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Published: November 22nd 2006
I realize that it's been ages since I've last written and I have much to say about Ko Phi Phi (the internet, and everything else, was insanely expensive there and prevented updates until now) but I must tell you about our latest Bangkok adventures, first.
Let me tell you, I hate Day Bangkok. It is most definitely the worst place on earth I have ever been. Now, granted, I have lived a very priviliged life and been to many amazing places so it isn't hard to rank at the bottom of my list, but there is no doubt that Day Bangkok holds that honour. The heat, the smells, the stress, the humidity--it's all awful. I never find anything pleasant that occurs in Bangkok during the day; my time is more about survival. It's not unbareable, but it's far from pleasant (mostly due to the intense heat which I can never escape). However, when the sun goes down and Night Bangkok comes out, things are a different story. You just NEVER know what's going to happen at night here. I think it's safe to say that every night we've been out we've had a random, halarious, amazing experience. Tonight was no different.
It was Mark's 21st birthday today, so Derek wanted to take him out for a nice dinner. We are staying on quite a nice road this time in Bangkok, which is a big change from the two dive-y areas we've stayed in at our past two hostels. So, we set out to find a good meal at a *reasonable* price. In the end, we ended up at the "Green Space," which you might remember is the name of Heineken's beer garden here (although this was a different Green Space than the one we'd found at the huge Central World mall, before). I don't even know how to begin to describe our time there, because so much happened and we were overwhelmed much of the time. (Plus I have very limited time here because this internet place is about to close). Basically, we poked our heads onto this rooftop plaza to see what was happening at the Green Space (live jazz was audible) and were quickly ushered to a table by a Thai genleman who REALLY wanted us to be there. We asked if there was food available, as opposed to just beer, and he said yes so we decided to just bite the bullet, sit down, and pay whatever the prices would be. It turns out that they weren't that bad at all (though still considerably more than we usually pay, since we scout around for the cheapest thing we can possible eat every night). Of course, though, the first order of business was ordering beer. We ordered our own personal 3 litres of Heiney, which was placed on our table in big tap dispenser thing. The next time I get online (probably tomorrow) I will post pictures of it, but I don't have my cord right now. Let the good times begin! Then we chose our items from the menu. Then we waited patiently in the hustle and bustle around us for someone to notice us and come back. I think the waiters and waitresses were purposely avoiding us because no one spoke excellent English and we were having some trouble communicating during the initial beer order. Eventually, though, I managed to flag someone down and we ordered. By this point we'd had a bit of beer to drink (on very empty stomachs, too) and I for one was moderately feeling its effects. Still, though, Derek and I very clearly ordered "spicy chicken spagetti" in no uncertain terms. After our order was given, we sat and waited. During our wait we planned to listen to the live jazz until it abruptly stopped and the musicians were interviewed by TV cameras for AGES. So we waited for music and food. And we waited. And we drank. And we waited. And waited. Finally, my meal was delivered. Sort of. It was definitely spicy pasta (complete with many hot chillis in clear visibility), but Mark and Derek's eagle seafood-spotting eyes immediately recognized all seafood aspects of the pasta. Now, I cannot stand seafood and had CLEARLY ordered chicken, so this was a problem. We decided to wait for Derek's to see what he ended up with. If he got chicken, we would just trade and forget about it, since he didnt' mind eating the seafood (in Thailand, they don't serve your food all at once. They just bring it out as its ready and whoever gets their food first just starts eating). I couldn't eat my food yet, anyway, as they didn't provide me with any utensils. Eventually Derek's came out, and it, too, was clearly seafood based. We tried to politely explain to the waiter that this was not what we ordered, but although he was repeating our sentiments back to us he clearly didn't understand what the problem was. He called over another girl, and she also couldn't understand what the issue was. By this point, even Mark's food had arrived (though none of us was given utensils yet), and I had about resigned to the fact that I would be eating around seafood chunks tonight. Just at that moment, a helpful Thai man who spoke perfect English came over and asked us if he could help. We politely explained to him that I could not have seafood (well, as far as I'm concerned I can't!) and that I had ordered chicken pasta. He relayed these sentiments to the staff and they quickly set about to rectify the problem. He was SO nice and sat down to converse with us. Turns out that he'd spent 19 years in London, which was why he spoke such good English, and that he worked for the "Thai Asia Pacific Brewery" which brews Heiniken here. He also had utensils delivered to us, which was helpful! He explained that tonight was a big media event to promote the 4th Annual Bangkok Jazz Festival, which would happen in mid-December, and that most of the people in the beer garden were media people. He was seriously so nice, and gave us each one of his business cards. He was making rounds of the tables, and came back to our often. In the end, he even told Mark to call him when we got back to Bangkok in mid December so that we could meet up at the Siam Paragon (a huge mall) Green Space to see some Billabong act perform (he thought we knew who that was because Mark had a Billabong hat on...) Soooo nice. I love you, Rex!
By the way, the pasta sure lived up to it's "spicy" name!! I have never in my life eaten something so hot. I was crying the whole time. Even Derek could barely handle it. Wow. I made it though, though, and it was quite good. Oh, then the bill came. It was almost 100Baht more than it should have been, and we tried to explain this to the waitress. I can't tell you the confusion that ensued, but in the end I just gave her the amount we should have paid and she took it without question. We thanked our lucky stars and prepared to exit, when I folder of loose change was returned to us! So, I basically paid 100B less than we thought they wanted us to, and then they gave us change back. Soooo confusing! Classic Bangkok. But still, so funny and great.
I'd love to say more but time is ticking down and I'm going to be cut off. I'll tell you about Ko Phi Phi tomorrow or the next day. Actually, probably the next day because we're spending all day on a bus tomorrow heading north to Chaing Mai, which we're quite excited about. We're arranging elephant trekking, too. Horray! Gotta go, though. Ah, quick!
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