Lazy in Thailand

Mon, 19 May 2008 03:40:53 +0000

Skim-Reading Bangkok Index Nong Khai and Vientiane

Yesterday I tore around the sights like a man possessed. Today, I just wasted lots of time. It turns out that this also is possible in Bangkok.

Breakfast was again fried rice, and again it wasn't quite enough for me, so I got a croissant at Starbucks. For a while there I had no access to Starbucks, and broke the habit, but I can't seem to help myself in Bangkok. On the way back, I also bought some odd-looking fruit to munch on. I later saw a woman preparing it for sale, and realised that this is jackfruit, which I've always wanted to try. It's pretty good, although a little dull.

Feeling lazy, I decided to go back to the Siam centre to wander around pretending to look at stuff. It's huge and I quickly got lost. They need more maps. There wasn't much to interest me except the toys. I'm an uncle now, and thus have a reason, or rather an obligation, to wander around toy shops looking for cool stuff. Of course Aubrey, being a two year old girl, is principally interested in Star Wars lego, so that's where I concentrated my attention.

Then back to the food court for lunch. I bought a mixed seafood hot and sour soup, which was exactly what it claimed to be. I then noticed that a stall was selling those rice-pudding-like things I'd had in Hat Yai, and so I bought some of those. This time the sign said they were "kanom krok swoei", and that they're filled with coconut pudding. These ones kept squirting hot pudding over my fingers when I tried to eat them.

If I did little with the morning, I did less in the afternoon. More sitting around drinking coffee and catching up on the news. I had bought one hour of wifi internet access from an internet cafe, which rather cheekily cost more than an hour of access in front of a machine. But the advantage is that I could log in, grab a bunch of stuff to read, and then log out again, so the hour lasted me the whole day.

In all my lazing around, I'd almost forgotten a couple of jobs I needed to do. I needed to buy some postcards, which, given that this is Bangkok, wasn't hard. I also needed to get some passport photos for the Lao border crossing tomorrow. That required leaving the Siam centre, so before I left I got another meal from the food court. I wanted to try the green papaya salad, since I'd seen this described elsewhere. I got some with fried chicken and sweet chili sauce. Actually, I wasn't even sure which bit was the green papaya. Refreshing, but not brilliant.

Back on Sukhumvit road I found a photo-processing place that would make some passport photos. They used a dusty old polaroid camera to do so. I would have thought everything would be digital nowadays. The photo was dreadful, with me sweating and my hair greasy and tangled. But it's supposed to match what I'll look like at the Lao border tomorrow, so it's probably exactly right.

And then, to round off a lazy day, on the skytrain I had noticed a sign for a pub that sold John Smiths, and I found myself really lusting after a proper beer. So I went to this pub, the black swan. As you would expect, it was full of brit ex-pats swearing about Thailand. And my beer cost 220 baht, which is outrageous. So I drank it up and went to Starbucks instead.

Then it was time to catch my train. The station is pretty basic for the size of Bangkok, without even seats for the people waiting. Fortunately I could just wander straight onto my train. This time I'm on the top bunk. It's pretty dirty and decrepit, and there are small cockroaches about, but I get to lie flat, so that's all I need. Here I am in my little capsule:

Skim-Reading Bangkok Index Nong Khai and Vientiane