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Published: September 1st 2008
Combining the quirkyness of China with the conveniences of Malaysia, Bangkok is a really fun city. The food is amazing, everything is cheap and the city vibrates with energy...and not just from the protests occurring outside the British Embassy at the time.
Our favourite part was a bicycle tour that took us through the twists and turns of black alleys in China Town, narrow enough for only one bicycle at a time. We went through markets, school yards, and past temples galore.
Around any corner you might see one of the many monks is orange robes doing any number of things, I saw them sleeping on benches, drinking soda pop from a glass bottle with a straw and smoking a cigarette. For some reason I find it fascinating to see them doing anything "normal".
We plopped our bicycles on a long boat and toured the canals and even saw a monitor lizard digging through somebody's trash, not unlike a skunk would in Canada. We passed boats with people selling cheezies, bbq skewers (yes the bbq was on the boat) and souvenirs. Finally we got off the boat and biked through the plantations on the outskirts of town.
While we were in Bangkok, the infamous paedophile Gary Glitter thought Thailand would take him in, and he was pointedly informed otherwise. In fact, it was interesting to consider Bangkok in terms of its reputation for sex tourism. The hostel and hotel we stayed at, as well as many others we considered made it very clear that sex tourists were not welcome customers. While we didn't seek out the Red Light District, one has the impression it might be hard to avoid it. However, we saw very little evidence of the trade ourselves. Mostly, it was the Tuk-Tuk traders offering to bring us to a "really good show". When Craig responded, "I have a wife! And she is with me!" , the driver would respond "She'll like it, its a good show!" We declined nonetheless😊
We did opt to dine one night at a restaurant called "Cabbages and Condoms". I had seen Dr. Mechai's presentation last spring about efforts in Thailand in regards to family planning and preventing the spread of HIV. He is so famous in Thailand that condoms are nicknamed Mechais. This restaurant's profits help to support the work of his organization. Its a really nice restaurant
actually. The food is really tasty and reasonably priced. The decor is mostly quite tasteful, though if you peer closely at the stained glass lamp, you realize it is actually just decorated with multi-coloured condoms. More obviously, at the doorway you are greeted by Santa Claus, a mannequin sporting a red suit made entirely of condoms.
Well, end of story and back to the realities of having to work. We are quickly approaching our first reporting period, so have been marking like mad. How strange to have marks due around the same time my colleagues back in NB are starting up school. I hope everybody is well! Keep sending messages!
p.s. To all the NHS students starting college/university this fall, best of luck! Let me know how it goes!
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