After an epic five week circle tour around South East Asia, I finally arrived back in Bangkok. Although my friends Nina and Fred were otherwise occupied, I did managed to reconnect with An, who I met earlier in Siam Reap, who showed me around many places in Bangkok that I otherwise never would have seen. Another trip coincidence – continuing a rich tradition of unlikely events – also took place here. My friends Perin (Deloitte SFO) and Paul recently moved to Wellington, New Zealand. I was on my way to visit them when I thought I would drop Perin a note to make sure everything was still set for my arrival. When she wrote back, she told me that Paul was in Bangkok with his friend Andrew and that the two of them were on a bike tour of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Since there were in Bangkok for a night, I flipped Paul and email and we managed to connect. Hilarity ensued, most of it in Patpong. If you know Bangkok, you can use your imagination.
While in Bangkok, I decided to break with the past and spend more than $5 a night on a room: I spent $10. Oh, the exorbitance. For that price, I got a small windowless room near Khao San Road, the heart of the backpacker area. Although the room leaked a little bit during the rain, the bed was firm without being completely rigid, the showers were hot and the room was air conditioned. Given the heat and humidity there was no possible way that I would have been even tolerable company with the amount of sleep I would have received with only a fan. All that makes me marvel just a little bit more as the friendliness of the Thai people. Perhaps you eventually become used to sleeping in a puddle of your own sweat.
In Bangkok, I enjoyed more of the delicious 90 cent mountains of Pad Thai, steaming bowls of green curry with tofu and vegetables and fresh squeezed orange juice. After a few days of feeding on spicy deliciousness, visiting with friends and sipping icy Chang beer under the shade of any available tree, it was off to New Zealand…after some more icy Chang beer in the Royal Silk Thai Lounge at BKK. Yum.