Day 1: I’m in Bangkok. Is it hot? TOO hot. Is it busy? Insanely! Are people friendly? Extremely! Am I homesick? Yes…
Now I am not a dumbie and I know that I was going to be in for a change. After all, I did move to the other side of the friggen planet. But I can assure you that I was not mentally nor physically prepared for the differences in culture that I have experienced in this single day alone. Jet lag was brutal for me and after traveling for a little over 19 hours total I was and still am a mess. Upon arrival to the Bangkok airport I was lucky enough to have airport pickup waiting to bring me to my hotel! I’ll have to admit, it was kind of neat seeing a man standing in the pick up area holding a sign up with my name on it. It took about an hour to get to my hotel but to be honest it seemed like hours upon hours. I kept dozing off on the drive so I was pretty out of it for that duration lol. Anyways, after all that time and travel I finally arrived to my sketchy but cozy little hotel in the city around 8 pm last night. The hotel is cute but it is located on some super narrow creepy side street which made me feel like I was in a horror movie while we were pulling in last night haha (don’t fret, this totally adds to the adventure of it all!). The foyer of the hotel is an open concept so there are no walls… Essentially it has no windows and is basically outside. Once I got dropped off I stood there all alone. No front desk employee, no other tourists, no one, absolutely effing no one. Clearly not knowing what else to do I decided to just stand there and wait. About 20 minutes later some wonderful Thai man, about my age staying at the same hotel tried to help me find an employee so that I could check in. His English was very limited but he did the best he could and literally just smiled the entire time! I told him that he could leave and that I would just wait for an employee to come. After almost half an hour of waiting a sweet little lady came to the front desk. She checked me in immediately and guess what? She smiled the entire time lol. Yup, welcome to the “Land of Smiles.” I get to the sixth floor and I am ecstatic to see that my room is fairly large and there is an amazingly working air conditioner (bomb!). Anywho, you’d think after all of this I would be a zombie and ready to crash, considering I barely slept the entire travel over here. Instead I just chilled out for a bit and tried to relax. I was too wired, lonely and freaked out to go to sleep right away. It also didn’t help that it sounded like there were animals fighting right outside my hotel. By the time I did end up falling asleep I practically woke up every hour throughout the night. Around 6 am I was wide awake and decided to get my ass up and out of bed. Lucky for me one of the girls from my program messaged our Facebook group asking if anyone was around and wanted to get breakfast. So four of us got together and had breakfast! After that we decided to do the tourist thing and explore. We took the Sky Train and one of those sweet longtailed flowered decorated boats to get to the Grand Palace 🙂 ! The Grand Palace was amazing. Pictures honestly do not do it justice in any way shape or form. The detail of all of the buildings is immaculate and unlike anything I have ever seen. I also learned some cool things, you’re not allowed to wear shoes in Temples, you must always dress appropriately when entering a Temple (they take this very seriously- shoulders and knees must be covered), also when sitting on a Temple floor your toes must NEVER point towards Buddha, feet should always point behind you. Afterward, we decided to get something to eat at this cute little restaurant we walked by. I got chicken Pad Thai! As expected it was completely different from any Pad Thai I’ve had back home. But it was just as good! Following that, we went to Wat Pho, where the huge Reclining Buddha is. This was super cool as well and freaking massive! We walked around for hours and sweat poured from us the entire time. Hair a disaster, heat rash all over and thirsty 100% of the time…Yeah not a pretty sight. I have never experienced hotter weather than what I did today! We all just about died. We also walked through a market which felt like I was surrounded by a hundred auctioneers. Total and complete chaos! We finished our sight seeing and decided to call it a day. Getting back to the hotel was a mission, an extremely tiring one. We ended up taking the public ferry back to train station because it was cheaper and immediately regretted that decision. The whole thing was packed. Everyone friggen crammed together like hot, sweaty, nasty sardines. On top of that workers on the ferry were constantly screaming and shouting things God only knows and caused instant headaches to us all. Finally we got to the station, boarded the train and made it back to the hotel. First day was awesome but I am in shock at the fast-paced life here. I thought Toronto was fast, boy was I wrong. Instead of culture shock slowly approaching me I got slapped in the face and run over by a tuk tuk from it.