My adventures in China Town, Bangkok….
On the same day I met the nice gentlemen on the bus, I also was immersed and lost in the MBK mall that is absolutely, ridiculously, insanely to big with way to much stuff for sale. It is absurd. I made my way out of the mall, and headed for China Town. It was early evening at this point, I walked and walked and eventually found China Town. I could tell by the red lanterns and the Chinese lettering on buildings and restaurants. Each side street had food stalls and eventually I found an excellent place to eat at. What caught my attention is the giant flames the chef was producing and the show he was putting on. Mind you this is a street vendor, their display of veggies and meats were delicious looking and you could tell this place attracted lots of locals and tourists. I grabbed a seat and ordered some grilled squid :). While I waited (quite a long time) I watched the show of his cooking techniques. I noticed a photo hanging of the chef and his crew on what appeared to be some show. I snapped a picture of the name of the food stall. Eventually I got my dinner and just as I did the torrential down pour of Bangkok began. Luckily I was covered, but part of the chef’s cooking area was not, the crew scrambled to pull out the covers and get everything situated. Here you have to just expect rain, and lots of it. I finished and headed down the main drag dodging into doorways to escape the rain. I ended up in a doorway with a few locals, and a British man who lived in Bangkok. We chatted and all shared sticky mango rice while watching all the food stalls continue to try to sell deserts and snacks in the pouring rain. That is something I have noticed here in Thailand, they are the hardest workers I have ever seen. They can sell you anything, and will if you fall prey. But they also never stop working, rain or shine, customers or not. I decided I would be waiting all night for the rain to go away so I caught a Tuk Tuk and began making my way back to my hostel. I was on the complete other side of town so it was quite the ride in the thunder and lightening and down pour. I had asked the driver to take me to Ko San road because I knew my hostel was near there. When we arrived I explained to him that I did not recognize where I was and we both attempted to locate my hostel on a paper map and my phone. The problem was my hostel was not showing up on the map and I could not figure out the exact street it was on on the paper map. He drove me around for a bit trying to help me but eventually he had to drop me off. I got out and panicked. I looked around and around and felt so completely lost and afraid. I was in a dress, in the pouring down rain, the street was lit up with white christmas lights on the trees. The thunder would smack and the lightening would strike and the I stood there sobbing. Like a scene from a movie. It was a moment of weakness followed by a moment of growth. I mean, I couldn’t just stand there and cry in hopes someone rescued me. This was a moment I had to grow up and figure it out. So I did, I walked down some really sketchy alley ways, dark and empty roads. I hadn’t felt fear walking alone at night in Thailand until now, though I think it was fused by the fear of not finding my hostel and then enhanced by the fact that I was in Bangkok, and not a smaller city. I rescued myself, I grew up a little bit that night and all it took was a change of mind set and some walking around until I began to recognize streets. I determined that the driver had dropped me off on the opposite side of Koh San road that I had not yet been to. Thus why I didn’t recognize anything. I made it to my room, my very dirty hostel (stains-not actual dirt) and though it appeared displeasing I was very comforted to be there. I watched the lightening from the roof that night and the bats fly above my head. My room was on the top floor with an opening to the roof where I could go and watch the storms each night. I reflected- I felt weak for crying and panicking- yet I felt strong for pushing through and figuring it out. Even though I really had no choice but too figure it out. I don’t think that takes a lot of strength but its something you learn to do while traveling. You get in situations and have no choice but too figure out how to get through them. Stop, breathe, pray, and think clearly and logically.