Monday, June 22, 2009

Sawasdee Ka!

Flashback to Thailand

March 2008
Bangkok

I had all of two days to explore the city that blinds your senses with color and curry. Also known as "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit ". Ha! That's the full ceremonial name of the city. And here Pingu(BFF) thought her hometown of Tiruchirapalli was albatross-y. ;)

Well, this is how my checklist ran :

1. Visited the many Wats(temples) in the city, each flaunting ornate sculpturing and thoroughly unpronouncable names. Example : Wat Benchamabophit.


2. Bravely tried the local cuisine. (Which includes more types of arachnids and insects than I knew existed.) Suffice to say, I developed a passionate love for Thai food since that very day.

3. Shopped for trashy souvenirs and beautiful wooden candle stands at the Night Bazaar. (Which is so unimaginably huge and labyrinth-like, I could be lost there forever and never run out of things to gawk at.)

4. Rode a Tuk-Tuk. (Refer to picture)


5. Toured the city along the Chao Phraya river, in a boat steered by a drunk Thai.

6. Haggled about a set of handcrafted chopsticks with a woman who spoke absolutely no English, at the floating market on the river. Also, after providing for the amusement of the waiters at a posh restaurant for about half an hour, I managed to master their use. I now use them to eat Maggi noodles at home, and pooh-pooh at forks..

7. Squeezed into a traditional Thai silk dress. The pretty black thing now adorns my wardrobe to up its exotica quotient. Right next to the GAP hot pants that never got out of the same Alcatraz. ;)

8. Last, but definitely not the least, explored the highly infamous Patpong market, which, unbeknownst to me, was flanked on both sides by strip clubs. No, make that two unending parallel lines of supernumerary strip clubs, one next to the other, catering to all tastes and *cough* orientations. Crossdressers are all the rage, apparently.And yes, we landed up there as innocent wanderers, with no clue as to what we were about to see. My eyes found more reasons than one to turn into saucers every now and then. Memorable, in a hilarious sort of way.

And you've got to love a matriarchal society. Not like Thailand has much of a choice in the matter. Men hardly exist. That might be a slight exaggeration, but the sex-ratio there is majorly skewed. So essentially, it's a society dominated by women. For women. The only congregation of the male specie I saw, was a group of farmers on strike(doing nothing at all) . That's a study in contrasts for someone born and brought up in India.

Moving on, the cab driver we hired to show us around turned out to be a riot, in his own right. He was named Dow-Dow, and chuckled like a hyena at the slightest provocation. :) Nice guy, he was. Thai people, from what I observed, are extremely friendly. From the woman in the silk store who welcomed us with "Andar aaiye", and through the course of the next 15 minutes, worked at acquiring as extensive a Hindi vocabulary as we could offer her, to Mr. Dow-Dow himself, who insisted on playing a DVD of Himesh Reshammiya's songs to make us feel right at home. Heh..Little did he know!

So there we were, out on a starry starry night, in a foreign land and cruising in a luxury sedan, with that irritating nasal voice blaring out for the entertainment/horror of all and sundry. It could easily have been a truck in Bihar, with little difference. That was the moment I almost felt a certain respect for Reshammiya. Thankfully, the state of mind didn't last long.

3 comments:

Mer-curial-maiden said...

:D I'm glad I'm prepared for Bangkok now!

My Evil Self said...

I'm sure you'll enjoy it.. :)

weevil girl said...

o-m-g. i never have awesome places to visit. watte.