Day 5: Holla City Of Squala

When I was back home, people who had been travelling would return, only to regale everyone with stories of their intrepid adventures, and, coming from a dead end town, let me tell you, it was darn exciting to hear, which for a long time, made me want to go travelling myself. However, even though we had already seen temples, tasted new cultural food, and, been engulfed in a new lifestyle, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. Maybe, it was just because I had a rotten cold, I don’t know, but the whole travelling thing wasn’t living up to the pedestal that I had mounted it upon.
Five days, FIVE DAYS, was all it took, before I was free of the pessimism, and began having a fresh, new, positive outlook, and, understood what the big deal was with the traveller’s lifestyle. It turned out, the thing that had been missing, wasn’t that of other cultures, or new experiences, but that of friendship. It was at breakfast that it hit me, there we were, all of us from the night before, sat around an elongated table, enjoying a variety of dishes, from fruits, to noodles, and I couldn’t help but think, “that without new people to share this with, what sort of an adventure would this be?”. I’ve always been someone who enjoys meeting new people, but up until then, Sarah and I, hadn’t really had the opportunity, due to us having our own room, as opposed to a dorm. This would be the main thing I’d grow to love about travelling, because, there is no other time, than when you’re travelling, that you will get a plethora of people, or a smorgasbord of countries all under the same roof.
After another complicated bill, we all set off to an outdoor market (yay more markets), but first, back to the hostel to get a taxi arranged for us, it was here, at the hostel, that I noticed a new member of our crew, she introduced herself as Alix, she was another Canadian, with long blonde hair, standing about five feet six inches, slim build, and, had a nasel piercing. Two taxis were called for us, five girls would go in one taxi (there’s no health and safety in Bangkok apparently) and, four of us in another. In the taxi, the first thing you notice, is the cold temperature, thanks to their air conditioning systems, the next thing you notice, the lack of seatbelts (safe). It took about forty minutes to get us to this overwhelmingly large market, however, we didn’t rendezvous with the other taxi when we arrived, which meant, it was up to us to find them within the walls of this trinket filled labyrinth….. we didn’t, so instead, we did our best to see as many of the stalls as possible. This place was monumentous, and, sold everything conceivably imaginable, from dried fruits to milkshakes, toys to taxidermy, and even, t-shirts to puppies. Yes, they actually sold live puppies there (an Australian lady informed us, there are puppy farms, or factories, I don’t remember which, in Bangkok, where they breed and breed dogs, just to sell off their puppies, don’t buy into it, let’s all work together to veto it, yes!?…. aaaaaand that’s about as far as that campaign will go).
It was just before the puppy stall, that we bumped into two, of the five girls, Alix and Catherine. Catherine was one of the three people, who arrived the previous night during dinner, she too was from England. Catherine stood around five, five, had curly blondish, brown hair, of slim build, and, had a slight husky twang to her voice. After looking around some more stalls, we decided to call it a day, and, go look for a taxi. This was more difficult than first anticipated, as, we had exited at a completely different location to the one we had entered, nonetheless, we found one, and returned to the hostel, leaving Alix and Catherine, who decided to stay behind, and find the other three Canadian girls.
A little while later, before everyone got ready to go out, i met a new guy named James. James was a consultant from Reading, that happened to be travelling for similar reasons to myself. I instantly liked James, because of his upbeat manner, and friendly nature. He is around five feet, eight, or, nine inches, has very short brown hair, and, quite a stocky build. I invited James to join us in the forthcoming nights activities, so, when we were all showered and ready, I introduced him to everyone, and, we all went separate ways. Half of the group (Sarah, Bridgette, Catherine, Sarah, and Danny) deciding to go to Chinatown, and the other half (Ollie, Luke, James, Alix, and myself) deciding to go to a building named Skybar (this place, featured in the movie, Hangover 2, during a scene, where the character, Mr Chang does a deal with an undercover cop, and, a helicopter flies above the building unexpectedly). According to their website, it had a dress code, men had to wear trousers, and shoes, and women were not allowed to wear any footwear that would expose their toes. As it transpired, nobody there appeared to have got the memo.
We all had a quick sit down dinner before setting off, and, when we finally got a taxi to agree to take us to the Skybar, we somehow, managed to find the only driver that didn’t know his way around Bangkok. The journey took around thirty five, to, forty five minutes, and, involved us going to a different location first. This turned out to be a nightclub, I think this was due to the fact, the driver, at some point during the journey, attempted small talk, and said “dancing?” To which everyone replied, “yes, we like dancing”, and, he thought that’s what we wanted (we didn’t). So, after repeatedly saying “Skybar, Skybar!” off we set, constantly eyeing up every high rise, hoping that it was our destination.
Eventually, we arrived, the building was stunning, worthy of any five star rating back home. We were dropped off right outside the front door, and, as we entered the lobby, I couldn’t help but feel as though I didn’t belong there. As we continued through the building, we discovered the elevators, where, we were greeted by bowing hotel staff, that beckoned down one of several elevators for us. While we were waiting for it to descend the sixty four floors, I noticed a giant poster for the Hangover 2, this somehow, made the whole thing feel a little tacky and commercial. “PING”, here it was, our lift had arrived, as we climbed, floor after floor, it was around floor fifty, that my ears popped, due to the altitude we had gained, another “PING”, we had arrived atop the Skybar.
It was here, where we were bowed to again, and guided to the drinking area, a small area, with a panoramic view of Bangkok, where people had gathered, to indulge in false snobbery and drinking. With alcoholic beverages starting at prices around six hundred baht onwards (eight plus pounds back home, which doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, for Bangkok, is a lot), add to that, Sarah informing me, that, she and I, spent a lot of money the previous night, I opted not to buy one there. After everyone, drank up and paid, we moved over to the other outdoor area, the actual area that was in the movie, with steep steps, and a rooftop bar, that hung over the edge of the building. This was worth the time and hassle it took to get there. The staff were quite particular about where you could take photos, but ultimately that didn’t matter, as, the view was something you couldn’t quite capture on camera, and, was an experience in itself, that you’d have to go see for yourselves.
When we had enough, we caught the elevators back down, and, all squeezed into another taxi back to the hostel. It was during the journey back, I thought about what we just witnessed, and, although the building and view were stunning, I couldn’t help feeling as though, inside the building, it was all a bit fake. If I were rich enough to go to places like that regularly, I wouldn’t want people constantly bowing to me, and running around me like servants, as who am I for them to be doing that to? I am no different to them, i could never get used to that lifestyle, or be comfortable in that environment, and it’s sad that there are some people in this world who feel the complete opposite to that statement. I understand that bowing is part of the culture here, and, the people are a lot more friendly than back home, however, that’s not why it seemed fake, there was just something you could pick up on, that made it feel as though the staff put themselves below you somehow, and, it could be easy, if you were raised in that environment, to feel as though you were something greater, than you actually are, fortunately for me, I already know I’m a moron.
Our return journey was drastically quicker than our arrival, on account of our driver actually knowing his way, he took about ten to fifteen minutes in total to get us to NapPark. It was there, in the lobby, that we met up with the other group that went to Chinatown, to briefly exchange stories of our experiences, before climbing the wooden stairs to our beds, to conclude another exciting day in Bangkok.


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