Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just Another Adventure...

You know, since coming to the land of smiles (also known as Thailand:D), I've not had one boring day. At all! Each day has been quite the little adventure inside this whole big summer adventure (which, by the way, is flying by unbelievably fast!!! Um, hello? Time? Slow down!).

Today's adventure began bright and early with a phone call from one of my dearest friends saying her baby was born:o). That's always exciting news to hear! After going back to bed to try to catch a few more hours of sleep, I finally dragged myself out of bed and got ready for a day at the Chatuchuk market in downtown Bangkok. Susie wanted to go to pick up some last minute souvenirs and we all wanted to spend time there too, so it really worked out well:o). Our mode of transportation this time was a bus... and for 19 baht (61 cents - I dare you to find that price in the States to travel 45 minutes away!) we were set to go to Chatuchuk!!! Some of the girls weren't too sure how they would handle the ride, but the Lord really blessed me with the ability to travel without getting sick, so I enjoyed my ride:o).

That's one thing I wish I could do more often in the States: take public transportation. Whether bus, tram, taxi, songtow (riding in the back of a pick-up), metro or a tuk-tuk (I have yet to ride in one... but that's on my list:D), I think that's one of the many perks in traveling to a foreign country. Public transportation is relatively cheap and when you can't ride ~ you walk. So as you can see, it's a lose-lose situation (said tongue-in-cheek!):o).

Once we got off the bus, we headed for the market. I was about to voice my disappointment at all the street vendors thinking it was Chatuchuk ("we traveled into town for this???") when April finally found the entrance to the market.

Oh. my. goodness!

The shops!

The variety!

The bargains!

The vastness!

Chatuchuk is not small by any means, and we certainly did not cover even a quarter of it. But anytime I see a bargain with good stuff, I'm a happy shopper:o). As it was, I did get three gifts, but I can't disclose what I got because two of the three people might be reading this;o). But the rest of the time I just enjoyed walking around and looking at all the little shops. I will say that the tin roof did nothing for circulating the cool air. What a relief it was to step outside and stand under an umbrella!

Deciding to take a bus home was an easy decision to make... the problem was actually finding the correct bus:o). After standing around for about 20 minutes, we got on to a rather-crowded bus. After paying 8 baht (25 cents) for the ride (bargains! bargains! I love bargains!), I snagged the seat behind the bus driver and that began the ride to Future Park (the mall) where we needed to get groceries... you might think I'm joking, but 4 girls can eat!!! Our poor fridge was quite empty!

As we were approaching Future Park, the driver did something I have never seen a bus do before: he cut across 5 lanes of traffic; from the left side all the way to the right side, and there wasn't one angry horn beep or shouting. This is Asia after all; and you squirm in where you can. If you don't stand your ground, then tough... you just lost your place! I laughed as I remembered my poor friend driving me to the airport and how she was terrified after I made her cut across 4 lanes of New York traffic...:o). I guess I fit right in with city craziness;o).

There was one downside to the entire day. After we went food shopping, we stepped outside to flag down a taxi to go home. This one taxi driver took a look at 3 farangs (Susie, April, and I ~ foreigners) and told Psalm 100 baht for the ride. That is crazy! Normally the taxi ride from Future Park to our house is around 50 baht, if that. But that's the way it is over here; a national will get charged a lower fee while a farang will be charged double. After not being able to get another taxi and in the midst of a torrential downpour... we took that taxi. To make the situation more "humorous", Susie remembered as we were winding our way around Future Park that we left our Chatuchuk bags at the grocery store!!! So Susie and April dashed out of the taxi to get our bags... Psalm and I paid the 100 baht for the taxi ride... and Susie and April caught another taxi home. It's a good thing we got such a bargain on our rides to and from Bangkok ~ we made up for it leaving Future Park.

Sometimes, that's just the way it is... but hey! This day was anything but boring!

Oh, and why am I posting this at midnight? Well, I went to bed around 8:30 and was sleeping when one of my housemates (who shall remain nameless:D) came into the bedroom and said, "Oh? Are you sleeping?"

Well, I was...

That's the way it is... it's all part of the adventure:o).

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