Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Bangkok, Thailand

My story starts here with Gino… but first I’m going to upload some photos.

Gino comments in italics

So yesterday’s gefaw for those of you that are keeping score, I had another big RAT FARTS!  As I’m checking into my flight from Cairns to Singapore, you have to show that you have transport out of the country before they will let you in.  I say, I have an electronic ticket from Singapore to Bangkok, but I don’t have proof.  Long story short.. I NEVER BOUGHT MY FLIGHT!!!!!!  So Mr. Payap *(this man is a god you should all travel with his guidance)* to the rescue again saves my bacon and finds out that Air Asia can accomdate my needs but I have to wait until I get to Singapore to buy the flight.  That all works out peachy but certainly a heart attack on my part.

So on the ride from Cairns to Darwin to Singapore to Bangkok.. yes WAY too many planes, I met some lovely Germans who had been traveling for four months.  As we are flying low cost airlines, there is no inflight movie and they were unprepared for that eventuality.  So one of them began reading my Lonely Planet Thailand book and quizing me on phrases from the back.  Lo and behold the only one I didn’t get (RIGHT!) was “Excuse me sir, do you mind if I breasfeed!”  Well that was goof for 30 minutes of laughter and LOTS AND LOTS of strange looks from the other passengers!

Arriving in Bangkok after far too many glasses of wine and a few beers I am walking through the Bangkok airport and I hear “BILL!”  Yes folks its true.. The WOP has arrived.. hold your pants on Thailand!  BTW.. Brian.. I’ll be collecting my free dinner for Gino actually arriing anytime.. Gandy Dancer will be fine!(I think I’ll join you)

So we get to the hotel and I don’t think Gino really thought I would get him there in one piece but here we are. (NOT true, I was so blasted tired at that point that I was just happy to have someone I knew there to take up the slack)  This morning we woke up had a lovely breakfast of noodles, fruit, rice, orange and pinaple juice, eggs, toast and jam and miso soup (LInda, Gino says its just like Hawaii all over!) and then we headed out to visit Mr. Payap who was ready for us and after a small photo shoot with the visa photo folks we were on our way.(DAMN IT Bill paid less for his pictures here than I did back home, and they photoshoped him to make him look good/presentable anyways to boot!)

A walk through Lumpini park ( I have some great shots but I forgot the proper usb cable DOUBLE RAT FARTS!) and a short argument with the taxi driver who wanted to bend me over for a 20 minute ride and we were on our way.  After getting  nearly accosted by two VERY well meaning locals, who really wanted to let us know that there was a government run shop down the street with a massive sale going on.  Gino and I find ourselves getting Linda her baubles(THIS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT DEAR) I don’t need her mad at me, and then.. yes folks its true.. we did do the custom tailor thing.  For $650 I managed to get two cashmere/wool blend suites, custom tailored and a shirt and a silk tie. (I spent less and had 4 custom made shirts, suit, pants, and tie although way more material than Bill but that’s another story)

Then down to the royal palace where we were shanghaied, yes I know wrong country, (truly our only “tourist moment” of the day) by Crazy Kaide … a history major who managed to out talk both Gino and I.. who’d a thunk!  Anyway, a nice tour through the palace and then a quick ride down the river.  We decide to check out the bakpacker slums and we are SOOooooo glad we are not staying here.  Miles and miles of sweaty humans and crap on a shelf and loud and dirty.  Fun to visit but I wouldn’t want to try and sleep here. (we’re going back for the nightlife tomorrow)

OK. . I’v
e got five minutes left of internet time here and we’re still waiting on photos to upload.(Again in the backpackers slums now with “good” Internet back at hotel we finished more uploads)  I hope it gets done soon becuase I have to get back to my fitting for my new suits.  I can’t wait, I hope they turned out really well.

Back from the fabulous fittings here at the Pinnacle and Bill no longer can contain himself at my snail-like typing in comparison to himself so he’s pulling the old Saturday-Night Live classic computer geek skit line “Move” and is now taking over the typing with my commentary dictated in, he always was a ‘easy’ secretary to work with…

Well well well.. Brian (coop and Stu), this ones for you guys.  Remember when I was leaving home and I said I was going to eat every strange thing I could find.. Well tonight I started that adventure.  First it was Crazy Kadie making us try every kind of fruit immaginable and then getting us to buy kilos of the stuff that there is NO WAY we are ever going to eat.  We got the fuzzy fruit and the fruit with the ants crawling on it!  Then it was the icecream.  Thai coconut flavored ice cream made from coconut milk.. but the toppings.. pinapple, corn and yes sticky rice.. very strange but strangely good.

Now.. as we wandered around Ko San road, I have to say that the bug cart came rolling along.  Whats the first thing I think.. I MUST TRY THIS!  As the grasshopper was the most innocuous and most well fried looking item on the cart, Ifigured what the heck.  With a spritz of soy sauce and some hot spices sprinkled on it was off to try them.  I have to admit, it took some nerving up to do which is why my hand was shaking a little when I took a picture of the cart.  The first hopper was a bit “interesting” Gino thought I was going to loose it.  But honestly it tasted not bad at all, more like wood than anything.  Very crunchy, fibrous and salty.  Now.. I’ve been saying all night that I”m going to get a few beers in me one night and try the scorpions that were there but that might take more than a few beers at this point!  Gino was going to wus on the grasshopper but at my last one, which was headless and tiny he relented and downed it.  He’s still not so sure it was a good idea, but I’d eat them again.  Who knows what I’ll be munching on tomorrow. (He talks a big game but it will take MUCH much much drinking for him to well up the courage for that scorpion! And it probably wouldn’t be as bad an idea as drinking the water from the floating market vendor!)

Please remember to click on the more photos button to see all the pictures from today including Gino eating his bug!BTW.. the quiz for the sounds and the fjords.  A sound is carved by a river and then filled by the river water, a fjord is carved by a glacier and filled by glacier runoff.Today’s quiz is the two fruits seen here on our table.  If anyone can name them, please tell us ’cause we have NO idea!  There is a beer in it for you!Bill & Gino

Pictures & Video

More of the palace

 

More of the palace

 

The Royal Palace

And yet one more...

And yet one more…

 

He's got the monkeys.. he's got the monkeys

He’s got the monkeys.. he’s got the monkeys

 

Floating market

Feeding the wicked carp

Feeding the wicked carp

 

Me getting my bespoke suit measured

Me getting my bespoke suit measured

 

Gino measured up for his threads

Gino measured up for his threads

 

ice cream and sweet corn.. hmmmm

ice cream and sweet corn.. hmmmm

 

Name this mystery fruit

Name this mystery fruit

 

maybe for dinner... definitely not for lunch

maybe for dinner… definitely not for lunch

 

Love these markets.. I could cook forever here

Love these markets.. I could cook forever here

 

Love these engine on a stick boats LOL

Love these engine on a stick boats LOL

 

floating market vendors

floating market vendors

 

Stu.. you think your power lines are messy

Stu.. you think your power lines are messy

 

Had no idea this picture was around... LATE NIGHT!

Had no idea this picture was around… LATE NIGHT!

 

The BUG cart

ready to chow...

crunchy, woody.. yummy

crunchy, woody.. yummy

 

Gino looks hesitant yesJ?

Gino looks hesitant yesJ?

 

I don't think he shared my affinity for the bug

I don’t think he shared my affinity for the bug

 

Miles and Miles of crap on a shelf!

Miles and Miles of crap on a shelf!