Monday, June 8, 2009
The Thai people have the most contagious smiles you've ever seen.
My dad hooked me up with a group tour for 5 days of Thailand that include Pattaya and Bangkok. There are a couple of ups and downs to group tours.
-you don't really have to do much thinking, you're like a bunch of chickens told where to go, when to wake up, where to eat
-amazing thai food
-107 different opportunities to meet someone new & practice my vietnamese
-you don't really have to do much thinking
-There are 107 other people on this tour, 30 or so in my group....90% of 'em only speak Vietnamese
-many families bonding on holiday don't make for a particularly great 21 year old
I'll expand on this last part. On my second day with the group I chatted a bit with one man whose wife and son were on the tour, his English wasn't great but we managed to understand each other. On the third day a man named Hung sat next to me on the bus and was reading the Pattaya local newspaper in English. Score! We shared a couple of laughs and his charming family (grandmother, mother, and father) would never lose sight of me come every meal, they'd wave at me and pat the empty chair closest to them. You know you're in the club once both families you have spent time with call you to sit with them during breakfast and you stand indecisive for a few minutes embarassed to choose.
-pad see ew, for breakfast...
-ah here lunch is pretty much seen at breakfast give or take some eggs, cereal, and toast
-jelly, crushed ice, and some sweet syrup for dessert
Last night was by far one of my favorites. Bored and in need of a walk in order to aid in digesting all the food I inhaled I asked Hung to join me. We ended up in Pot Pun, a lively district in Bangkok that had many "sexy shows," open air bars, discotecs, huts of souvenirs, and of course the hundreds of massage parlors. We passed by several men advertising the shows and kept walking until the topic came up, Hung asked whether or not I had ever been to one seeing as how I appeared a bit clueless as to whether it was a strip bar or plain show with women in bikinis. He insisted it was part of Thai culture so on we went into a show that was barely twice the size of an average dorm room at Loyola. And whoa what an experience that was...I witnessed things coming out of a woman I was not thrilled to see. After a half hour of chit chat about this profession we left and we stopped to watch a band play "Hotel California," which you can't ever really neglect, my father has taught me better. We hung around there for a couple of hours since the venue turned into somewhat of a club that was packed for a Monday evening. Then we headed towards a coffeeshop and talk about the educational system in Vietnam and Hung's career in advertising.
Oh! we rode a tuc tuc back to the hotel where we were staying which was pretty extravagant, a tad too much for my taste even though hotels are not my preferred method of lodging (if we haven't spoken about it yet, you are in desperate need of knowing about couchsurfing..message me).
There are some pretty funny characters on this tour and I've picked up a few handy Vietnamese words as well as passed on some Spanish ones :)
Today we head back to Saigon around noon and ideally I'll kickstart my journey from there.