Saturday 24th May – Bangkok

On the Saturday I decided to move guesthouses as it was a bit pricey to stay in the twin I had shared with Elisha by myself and they didn’t have any singles available.  So, with my budget in my head, I wisely opted for a big hotel, closer to Khao San Road with a roof-top pool!  Well, to be honest it’s really nice and works out at around eight pounds a night or so.

After checking in I got a tuk-tuk.  Actually this was somethinhg of an event in itself.  I was trying to get to Chatuchak weekend market but each time I asked tuk-tuk drivers they either told me it would be better if I went the following day or quoted me some extortionate price only to tell me that if I stopped at a gem shop on the way it would be much cheaper, if not free.  I eventually foiund a driver who was willing to take me without the stop on the way, to be pressurised into buying large pieces of glass on the pretence they were precious stones, and we headed off.

The weekend market was huge.  There were sections for pretty much anything you could want and imagine and also sections of things you definitely wouldn’t want and probably can’t imagine.  After I had a really rather good Thai Greeen curry for lunch I managed to find the information desk and got a map which showed me that, other than walking in a kind of comedy spiral, I had actually managed tro cover most sections.  It also begged the question as to why the maps weren’t available at the outskirts of the market.  Or maybe they could have had maps at the outskirts showing you where to find the information and maps sections.  Am I just being facetious now?

I decided I had seen enough of the market and, map in hand, took one of the main routes out.  A little way along there was a street performer.  I’m really going to struggle with a gender here, particularly as they were dressed weirdly and literally had every bit of visible skin painted.  Anyway, they were playing two instruments and singing.  I watched for a while, relatively amused and videoed them on my camera.  I have since watched the video and there’s this really odd trail of water coming from the performer, like, erm…..  Okay enough about that.

With my, actually slightly improving, map skills I managed to locate the exit I wanted.  However, not before buying what can only be described as THE coolest t-shirt in the World.  It was on a stall selling “Hello Kitty” t-shirts which are slightly too kitsch even for me.  It’s “Astroman” and the cutest character you have seen in your life is brightly coloured and adorned with sequins.  I have pictures of me wearing it so you’ll see it in all its glory.  When I asked Nikhil what he thought of it later in the week he said, “Only you could pull it off Zelma”.  Which I thought was a very nice way of saying, “Oh my f-ing GOD”, particularly for a boy!

Anyway, so I escaped that mammoth market, t-shirt in hand and green curry in belly and crossed one of the tidiest parks I have seen in my life.  It was also no smoking which seeemd odd for an open space; maybe that’s why it was so clean, I don’t know.  The sky train entrance was on the other side of the park.  The sky train as the name suggests, actually, do you know what, you’re not complete morons I’m sure you can get this one yourselves.  The sky train is a very cheap and fun way to get around the city.  Again it was scarily clean.  It also had crazy air-con which made tou feel like you were actually inside a giant freezer.  One of my favourite thinggs about the sky-train (other than the amazing views of the city) was the signs inside the carriages.  Similar to those on the Underground in England  which tell you that you should give up your seat for old people, pregnant women etc there were signs which read, “Please give this seat to monks”.  I love things like this as, on one hand you’re in this immaculate, air-con sky train looking across a sprawling metropolis and on the other there are things which remind you you’re not in England.  Well, that and that fact there are an awful lot of Thai people around!  The carriages also had plasma t.v.s.  Call me a cynic but I’m not sure how long they’d last in London.

Having clearly not spent enough time shopping I got off at the stop for M.B.K (don’t ask me what it stands for – maybe Massive Bangkok Kingdom, Malting Bald Kids or Mouse Bites Kangaroo?) which is basically a massive shopping mall.  Well when I say mall, although there were some proper “shops” it was mostly small stalls selling goods which was kind of cool.  Okay, okay I’ve just looked it up…Mah Boon Kong shopping centre.  And who said that my blog’s not informative?!?!  It’s in the Siam Square area of the city.  I bought a few bits and pieces, quite a few actually – oops!!

When I left the mall there was a BMX competition going on outside.  I watched for a while as they did this kind of puissance competition but for long jump.  It was funny listening to the ever-excited commentator as these guys sped along and hopped over two very non-descript poles on the floor.  After a while of watching, and some strange local pensioner trying to chat me up, I hailed a tuk-tuk and headed back.

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