Day 1: The Beginning
And so it begins! Welcome to my Southeast Asia Chronicles, part one: Thailand. 4 airports, 3 days, and 2 girls later….Bri and I finally made it to our first destination, Bangkok, to start our 2.5 month journey through Southeast Asia. We’d been planning this for a while, but it didn’t feel real until we stepped out of the Bangkok airport into the muggy heat and hopped into a tuk tuk that was so conveniently waiting for us outside.
For those of you who aren’t aware of what a tuk tuk is, it’s a cross-breed between a motorbike, a golf cart and a whole lot of random decorations. It operates in it’s natural habitat in the lawless streets of Thailand, operated by men who don’t necessarily speak English and possibly have a death wish. Case in point: they are fun, but terrifying.
Meeting the Bangkok crew and going to the alleged “Night Market”
Upon arrival to Hi Friends Hostel — yes, we booked it because the name was cool…don’t think we’re above that– we met new friends, a girl from London (Emma) and two tall guys whose names I do not remember…we called them Germany and Danish. We decided to meet up with Emma’s friends (Gabby and Cynthia) and Bri’s friend (Heather.) Us girls grabbed some local cuisine, Pad Thai and Singha beer, and headed for the so called “night market” –which allegedly sold tons of cheap goods.
On our way to the night market, we stopped in the middle grassy area between two streets and noticed there were hundreds of black-clad Asians headed the opposite direction. We remembered that the king had recently passed away and they were still in mourning, so we quickly chugged our beers and tried to lay low to be respectful.
What? We weren’t just gonna throw the beers away. That’s alcohol abuse.
Moments later, a police officer started yelling in Thai and everyone dropped to their knees. Out of fear and confusion, we followed suit, although we had no idea what was happening. Eventually we realized that the princess had driven by and we were showing respect.
We thought there was a shooter or something. Typical girls, assuming the worst.
After the princess passed, we made our way to the “night market.” Our IDs were checked as we entered the gates. I thought it was odd, but we entered anyway. Soon we realized that we didn’t belong. Among hundreds of small Asians in black, we were 6 white women wearing colors shading from blues to pinks. Needles to say, we were being gawked at.
I have never felt so out of place.
We finally asked a guard how to get to the night market, which was actually one street away. Wow we’re good with directions. Once we got to it, a mob of people were yelling “Hollywood! Supastahhh!” A guy was passing out donuts as cameras were flashing in his face. They told us to go get some from him as they took our photos and recorded us (little did I know, this would only be the first of many photos that Asians took of us.) After we indulged in the chaos, I thought to myself, “I can see the headlines now: 6 large American women fight for donuts!” I’m not sure if they were making fun of us or if they were admiring us. I guess I’ll check the papers tomorrow.
After the market, we partook in a night of debauchery, including large buckets of alcohol, Jenga, pool, and lighthearted conversation. Goodnight.