|Subject: First Impressions
Date: 18 Sept, 2002
I managed to consolidate all of my freakout into the period immediately preceeding my departure.
Now I'm fine.
Its always anticlimactic (sp?) to arrive I find. After enough time on the road you realize that going to Bangkok is really no different than going to Ballard. It's essentially the same experience only it takes a little longer to get here...
And the wierdest thing is that it is actually almost exactly what I expected. Main discrepancy being that its more low key than I imagined; I have only been propositioned twice by rickshaw pimps, and nobody's offered me drugs yet. Other than that, I have to wonder what all these pretty thai girls are doing sitting on the side of the street. If this was capital hill I would still think it odd that they'd be hanging out in a misty rain on the side of the road with their friends. But still, they avoid eye contact, and for the most part tend to ignore me as women tend to do most everywhere I go.
Still, there are an abundance of 24 hour internet cafe's, and the tea is courtesy of lipton, british style, with sugar and coffeemate brought without question. But its not chai, so that distinguishes thailand from india. That and the absence of cows. I'm really sad that there are no cows to be honest. The stray dogs are the same, but the absence of cows really detracts from the whole rickshaw through the muddy, smelly, lived-in streets experience.
Nevertheless, by and large, it IS exactly what I expected: I slightly more user-friendly version of india.
considering I haven't gotten to bed before 4:30 any night for the last five days, and that I've been up since... god only knows... Plane landed at 10, a 6 hour flight, three hour lay over than another ten hour flight, um. Beth drove me to the airport, up at nine on three and a half hours of sleep and I've been drinking consistantly since thursday at three... Well, you do the math cause I certainly can't. Again. The funny thing is I feel fine. spiffy. Like I'm home again.
So here I sit at 2:10 am typing away at one baht a minute sipping on western tea and typing on an unsecured windows box in thailand. I accidentally brought all of my t00lz from my last job, so I am certainly a menace to Thai society. 192.168.0.23... and I'm sitting at box #23... Windows 98, no authentication. Fuck. Shit. I came here to get AWAY from this! Wait... was that it?
I actually was just now wondering why I came here. I can't really come up with a good answer. The top five are something like: 5) was laid off from my job and had nothing better to do 4) Just checking another one off the list 3) well, I am buddhist after all 2) Its been a "b" plan in my life for a long-ass time, and the "A" plan left itself open. 1) reason? what reason!
Across the street there's the Lavva Club or some shit. Red flame light boxes edge the door. A few "stores" up there was a space about ten feet deep with mechanoid creature art for sale. Welded salvage art. The artist had a pretty convincing alien from the movie "Aliens" as well as two pieces that were distinctly "Episode I". (and suddenly all the foreignness was gone...)
So far so good, the money I bought from Thomas Cook was enough to get me away from the airport, into a hotel room, caught up on my vices, email and such, and I still have enough for tomorrow. The exchange rate still eludes me, but I think I'm paying slightly less than ten bucks for my hotel, which would be exhorbinant if it didn't have AC. I did find a prison cell for 180 baht, but I really do insist on having a window on the outside world. Its quite pleasant outside right now; the monsoon's drizzle has cooled it down to maybe 75 degrees. but tomorrow it will still be wet and 90 degrees. Those of you from north carolina ought to know how that feels. Oh wait. its about 40 baht to the dollar. When I was in india it was 44 rupee to the dollar. Well, that certainly simplifies things...
So the travel depression has set in right on cue. I miss my friends and want to go home, well, to Linda's actually, but with my good friends and make a fool of myself in the comfort of family. But that's just not an option now, so I'll just have to suck it up and tour Thailand I guess.