First Impressions of Bangkok

“Miss… Miss?” I snapped back into reality and looked up at the tiny Thai woman staring at me from the front seat of the car. It was 7am and we’d just arrived in Bangkok, and I was like the bleeding walking dead.

I should probably give you a bit of back story…

Just a couple of days before, we’d taken the overnight flight to Dubai; a flight that I didn’t catch a wink of sleep on thanks to some Ann Widdecombe lookalike, who had pushed her seat so far back she was practically nestling her head in my crotch, then proceeded to snore for the next six hours straight. So, by the time we arrived at Dubai at 7 am and had to wait at customs for two hours, while angry looking Sheikh’s stared at my bare elbows in utter disgust, I was completely exhausted.

To make matters worse, we had another four hour wait until we could get into our room so, ignoring any appropriate social standards, I curled up on a beanbag in the smoking room like a cat, and drifted off. After waking up to see a random man staring at me intensely whilst smoking and, forgetting where I was, asking him what he thought he was doing in my bedroom, we finally got into the room and immediately pulled on our shorts and headed to the beach, (where I had my religious experience which, by the way, was a fucking episode in itself.) 

Anyway, that evening – and I say ‘evening’ loosely as happy hour started at 6 pm on the dot, but I was on holiday so you can fuck off with your judgments – that evening I took full advantage of the two hours of free wine, and felt fabulous… until 6 am the next morning when I woke up to vomit… for the next three hours.

Now, I should probably mention that there was a tiny, tiny percentage of myself that was concerned I might be pregnant. Not a big enough percentage to stop me from drinking the night before, but a big enough part to send me into an absolute blind panic when I started throwing up that morning.

I should probably also mention that, as we were only there for one night during the off peak season, we had splashed out on a 5*resort – so getting off the chauffeured buggy to throw up into a rose bush was very uncool on my part.

Anyway, after spending a day searching for a pregnancy test, (which, as you can probably imagine, is a lot more difficult to find in Dubai than in Liverpool, where I can just wander into Boots and ask our Sheila for her Sunday morning special) we headed back to the airport.

Oh and, if you’re interested, it turned out that I wasn’t with child, instead I just had one hurricane of a hangover. So off we went, for our second night-flight; this time to Bangkok…

And we’re finally back to Bangkok…

I can’t actually remember why I didn’t sleep on the Bangkok flight – probably because I’m not the Elephant Man so therefore not all too accustomed to sleeping sitting up – but, as I said before I went all off-track, I was like the walking dead.

“You tired, Miss?”

“Erm… Yes… Sorry, I haven’t really slept.”

“Here, you take sweet.”

She offered me a sweet that looked like a white Werther’s Original and, (thinking, at worst, it might be doused with rohypnol which would mean I’d finally get a good night’s kip) I took it.

As it turns out the sweet wasn’t doused with rohypnol, but it was certainly doused with something as, within ten minutes, I was wide awake and wired. I suspect caffeine… and probably cocaine.

For the first time since stepping off English soil, I felt alive enough to take in my surroundings – and Bangkok was like being hit by a carnival.

The first thing I noticed was the sheer amount of people which, considering Bangkok is the most densely populated area of Thailand, was hardly surprising. But unlike the grey, bland crowds I was used to when working in London, this felt different… colourful. The city was alive; buzzing, unique and like nowhere I’d ever been before.

By the time we got to the Bangkok hotel, thanks to whatever class A drug I may or may not have recently digested, all plans of taking a nap had gone out of the window. Unfortunately it was still on everyone else’s agenda, so – unwilling to start my Bangkok adventure whilst alone and pepped up on happy pills – I decided to burn some energy at the hotel gym.

It was there that the amount of poverty in Bangkok hit me. Many of the buildings, blackened by the pollution in the city, were completely run down; the residents hanging their possessions out the window for lack of space. What shocked me the most, was the make-shift housing directly below me; a shanty town made from sheets of corrugated iron balanced precariously on top of one another, nestled at the foot of the hotel. There I was pounding away on the treadmill, whilst toddlers – no older than two years old – ran around in the pouring rain with no shoes on. As a visitor to a country, it’s hard to know how, (besides buying things at the Bangkok Floating Market) what you can help in that situation.

