The Nuts and Bolts
The trip here was indeed long. Four hours to LAX, 4 hour layover, 12 hours to Tokyo, 1 hour layover, 7 hours to Bangkok. The USB power in my seat stopped working so I watched a ton of movies, including three by the Coen Brothers. Travel is hard.
I got into Bangkok at about 12:30am Monday morning and David and Amy met me there. I got some ATM money, a bottle of water and we drove the 30 minutes to their place. But not before I tried to get in the driver’s seat… British driving orientation, y’know.
David and Amy’s place is in the Lumphini district of Bangkok. They have a guest bedroom that they’ve graciously afforded me and have been amazing hosts so far.
Worth noting that the big park in Lumphini (appropriately named Lumphini Park) is where the center of political protests are. I’ve been advised not to walk through there. Not because it’s inherently unsafe, but because it’s unpredictably unsafe.
Dave helped me get acclimated on my first day (Monday) by taking the subway and SkyTrain to the shopping district where we visited two of what must be 10,000 malls in Bangkok. We’ve been out to eat a few times, I’ve met a few of Amy’s family members that live here, and they’ve been more generous than I could’ve hoped at every turn.
Tuesday I got my cell phone squared away and although it feels like a crutch at times, Google Maps is a worthy crutch.
Today (Wednesday) I went to the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and Jim Thompson House for a taste of tourism success (more on that below). Tomorrow I’ll do the riverboat tour. In pants on account of the temples. In some seriously humid heat.
The Journal Entry
(sorry for the duplicate, Amy)
Things are… good.
No job for me in Chiang Mai, they hired someone else. So that puts me down south in Bangsak in mid-May, which is the school I was leaning toward anyway.
It’s day 3 at 2pm and I just finished some touristy stuff to get out and about. I was feeling a little overwhelmed days 1 and 2. Not like too much going on, but rather too many options and ignorance about how to accomplish any of them. So, easy tourist stuff did me some good.
I think I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the life I’ve built, so going somewhere completely new seemed like a way to reset. Turns out it is. But now I’ve got so much to learn in order to feel comfortable again. I’ve traded anxiety of the over-familiar with anxiety of the foreign. I was looking for a challenge and I’ve found one. And I’ll find yet another challenge when I go to a school where I need to actually offer something besides tourism revenue.
I’m such a people person and now I know almost no one and have no ability to build even the simplest of relationships with new people. Yet.
Right now though, I’m sitting in an alley near my friends’ condo drinking dollar beers and figuring out how to ask an angry lady when she’s serving food again. Simple problems are the most important to solve though, right?
Get a job
Find a wife
Start your career
Plan your life
I’ve read books by Thoreau.
He said “Value truth more than gold.”
Buy a house
Raise your kids
I’ve read books by Kerouac.
He said “Love the road, don’t look back.”