Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Day of Many Firsts

Some pictures from the day:

First meal in Bangkok. This is a curry noodle soup with chicken, eggs, green onions, ground peanuts, some spiciness, and other goodness.

Ian's having curried rice with chicken, cucumber, and a sweet dipping sauce. Our lunch was 70 baht (US $2) combined. We love Thailand already.

First Buddha sighting. Shortly followed by second, third, fourth...thirtieth Buddha sightings.
This is the Big Buddha. We were visiting another temple this morning, where a very nice Thai man informed us that today is the Big Buddha's birthday, and is the only day all year when admission is free. He also told us that 25 is a very unlucky age for the Thai people. Apparently, they all get into accidents when they're 25 – he even showed us a scar on his head from his motorcycle accident. He advised us to go to the Big Buddha immediately and pay our respects, in order to receive good luck this year. This seemed like a good idea to us, and it turns out we were able to walk there from our guest house.Big Buddha's feet. Check out the coconut by his big toe, to give you a sense of scale.

Our trip got off to a bit of a rough start. We had an excellent flight to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific. We sat in an exit row and had no one sitting next to us. Would I like to partake of your complimentary ice cream? Why, yes! Yes, I will eat your shrimp cocktails. Yes, I will watch your excellent selection of movies on demand. Yes, I would love to try the passion fruit mousse. Yes, I will wear your complimentary hermetically-sealed socks. Free shrimp cocktails and socks...they knew their audience.

I was very excited to see the lights of Hong Kong from the air, and Ian and I walked off the plane feeling better than we've ever felt after a long-distance flight. Unfortunately, we soon realized that we had walked off the plane without his wallet. The cleaning crew hasn't found his wallet, and we've filed reports with the airline and the airport. Fortunately, we have all my cards so we're doing fine for money, but if the wallet doesn't turn up it'll be a hassle to cancel the cards and get new ones while overseas. Poor guy.

We were also frazzled when the first ATM we tried rejected my card. So did the second, third, and fourth ATMs. We managed to get to our hotel (this was midnight, mind you) on credit cards, and then had to suck it up and buy a long distance calling card to hassle Washington Mutual. It would have been helpful if they'd told me when I called them two days ago that there would be a waiting period for my travel advisory to be cleared. Huge thanks to Ian's mom, Debbie, for working on this stateside and getting my card cleared for use immediately. We were so thrilled to successfully withdraw baht from the ATM this morning. Now we have money and are tired but happy.

We had a great first day exploring Bangkok, and we're staying in a clean guest house with a Western toilet (yay!!) for about $19 total. Tomorrow, we are heading to the Grand Palace and drinking some more of the incredible fresh squeezed juices we sampled this afternoon. That's all the planning we're doing :)

In case you wondered, the time here is 14 hours ahead of San Francisco. So, greetings from the future!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I will have one order of each - looks yummy! Happy Birthday, Big Buddha, and thank you for your blessings. Love, Mom