Thursday, August 26
Still recovering from all of my travels around Myanmar and back into Thailand, I slept in really late again for the third day in a row. In the late afternoon, after a late lunch at May Kaidee's, I finally went for a walk. I thought about hopping on the Chao Phraya river taxi to feel some of that cool river breeze. Instead, still feeling the gastro-intestinal effects of that awful Myanmar food, I got sidetracked at Santichaiprakarn Park, where I sat down on some sandbags and relaxed. A young German traveler, whose name I forgot, joined me. He said he never forgets a face and that he remembered me from the Red Dragon hostel in Kuala Lumpur, but unfortunately, I didn't recall seeing him. He has been on the road in Southeast Asia for several months and will continue until the end of this year. He stays in only the barest bones cheapest rooms, eats only street food and walks around seeing only free sights.
After he left, I bought a drink and sat on a concrete bench right by the water while the crazy aerobics ladies started up their daily techno pop-fueled workout. A friendly Thai man, whose name I didn't catch, started up a conversation with me. Due to the loud music and his strong accent, it was hard to tell what he was saying, but I did catch that he is 35 and works for Nissan, where he makes about $350 per month. This guy had such a jovial, animated personality, it was pretty funny. At one point, a big wave from a boat came up, splashed against the river wall and all over my right side. My camera was in my right pocket, but, luckily, it was nestled safe inside its case. I moved to another bench a few yards away from the water.
The Thai guy said goodbye and another local--this one a lady--started talking to me. It's amazing how many Thai people are so friendly and outgoing, especially toward foreigners. People in the United States hardly ever approach me just to talk, but in Thailand, it happens quite frequently. Sure, some of them end up trying to sell you something, but many others do not. Back to the lady: her name is Pim, she is also in her 30s and works in a massage shop off of the Thanon Khao San tourist center. Like many Thai people, she is very poor, and shares a one-room apartment with two other women. Her personality was more subdued than the Thai fellow I just met, and she seemed very humble and kind. After we chatted for an hour or so, I decided to head back to my room, stopping for a yummy veggie and cheese sandwich at a food stall on the way.