Monday, February 8th, 2016
Today is Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey! We checked out of the “Hop Inn” and started walking to the bus station, passing through side streets full of food vendors.
We walked by the happiest monk I have ever seen. He seemed overjoyed to see us for some reason. Sadly all the coffee shops were closed until 9 am, but at least there was a super sweet treat at one of the vendors, that resembled French Toast, to indulge in. We grabbed a few snacks to go at 7-11 then returned to the bus station. It wasn’t long until I had to run back to 7-11 to grab tissues, since the bench we sat on had puke all over it. I had the great fortune of placing my hand in it. The year of the monkey was off to a great start.
We stood for the national anthem before loading up on the minivan headed to Bangkok. The van driver was hauling ass, so we didn’t hesitate to put on our seatbelts. As we approached the city, we drove by a guy who had no chin. I simply made the observation out loud, and Trevor said I was being mean. Then he said that, “He looks like a cartoon character.” He kinda did, but I digress.
Once we got dropped off, we weren’t exactly sure where to go. The WiFi suddenly stopped working at the hotel back in Kanchanaburi, so I was unable to book a hostel or additional transport. We agreed to try to get to Khao San Road, a tourist trap, and figure out where to go from there.
What followed was a ball of confusion. We tried to get WiFi with no luck. We tried to get on the metro, but there wasn’t a stop nearby, just a skywalk. We returned to the bus station to ask the Tourist Information Desk which bus we should take. He told us to take Bus #59 or #503. We waited. And waited. And waited. No bus showed up with either of those numbers.
I lost my patience and returned to the information desk hoping that he would circle the road on the map and write in Thai so we could take a taxi or tuk tuk. He was on his lunch break. I walked through traffic to the other side of the station hoping there was another information desk. There was, but this guy was less fluent and less helpful. He wrote in Thai on a piece of paper, which he gave me to show someone where to take us.
I returned and Trevor is irritated. He said the second I stormed off, one of the buses showed up and drove away. I tried to convince myself that he read the numbers wrong and that those buses didn’t even exist. I can be very stubborn and sassy when I’m hungry.
After more waiting, one of the buses finally made an appearance. When I showed the piece of paper to the lady, she has no clue what it said. Maybe the guy had no clue what I wanted. Or maybe the guy just had bad handwriting. I tried using the map to show the driver. Still no comprehension. Luckily a young Thai woman on the bus who was fluent in English came to our rescue. She talked to the bus driver, and informed us when we reached our stop.
To regain our bearings and to hopefully book a place for the night, we went on another hunt for WiFi. Not only were we nowhere near Khao San Road, but just finding a place with WiFi took us some time. We grew more and more frustrated. Our time in Bangkok thus far had been a total clusterfuck!
We eventually found a restaurant with good WiFi and bad karaoke where we both ordered the Pad Thai. I enjoyed mine at first, until I noticed little, teeny, tiny shrimp in the sauce. I have an unpredictable shrimp allergy that has sent me to the hospital two different times back at home. I was glad that I had an EpiPen handy, but was not looking forward to a possible hospital visit. Time passed and I remained reaction free. Sweet, sweet relief!
Jump Back to Part 13: Wrong Stop, Reptiles & The Bat Cave
Jump Ahead to Part 15: A Racist Cabbie & The Asiatique Riverfront
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Mumbai to Chiang Mai