Consciousness slowly rolls into my mind, like slow fingers of orange that creep upon the horizon at sunrise. I wake up with a slumberous stretch, my hands rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. Uncurling out of bed, the realisation hits me – this is my first official day in Bangkok. No time for the weary! I am raring to go.
As I found out quickly enough, this sentiment was not shared 😦
So maybe yes, we got back to the apartment at 4 a.m. Still, 9 a.m. should have been a decent time for people to wake up, right? Apparently not. Well, no fuss. Throwing in the bare necessities into my backpack, I am out the door.
My first step onto the pavements of the Land of Smiles is like stepping into a new world altogether. Unlike Singapore, Bangkok is organized chaos. It is loud, it is vibrant, it has a rich fragrance of oil saturating its streets. I lose a little piece of my heart to this city.
Walking a good 40 minutes, a taxi driver stops for me and offers me a ride. Naturally, my defences go up. But well, he offers to put on the meter and I am sweaty by then. I accede and take the front passenger’s seat. Which is when things go awry (as they are apt to).
A hand snakes up my leg and my thoughts start running wild. THIS IS THE LAST MY FRIENDS WILL EVER HEAR FROM ME. WHY DID I LEAVE BY MYSELF? OHMYGOD I’M GONNA GET KILLED AND KIDNAPPED AND RAPED. In his broken english, the cab driver propositions me – “I Want You” (Yes, I could hear the caps). Except – y’know what, driver? I think I see that mall. Yeah! There! I want to get off there!
Thank god he let me out of the cab – my phone battery was naturally, dead (because why would it work when I’m lost in the city, right? That would be too convenient).
I exit and for am a moment, slightly bewildered. Keep Calm and Pad Thai, I say however. I sit on a small stool by a roadside shop and order a plate. This English boy – Shaun – plops himself next to me and voila I have a new friend. His pup (Chocolate) is too cute, too! Naturally, Shaunie is here to teach English and has an adorable british accent. Which works very well on the shopkeeper, since she offers to teach us how to make our own Pad Thai. Which we did.
After we are done, Shaunie helps me charge my phone for awhile as he drives me in his pickup to a local grocer’s, where I catch a motorbike taxi to the BTS station. All this, and it has just turned noon. What an adventure.
And while I am on the back of the motorbike, wind teasing my hair and hippy pants flying in the breeze, Mandy and Supei hunker down in their seats, waiting to join the cray of Bangkok.