Published Jun 21, 2006

Day One in Bangkok started with a torrential downpour; thenceforth, humidity held just below the level required to create spontaneous cloudbursts, although the sky was happy to host intimidating clouds all day long. Perhaps because of this humidity, and the heat — in the 90s — I saw almost no other westerners as I walked around Banglamphu and the region around Khao San road.

It was a pleasant enough walk. At first I got all heated up because every few steps came a person who wanted to rip me off with some tuk-tuk tour; but then I realized Thailand’s scam artists were just not good at their job. See, a Thai scammer will just keep talking, which gives you chances to to say “no!”; I’ve traveled to other countries with scammers before and, let me say, if you want me to say “yes!” to a 50-real shoeshine, you’ve got to be closing pretty well. Perhaps we need to send Alec Baldwin to get ol’ Bangkok to shape the tourist-harassers up.

Now, in between “need tuk-tuk?”s, I did manage to get some sightseeing in. I got to check out a number of Wats, and even wandered my way to Monk Bowl city, where they make the alms bowls for monks. Along the way, I got three or four good meals at streetside restaurants (apparently, Thais like to eat several small meals a day — a good way for me to lose weight!). At one of these restaurants, I perplexed the poor patrons and chefs with my total inability to answer even the simplest question in Thai (one man even gave me a dirty look suggesting that I fell short of even his minimal expectations of what any reasonable visitor should know how to say). Even with that, I managed to muddle my way into yet another wonderful Thai street meal. I can’t wait to get around town more tomorrow!

For the visual types out there, here are a few of today’s photos:

1 Comment

the photo of the mustachioed statue is fantastic!