Last week Eevee writer James Willis embarked on an adventure of a lifetime, travelling around the world on his own. He kindly agreed to document his journey in these very pages and here, in his first submission, our intrepid explorer finds himself in a disorientating Bangkok….
I arrived in Bangkok yesterday afternoon, local time, only to be greeted with the kind of humidity that is usually saved for the underside of a saucepan lid. I managed to get a rough price range for a taxi from the guy sitting next to me on the plane, so when it came round to getting to the hotel, I wouldn’t be ripped off.
As it turns out, my constantly asking for the price to be lower meant I actually ripped off the taxi driver instead and not the other way around. I knew my football manager negotiation practice would come in handy at some point. The taxi driver proceeded to shout things at me for the entire journey, which I confess, I nodded along to without understanding most of it. A short conversation about football quickly turned to him asking if there were any women in my life. He then decided to shout “Gareth Bale! Gareth Bale!” at me. I can only assume he believes Gareth Bale is the woman in my life.
A long awkward journey later and I got to the hotel. Not too scummy, which by Bangkok standards is considered incredibly posh.
One team meeting later, having met my tour group and tour guide, we were taken to an authentic Thai dive for dinner.
Feeling ready to take on the world after my taxi negotiations success, I plumped for the crab in coconut milk (with rice, which I assume is standard issue).
It was only after I’d finished that I realised I was supposed to take the shell off first. Perhaps this is why I’ve spent all night throwing up.
We did go out for drinks, but I managed to unwittingly become the responsible one of the group by having one light bottle.
That night I realised how depraved Bangkok is though. Endless people asking me if I wanted to see a “Ping Pong show” which I was too naive to understand at first.
There was another group of women going around selling wristbands with slogans that can only be described as utterly classless. I never thought I’d be the one setting the standard for class, but as it turns out, by Bangkok’s standards I’m practically the king of class.
Tomorrow, I’m going on a canal tour of Bangkok, before getting an overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai up north. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this is slightly less “in your face” about everything.
Once there we stock up for 2 days of hill tribe trekking and one of rafting.
I realise I should be forcing myself to enjoy this trip, but other than the company in my tour group, I’ve found there is nothing to enjoy in Bangkok.
It’s so completely classless and shameless about it, that landing in Sydney in a fortnight’s time will be a very welcome relief.