Thursday, April 19, 2007

Day Thirteen (Thursday April 19th)

Hope it's nothing like Friday the 13th.

I leave Cambodia and feel really happy about this portion of the trip. I saw amazing things and learned a lot about them. I know that my college does alumni adventures where you travel with profs and other grads and I think that might be a good way to travel next time.

I also spent the time alone and did just fine with it once I got into the groove. Cheesy though it may sound, being so far away, by myself, around the temples provided me with a good opportunity to reflect and I have some clarity on things that have been rolling around in my head. BUT, some things I thought I was clear on are suddenly less clear. That's just gonna happen I guess. I wasn't expecting any Eureka "This is the meaning of life" thoughts but there were things on my mind before I left that I wanted to resolve in my head. Some things are resolved, others are not. So there you have it.

I arrive back at BKK. I am getting intimately familiar with this airport. One thing I've learned is that the architects were also marketers. In order to get anywhere you have to pass through very nicely staged alluring shops. They have a Tods shop in the airport. Coach. D&G. High end anything, you name it, you can buy it here.

Today is my day in Bangkok. I was supposed to have already been to Bangkok twice with my sister but sleep won out both times and I'm gonna feel like an idiot if I don't see Bangkok when I'm here.

I find a $4.00 bus into the city. Teri took a cab in when she was here and it was expensive.

Ok, I'm sorry. But, to say that Bangkok airport is in Bangkok is like saying Westchester Airport is in New York City. In other words, it's a very long bus ride.

Bangkok feels a lot like New York. Busy, a little dirty, and kind of icky in the heat. New York has been on my mind lately and I remember living there and my love/hate relationship with that city. I wonder if Bangkok has a Brooklyn equivalent.

I imagine being a tourist in New York. What would I make of the city at a visitor? I probably would get lost and confused and overwhelmed in a minute. Good thing I lived there.

I have lunch at "Cabbages and Condoms." Instead of mints with the bill, I get condoms. I imagine putting them in my bag and forgetting that they're there and then being like "Errrr, they're souvenirs!" A likely story, right?

I wander around Bangkok a little longer. I know there is much to explore but somehow the crowds and the heat and the lateness in the day eats away at my motivation to explore it properly. The city hasn't exactly gotten rave reviews from folks I've asked about it so I don't feel too badly when I "call it a day" having left many of the "must sees" unchecked.

Will I be back to Bangkok again? I think so. I've always wanted to visit Vietnam and I would likely do that through Bangkok. I can also see myself returning to Laos just to shop when I have a house to furnish. It's funny the pressure a traveler can feel to do things when in a certain part of the country just because you're there - regardless of the interest or energy you might have to do those activities.

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