So yeah; I didn’t really have high expectations of Bangkok, but within ten minutes of arriving that had changed. It was, by far, one of the most exciting and eye opening places I’ve ever been lucky enough to visit.

 

19 comments… read them below or add one

Leanne: A Little Bit Fabulous January 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

Hahaha I can’t believe you took the sweet! I wonder what was in it? xxx

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Scarlett January 21, 2013 at 8:49 am

Cocaine? Crack? Whatever it was it made me feel fabulous lol xx

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Daniel McBane January 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Another reason I’m glad I’m not a woman: if throwing up in the morning can indicate pregnancy, I would have spent a fortune on pregnancy tests in college…

Bangkok is a cool city, but after a few days, I end up getting so sick of it, I have to flee to the jungles in the north or the beaches in the south.

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Scarlett January 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Bangkok is the only place I’ve visited in Thailand – I’d love to see the beaches of the South, I’ve heard so much about them! x

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Babs January 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

This is hilarious girl. Nothing like knockin’ it into a rose bush to really feel alive is there

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Scarlett January 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

LOL. Nothing like it x

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abeerfortheshower January 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I loved Bangkok. For me, the poverty added a bit of charm to it, because while yes, people had makeshift shanties, kids were running around barefoot, and stray dogs were just walking around like everyday people, no one seemed to have a problem with this. The Thai people seemed content, and full of life, and always eager to greet you with a smile. But that may be because I’m a halfway decent looking white guy. Which still makes for fun times, like when a random Thai woman ran up to me, kissed me on the cheek while her friend took a picture, and exclaimed in broken English, “I kiss Brad Pitt the American!’

The one and only time I will ever be mistaken for that man. :(

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Scarlett January 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Hahaha that’s amazing! I know what you mean about it adding to the charm xxx

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Hogga January 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm

who doesn’t like a good crotch nestle?

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Scarlett January 21, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Never a truer word spoken x

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snowbird January 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I found Bangkok to be a curious mixture of abject poverty and affluence living side by side.
I loved the place, especially the floating markets and the temples.xxxxx

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Scarlett January 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm

It’s fabulous isn’t it xx

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ShimonZ January 22, 2013 at 5:59 am

Oh you and your wonderful luck… where does one pick up some of that at 8:00 o’clock in the morning…

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Scarlett January 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

LOL Shimon! Your comments never fail to make me giggle x

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Kris January 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I’ve never been to Bangkok, but I always find developing countries have such a crazy mix of the upscale and modern and real poverty. It’s kind of a stark contrast, but it makes you grateful.

Speaking of grateful, how is two hours of free wine a thing? I need this to happen and figure out how to source cocaine and caffeine-laced Werthers. It would certainly make retirement homes more exciting.

You crack me up! Haha. xoxo

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Scarlett January 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

Haha it definitely would make retirements homes more interesting, I would look forward to getting old. xxx

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Koren @ City Gal February 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I absolutely love Bangkok! I had the same initial thoughts – I arrived super late at night, had no idea if the taxi was taking me to the right place, was kind of scared to walk around, etc. A few days later, I was in love!

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Scarlett February 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

It’s fabulous isn’t it, once you’ve had a day to settle in x

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Joshua November 14, 2013 at 9:55 am

Bangkok was an eye opener for me too… Within six hours of landing, I found myself pawed on onto my friend’s friends (plural) and had a rather good threesome lasting all weekend which included added delights such as shopping, drinking, a cinema trip, meeting world famous lighting architects, brunch right after breakfast, more drinking, free clothes (including a $350 Ralph Lauren suede leather jacket), a Hannibal marathon and a biopic about Liberace. After it was over I did more shopping, had another threesome at a naked hot tub party, had communal bathtime with the boys at the Japanese spa, party party party, drink drink drink and then I had to take a break from it all and go to Singapore for some peace and quiet (but I just ended up drinking the same amount for 3 times the price). I did however return a week later for some more social activity and had to make a little £100 trip to the international hospital just to tell a doctor how to treat gono. It can only happen to me.

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