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Published: November 5th 2006
The fun mall!
Siam Center--aka "Fun Center." We were skeptical of the "funness" until we found this area of punching bags! Not your typical mall decor
First of all, thank you to everyone who's been writing and telling me tips and "hang in there" and such. Hehe, I'm sure I sounded quite woeful (and maybe I was) but from what I've heard that's the way everyone is when they first arrive in Bangkok. Already I'm really getting used to things, and the thought of eating at street stalls has almost reached a level of appeal. Since we've been spending so much time in malls, I've actually been eating pretty well.
We didn't PLAN to come to malls again today, but it just kind of happened that way. We checked out of Madras Hostel and took the subway to the domestic train station, with the intention of reserving a ticket for the coast. When we got off, this woman struck up a conversation with Derek. She was very friendly... almost too friendly. She started asking questions like "what you doing? Where you going?" which up until this point have pretty much been our main cues to get out of the conversation because someone was trying to scam us in some way. However, I'm really glad we stuck it out because it turns out she was just a
Amature wrestling? I think....
This is that amature wrestling ring we descovered that first day at Central World. It was soooo weird. I have no idea what it was about.
genuinely nice person trying to help us out. It's a real problem we're running in to. Many Thais are SO nice and just want to be helpful, but often it's the nicest ones that have the best speil worked out for scamming (or if not scamming, just a hidden agenda of some kind). It's really tough to find the right balance.
Anyway, this woman led us to a travel agent office that was part of the TAT (the government run tourism authority). This was our first indication that she was truly just a kind person. Everything we've read says that the TAT is totally legit. Our travel agent lady seemed REALLY helpful, and set up what good have been a bit of an arduous journey into a package deal that was reasonably priced and seemed pretty easy. The plan is to get on a nice bus tonight at 7:00pm, drive all night until 6am, then get on another bus for a short ride to the coast. From there we take a ferry to Ko Samui (these names might not be right, I'm just oging from memory), where we'll spend 5 days in a beach front bungalo. Mmmm nice. Then we take another ferry to a different island and repeat for the next 5 days. Excellent. We're really excited! The only problem would be if we can't figure out how to catch our next connection (i.e. bus or ferry) but hopefully it will be straight forward. If things work out I'm sure we'll go back to the same lady for travelling up north. She was full of helpful tips--it was great. And there were a lot of other travellers in the place which gave us courage.
Sooo I'm eating, and I'm heading for a beach vacation. Your wellwishes are no longer needed! Mark and I are really looking forward to some snorkelling. I'm going to do a bit of internet research right now to find out about potential dive centers where equipment can be purchased. Derek and Mark are out electronic's shopping right now. Derek's camera broke (the lens won't retract no matter what we do) and no one can figure out how to fix it. We're kind of at a loss about what to do, so it looks like he's just going to buy a new one and then deal with the situation when we get home in January. It's really too bad. Stupid cameras. Dave, from Surfaris, had his camera break in Thailand and he had to buy another one, too! I guess they're building them for cost, not quality these days. Hopefully Alec's camera holds out for me!
I've barely been taking any pictures, so my offerings are slim. I'll try to do better in the future.
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