I originally went to Thailand to do some teacher training in 2011. I boarded a plane straight from my teaching job in Seoul. I had quested whether I was making the right decision… Did I have enough money saved up? Was this training worth the money? Ect.
The sun was bright in Thailand and there were palm trees. I welcomed the the sun after being in Seoul. I liked Seoul but the cloudy days did get to me.
After I landed I took a taxi to my hotel. I couldn’t believe I was in Thailand. It was a lot like I expected. BKK was rowdy with people and traffic. The streets were busy with people selling things and going places. It was a big city and I liked it. Some of the buildings looked looked dirty and unkept on the outside. Other buildings looked nice and clean and new. The overall vibe was good. Traffic got worse as we got closer to the hotel. I was on a new journey and thought about staying after my teacher training was over with.
I chose a hotel near the central area. It was small but decent. The staff was friendly. I found my room. The teacher training started in Cambodia, so I had a few days before that. After two weeks in Cambodia the whole class would take bus to Thailand and we would finish the training in Pattaya. The whole thing lasted a month.
I spent some time in my hotel room and went outside after the sun went down. I found a Seven Eleven and bought some drinks and street food. Tuk-tuk drivers swarmed me as I walked trying to take me here or there, promising me a massage from pretty girls. I grew tired of it quickly. The area became alive at night with a night market, vendors selling street food, strip clubs. Ladyboys walked the area looking for clients. It was something else. It was a culture shock for sure. I went back to my air-conditioned room and ate and rested. I quickly fell asleep.
The next day I woke up and went to the lobby for breakfast. It was a decent buffet and coffee. A Japanese couple sat in the table next to me. There was an American man sitting with his Thai wife or girlfriend. He talked about money the whole time. It bored me. I liked money but I didn’t enjoy hearing others talk about their money. Thailand had some interesting people for sure. Much more interesting than Korea.
After breakfast I decided to search for an art gallery. I had to cross the street where there was no light to stop the cars, yet people would just walk across like it was nothing. Like they had super powers to dodge cars. I tried it and I made it across. It was a miracle!
I was looking for the shopping mall that had the art galleries. I checked my map and it seemed close enough to walk so I started. I walked and walked. It wasn’t so far but the sun beat down on me. I was sweating pretty good. Finally I found it. The cool air-con was amazing as I entered the mall. It was a cheap looking mall nothing fancy but busy with shoppers. I found the art galleries in the basement. There were some bad paintings and photography but a few paintings were amazing. One painter had good style she painted women in a kind of loose way. It was great. She was there in the gallery painting on the floor.
The woman painting looked like a ladyboy but I couldn’t tell. There were a lot of ladyboys in Thailand and many looked just like women. Sometimes you could tell, sometimes you couldn’t. Anyway her art work was great and made me happy.
I went to another gallery where I saw a gallery owners and a photographer. I could feel their glare as I walked into the gallery.They didn’t treat me kindly. Which made no sense. because I could have been a possible buyer.
Strolled back out into the heat and decided to take a bus back to the hotel. I got back and found a Starbucks. I made some conversation with a Thai barista.Her name was Prim. She was kind and gave me some hints about local restaurants and where to eat. Before we parted she asked if I wanted to go with her friends to a cake shop. I said ok and I would meet her the next day.
I met up with Prim and her friends the next day. Her friends weren’t as kind as she was but that didn’t bother me. I was a stranger to them. We got a cab and went to the cake shop. Prim and her friends seemed to come from somewhat wealthy backgrounds. They told me about the neighbourhood as we rode in the cab. Prim was set to got to design school in London in the Fall. We got to the cake shop and ordered cake. It was good. I never ate cake except on birthdays. I said goodbye and headed back to my room.
I went back out to walk around. As I walked I found a park with many people. Traffic was loud and it was hot. There was some kind of a political demonstration in the park. Everyone wore white or red. I found a seven eleven and bought some water and drinks. I headed back to my room.
That night I went out for a drink. There was a night market near my hotel and I browsed the vendors. They sold t-shirts, DVDs, toys, knives, souvenirs, buddhas, you name it. I followed some foreigners that went int to a bar. It was a shady looking bar with girls serving drinks.
The music was a bit loud. I sat down and ordered a drink.
Then a girl came and sat down next to me. Then another girl. I din’t like it. The energy was bad. Very bad. I could feel the negative vibes. When they brought the drink they charged me $20 US dollars. Ahh… a scam. Should I pay or run I thought? I decided to pay as to avoid a knifing or some goon beating me up. I paid and got out of there fast. I walked the streets some more.
I liked BKK but now it was time for me to head to Cambodia.