I’ve made it to Thailand after twenty four hours of straight travel and upon arrival I quickly gained the realization that I was in a foreign land, completely dependent on my own abilities to survive for the first time in my life. It was a sobering thought, immediately followed by a punch of intoxication and an afterthought that I’ve made a wonderful decision to completely leap out of my comfort zone and land in the surreal and nothing if not bustling city of Bangkok, Thailand.
I discovered a cheap shuttle bus, 60 Bhat, from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Khao San Road, backpacker’s paradise and a one minute walk from where I will be staying for the next week. I exited the bus with a comedically awful kob-khun krab, thank you in Thai, and confidently walked in the wrong direction. It didn’t matter one bit because what I saw reassured me that I had made a very important decision in coming to Southeast Asia. A one hundred percent normality in terms of the area I am sure of but to me it was the exact spectacle I was looking for. A middle-aged woman with nothing but what looked like a wicker basket, which was filled with cooked scorpions on a stick. If you know me as of late then you would know that I will instantly jump on any new experience without necessarily thinking of the consequences. However, I thought twice this time because I didn’t want to be nervously dancing around the lobby of my hostel waiting to check in while having to give birth to a category 5 hurricane out of my ass. Too soon? Oh well. I’ll return to that saleswoman though, and you’ll hear about it.
After walking around for the better part of an hour I made my way into my hostel, checked in and then immediately left for fear of going to my bed and falling asleep. My greatest weakness is my room and I’m sure that’s going to apply to me 14,000 kilometers away. So here I am, trekking through 89 degree humid weather in clothes that I’ve been wearing for at least 36 hours, smelling like a B.O jungle and unable to get a sappy smile off of my face because I’m on Khao San Road and every person that detects me on their sales radar shouts out,
“I know you, my friend! I know you! You’re Gemini. You want nice suit?”
Well I’m a Cancer, and it’s nice you think we’re friends, but what the fuck am I going to do with a suit made out of materials that the Devil himself would not wear in Hell for fear of overheating?
“Tattoo! What is it? You see?”
Without being able to answer the question of what my tattoo is they point at the impending torrential downpour and use it as an excuse for me to enter their tattoo shop and get a new tattoo. Very interesting game plan shifty Thai man, but I’m not drunk yet so you’ll have to try again later.
Something I thoroughly enjoyed the moment it happened was having mopeds whiz by me as I casually walked down the middle of the road trying to dodge not the mopeds but the feisty suit salesmen. It’s something you really only see on TV or the likes. That combined with all of the beautiful looking wide open restaurants and bars was something I am certainly in search of on this trip, inspiration from the different styles of living. The next thing I thoroughly enjoyed was seeing all of the delicious, movie-like food everywhere. Without tasting a thing I knew that the area was certainly a Mecca for the taste buds. The first thing I tried was a kebab from a street vendor, randomly picked because there was just too much to choose from. It definitely tasted better than most kebabs I’ve ever tried but maybe because I was high on my surroundings.
As I was deciding what next to eat the expected happened, since it is monsoon season, and it absolutely down-poured. I mean, record rainfall in terms of New Jersey. It felt phenomenal; like a welcome party from the Gods of Breaking Out of Your Bubble or like that super annoying cleansing moment in Hollywood where the main character finally breaks free from their woes and is rewarded with a baptizing rainfall.
I ran back to my hostel since I wasn’t too far away and drank some Thai beer, which is conveniently sold in the lobby. It was time to figure out what to do next.