FIRST DAY IN BANGKOK (4th Adventure of The Trip)

by İlknur Aktaş April. 02, 2017 2500 views

Hello again, I am writing after more than two months. Actually I had a very long and detailed account of our adventures on the first days of our trip but unfortunately I deleted them by mistake during the times of suffering from insomnia which meant wasting my effort of 4 hours. 😭

For those who read me, you should know that this blogging takes a great deal of time depending on how good a job you are trying to make. And my ambition is to be able to communicate all the enthusiasm, excitement, anxiety and fascination to you. So, it was really really painful to delete everything I wrote in the middle of the night. What's more, the culprit was me. How I would wish it was someone else 😃 Then I could blame it on them and even relax shouting at them or rebuking. 

So I spent that night appalled at what had happened and how easy it was to ruin one's effort online. And for the rest of my days I was cross with myself. I was both trying to console myself and also snapping at my consolations 😞 Anyway, it is never of any use. "Anger has never been a solution to problems" says he. It only keeps me away from what I want to achieve. 

I want to record my memories. Because even I enjoy reading back what I wrote. And it also makes me realise that time sweeps along some tiny fun bits of my adventures which were stressful but actually transforms to lovely memories as photographs left to develop. I need to place my sentences as logs for my memories to hold on. Perhaps flowers will grow on my words and I will be drifted back to the smells of good days🌻

What do memories smell of? My Thailand memories must smell of onion. But not the raw or rotten onion. The fried ones that are going to be used in the dishes. I like that smell which I get from the kitchens while I am walking past the balconies. That's a sign of slow food houses where families eat together. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Now, before I return to my travel accounts, it would be better to remind you of our previous adventures:

1st: Our boarding passes were printed wrong. Mum had none. And we had to fix it jumping in front of the lines which were very long and where people were impatient.

2nd: My dad didn't remember where he had put his passport after the security check. We thought someone else stole it from the trays which didn't make sense. Who would do what with it? Then dad found it in his inner pocket. 

3rd: At Doha airport my dad beeped at the X-ray gates because of his recent radioactive iodine treatment. It was hard to convince the police. But at the end of this adventure, dad got a kiss blown by the policeman which left me totally astounded 😃 

After three adventures and eleven hours of flight, we were finally in Bangkok. And our 4th and biggest adventure was imminent. I had never seen that long queues in my life at the customs 😧 we had to wait for minutes in front of calm and slow Thai policemen. I was tired, sleepy, hot and furious 😤 I felt my patience was being tried. I was just in a bad temper, a black mood travelling for 24 hours. 

Right after meeting the rest of the tour members and our guide, the tour bus took us directly to the hotel where I was hoping to rest. The plan for the evening was to see the Seafood Market Restaurant and then to visit the Pat Pong Night Market. We thought the fee the guide demanded was not worth it and thus didn't join the tour group. But we decided to follow the same programme ourselves. 

Actually I had studied the map very well and knew exactly which direction to go from the hotel but what messed up my plan was the exchange office which closed before its due time. We had to go and look for another one in a place i didn't know. And since I didn't know how to navigate us from the exchange office to the Seafood Market Restaurant, we decided to get on a Tuk Tuk, a three-wheel local motorcycle (i guess).

I knew that the restaurant was much further than the place we exchanged our money. So when the driver offered to take us there for 50 Baht/1 dollar/ 5 Turkish Liras, we found it quite cheap. There were 2 more girls from the group who had joined us, depending on me, and that's why we needed two tuk tuks. 

While we were discussing how cheap it was, our driver also looked very delighted with the situation. He was grinning without reason which made him look like a cunning trickster. It was easy to expect damage from him. We should have understood that we would be his victims. The other one looked proper but apparently only on the surface.

On the other hand, both of them were was such mad drivers that they were driving those vehicles where there was no security, crazily  almost 70/80 kph. We were both scared and excited. It was like we were in a motor race or on a city safari! If my brother, my little cousins or one of my students were on board, I would immediately get off. And I would go mad if they told me they took such a ride! But that was Bangkok and it felt like it was ok to be involved in danger 🙃 Moreover, it sounded too silly to be true! At least it was fun and exciting until we faced the fact. 

