There was a worry that I wouldn’t like it here or that I’d feel so out of place I’d want to go home but that’s far from the truth. We both feel strangely content with this city and feel right at home. During our first breakfast in the cafe below our room we had a moment of realization and I think it finally set in that we were here. Months ago Christina kept telling me that she didn’t think this trip would happen because she thought one of us would back out. Fast forward to now as she sat with happy tears in her eyes we couldn’t help but laugh and high five! This does not feel like real life.
You’d think walking the streets of Bangkok for the first time would be overwhelming or scary but it’s enjoyable and pretty easy to navigate. Aside from the tuk tuk drivers constantly trying to convince you to take a trip with them, we haven’t encountered anything that made us uncomfortable. NOTE: don’t believe them when they tell you the grand palace is closed for prayer. They are just trying to get you to use their service until it “opens at 3.” I’ll probably explain more about that later. Christina and I have a pretty good system going. I’m good with navigation so I’ve been guiding where we walk to and how to get back to our hostel. Christina is extremely organized so she’s been on top of tracking money and is pretty good at figuring out the conversions in her head. For those of you who don’t know, Thailand is a country on the poor side so our American money converted into around 52,000 Bhat (around $1,600 USD) the exchange rate is always changing but it usually stays between 0.30-0.35. This means that $1 for us is equal to around 30-35 Bhat. It feels a little awkward pulling out a bill that has 1,000 written on it but really it’s around $28 USD. To give you a better example here’s some things we purchased today.
- A large water bottle 15 bhat = $0.43
- Small package of razors 26 bhat = $0.75
- Small bottle of tiger beer 60 bhat = $1.72
- Green curry pork noodle soup 70 bhat = $2.00
I’m so happy with our decision to stay in this guesthouse. The owner, Pom, is more than willing to give advice and help guide us. Her and I believe her mom run the place. Her sons name is Pom Pai and is the cutest little boy I’ve seen! He greets us with a huge smile and waves every time he sees us. During breakfast he kept coming around our table and would just smile at us. His grandmother set up a little play area for him with some toys and an umbrella for shade. It kind of puts things into perspective. Here is this young boy who can’t be more than 3 years old growing up in this guesthouse (they live in the room next to us) constantly surrounded by travelers. You can tell he’s a happy kid. The Thai people are all happy and helpful! They do what they can to work to put food on the table. It makes you realize that our problems back home really aren’t problems at all. We were a little worried telling people we are Americans because of all the negative feelings towards our country right now but I don’t think they care here too much. One of the locals asked us where we were from and when we told him he smiled really big and said “go Obama” lol.
Anyways, it’s 10:30pm here on Friday night and we just woke up from a 5 hour nap. It’s going to take a few days for us to get on Thai time. Tomorrow is the start of the Chatuchak Weekend Market. It’s one of the biggest outside markets with over 5,000 vendors and sees 200,000 people over a 2 day period. Our plan is to spend half of the day there shopping! Put in item requests now! Also, if anyone would like a post card sent to them, send me your address in a Facebook message. I already have a list of people but I’ll be happy to add to it.