We finally got our internet set up (sorry so late!), but after getting settled in, sleeping off the jet lag, and figuring out how to survive eight hours as a pedestrian around here, we have some beginning adventures to share.
The flight over was fairly uneventful, thankfully. Aside from a medical emergency towards the end of our Dulles to Tokyo trip (not to make light of it, but “drink your juice, Shelby” moments are scary in person!), the flights went smoothly. We shared a few rolls of sushi in the Narita airport with our seat mate, an army commander who’s lived in the SE Asia area for 12 years. He showed us through security, made sure we knew where we were going, and gave us the Bangkok skinny.
The Tokyo to Bangkok flight tacked on another seven hours to our journey, but for all our weariness, I have to say the Japanese flight crew and attendants were amazing. They were kind, patient, helpful, hospitable, and overall just plain pleasant! I wish I could always fly ANA. Plus they served Kobe beef on the flight. It felt like I was eating beef for breakfast, but it was worth it!
We landed in Bangkok at 1 AM, and were picked up right away. Once we checked into our apartment, I made up our beds while Colby researched how to get to work the next morning…by 9 AM. And by research, I mean he looked at a map and translated what he could from our pocket dictionary (we hadn’t internet or phone at this point). Smarty pants caught the tuk-tuk in time, made it to the sky train, got off at the right stop, and showed up bright and early for Tuesday’s work at the Embassy. Way to go, babe!
Meanwhile, I saw a few Bangkokian (yes, that’s the adjective) sites while Colby was a work. The first was the Erawan Shrine, which is one of six Hindu shrines around the Ratchaprasing intersection. Established in 1956, this shrine is home to Brahma, and started as a more humble Thai spirit house. Apparently, after the hotel on the property experienced too many misfortunes to handle, the proprietors took the advice of a Brahmin priest: build a shrine to assuage the bad karma associated with the building’s auspicious date of first ground breaking. Thank you, Lonely Planet.
Worshippers leave marigold garlands, burn incense, and offer bottles of water and soda (with straws) at the shrine. Once their prayers are granted, they commission the shrine dancers and musicians to perform. I happened to catch this performance, and it was so neat!
We’re planning on seeing Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaew, the Grand Palace, the Jim Thompson House, and possibly Chinatown this weekend. Until then, here are a few other fun Bangkokian (I will never tire of that) images.