... Adam wanted to take me to some of the local transportation, blissful in my ignorance, I agreed. Next thing I knew I was on the back of a red-vested man's motorcycle, zipping through campus. Since they were on a campus, they restrained themselves slightly-- nonetheless it would certainly be considered reckless driving by the gestapo of a police force at TTU. After arriving at our destination, Adam had a conniption with our two motorcycle drivers in Thai because they apparently were trying to overcharge us (normally its around 10-20 baht for our journey but they wanted 50 baht each! ***Note: ~32 baht = 1 dollar***) Trying to avoid a fight, we finally paid them their 5x higher than normal wage and grumpily stormed off to the van depo (for lack of better words) to wait for a van which regularly takes passengers, mostly students, to Future Park and several other locations.
Once at the mall, we sampled some of the local cuisine at a restaurant there. We ordered vegetarian fried rice, which was quite excellent in itself but once we got the bill, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the entire meal cost less than 2$!!! Satiated, we went to several other appliance stores in the mall to purchase various things for our apartment, including bizarre plants:
and, of course, for all of you that know Adam, you will not be surprised to learn that we had to also buy rugs to cover the bland tiles of our dorm.
After returning to our dorm and laying the carpet, we decided to continue exploring so we went to one of the local markets, lets just say health inspectors would have a heart attack if they saw this place!
Trying to navigate this labyrinth was no easy task! After finally getting un-lost for the 3rd or 4th time, we found our way out of the market (but not before sampling some of the excellent fruit drinks they have here!) As we walked along the edge of the market to catch a taxi home, Adam found quite possibly one of the most disgusting stands ever... a roasted bug stand. Being the bad vegan that he is, he just could not resist the urge to get his protein, so he bought a bag of roasted grasshoppers with soy sauce.
With his bag of bugs in hand, we returned home to finally get some much needed rest. Don't worry though, Adam couldn't sleep till he had tried his grasshoppers!!! After nearly vomiting with just one bite, he decided that it was best to feed the rest to our carnivorous plant... With such a long day under our belts, sleep was not hard to find.
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