These tuk tuks took us to a seafood restaurant but it was not the one we wanted to dine at. I told the drivers so, and showed them a few pictures of the restaurant I wanted to go, but they said they had thought that was the place for the price of 50 Baht. And they demanded 200 Baht for the restaurant I wanted to go. I objected to them. You see, this was the trick. They have deals with low-quality restaurants and fool the tourists. When I rejected to pay unless we were taken to the correct one, they told us to get off and they drove off with the same speed. Luckily they didn't force us to pay. I would expect that from them. Because these people can do anything to you. We were very disappointed and afraid. We didn't know where we were and we were cheated. 

How could have we known that all the tuk tuk drivers were dishonest and such fraudsters! We thought that was unlucky of us to bump into such people. So i negotiated with several other tuk tuk drivers to take us to the Seafood Market Restaurant. Two of them agreed and I explained how we fell victims to previous drivers and asked them to be true to us 😃 we bargained the price to 50 Baht again, I showed the drivers the pictures of the restaurant I wished to go, trying to make sure that they understood. Both of the drivers said they knew the place but again they drove us to another restaurant with which they had a deal apparently!!! I refused to pay again. And they drove off swearing at us. 

What's more, we saw some other Turkish tourists at that second restaurant and they were cheated as well. Besides, they ate there, which cost 8000 Baht/ 800 TL for 3 people. The poor women were about to have a fight and looked devastated. They had taken a taxi. The taxi driver had cheated them too. At least we did not go into the restaurants and eat. Otherwise we would have been cheated even more! Later on we heard another story where a tuk tuk driver dangerously swung the passengers because they told him to drive to the correct restaurant. With our two consecutive disappointments, we repented getting on a tuk tuk and tried our chance with a taxi. And we told him to take us to the Pat Pong night market. We had to give up the idea of the restaurant. We had lost all the appetite, too. 

Our guide had warned us to have the taxis turn their metres on. Because the distances we would travel were short and mostly would cost 80-100 Baht. This taxi driver suggested taking us there for 200 Baht but he wouldn't turn the taximeter on. We had to accept because we didn't want to risk experiencing another unfortunate event. We were already exhausted with our travels. And finally we could end up in the right place. We made this picture below to celebrate our victory. I felt like a hero because the other 5 people were depending on me and i was able to rescue them. I fought for them with the tuk tuk drivers who could speak and understand only a few words of English, I didn't let them pay the drivers who were drooling for money. Above all, I actually provided them with an exciting free city tour 😃 What would have they done without me?! I am thankful to my childhood friends with whom I had lots of street fights when we were young. 😃 I felt quite brave now to fight off those fraudsters😌 

We had been told that we had to have a hard bargain at the night market. Our tour guide told us to offer the half price and even the less. There are no price tags anyway. The price is whoever can charge/pay however much/less. And you need to decide on the proper price and offer it to the salesman. That's the right way and in any case the price you pay is always much higher than the actual price. Here are a few photos from the Pat Pong Night Market:

I had a bargain with the girl who sold these folding cards. When she refused to make any more discounts, I threatened her that I wouldn't buy any. Then she was very upset and said "Madame, I want to sell. Please buy." And my heart melted. 😔 Unfortunately i think I bought them 2 times more expensive. 

At the end of shopping without having eaten anything, now it was time for dinner. But the question was what to eat? Enticing fruit came to our rescue: On the way back to the hotel, I tasted some street food which looked disgusting to my friend and family. For me, it was just food :) and I am neither prejudiced against nor too fussy about different tastes of different cultures.

Though I am quite open to new experiences, adventures and tastes, I didn't like the tastes, the fruit including. I wouldn't buy and eat neither mango nor avocado or coconut for the sake of their taste, but for the need of food only. I prefer to stick to ordinary apples, tangerines, strawberries, peaches, etc. 

Don't book a book by its cover. They don't taste half as good as their vibrant colours.

After some shopping for souvenirs and tasting the fruit unknown to us, we walked back to our hotel, which sounded like the safest and cheapest means of transport 😉 Additionally, I was already too tired both to have any negotiations with drivers and to have more adventures which distresses and discourages one as far as tens of meridians stretched.

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