Finally a BKK weekend!
So with the craziness of work building up and my wardrobe falling apart in the past 8 months, I decided it was time to go to Bangkok and have a weekend of pure fun and shopping. I also got a complete health check, but that’s another blog entry! I arrived very late Thursday night, was pleased to see the staff of my hotel had already given me a free upgrade in room and happily plopped into the down bedding and drifted into dream land.
Thailand is one of my favorite places to travel to for such a variety of reasons. The people are super friendly. The tourist infrastructure is pretty solid, so it’s easy to travel most everywhere in Thailand. The food is superbly delicious. The first meal I ate was at my hotel, off menu. I just asked for a nice red veggie curry, medium spice and was served perfection in a bowl. You may remember that I took that one week cooking class in Chiang Mai last year. And while my skills in cooking any of those dishes have rusted a bit, I can say with certainty that I know a good curry when I taste one. And I know just the spice level I like (that and how much palm sugar to use – right Annette? ;p ).
After ease of travel and yummy food comes massages. I can get any number of awesome massages for super cheap. When I was at the health spa last year, I got a massage everyday. And while I traveled in Thailand, I indulged often. This weekend, I was able to squeeze in two massages. One came Saturday morning. I arranged an early morning massage, 8am, so that I could still have time to stop by the health center to pick up my results and then head out for shopping. The second came after I spent about 8 hours in the malls and barely made it back to my hotel! I had a leg massage in-room and lucked out with Sleepless in Seattle on TV! Awesome! I have to say, though that my first massage was a bit alarming. The goose eggs in my shoulder blades and neck – the same ones which were there when I slipped that disc in my neck – have reared their ugly heads. I was surprised how tight my shoulders were, which actually makes for a not-so-relaxing massage! (Note to self – schedule a weekly massage to combat goose eggs making nests in shoulders.)
Bangkok also has no shortage of nightlife. This is something Hanoi greatly lacks. We do have our parties and certain after-hours bars, but the police roll through town right at midnight and the town goes dark. On Friday, I met up with colleagues in BKK and had a night out on the town. I still love going out on the town. I love going dancing and meeting new people and just being out. I do question how long I can relive my youth, though. I didn’t get back to the hotel until 2am. The next day after the big night out was a little rough, to say the least. Not my preferred frame of mind for a big day of shopping.
And then let’s talk about shopping. There are some great malls in Bangkok. And I hit them on a big sale weekend, which was perfect. A bit surprised to see that the malls weren’t all that busy. A sure sign that we are still not climbing out of this tourism hell hole just yet. When I say big sale, I mean most stores had sale items 50% – 70% off. Even though I didn’t have to nudge my way through crowds, I still dealt with rude people. I mean, sometimes I swear I think I am invisible. As soon as I would go to a rack, someone else would walk up and look at the same section. In one store, this Russian chick got a mouthful from me because as I was flipping through a rack of shirts, she grabbed one which I had my hand on. “What the hell is wrong with you? You don’t grab a shirt someone is looking at! How rude can you be?” She didn’t even say sorry, so apparently, she’s comfortable in her rudeness.
At least shopping in BKK is a bit easier than Vietnam. The Thai don’t really push to make a sale, nor do they care if you buy anything. Vietnamese, on the other hand, follow you around the store and watch every move you make. While Thai sizes are more manageable, women’s clothes, for the most part, still look as thought hey were made for children. You cannot go to Asia and worry about what the number says on the size label. You just have to find what fits, and that may be a 6 in one store and a 42 in another. No shame in finding something that looks good.
I have to ask, though. Why are 80’s fashions making a come back? Long shirts with elastic and a ruffle over the hips (not so good for those of us who actually have hips)? One sleeve numbers? I’m pretty sure I saw acid-washed jeans. There is also this whole trend of very thin, cotton blouses which are pretty much see-through. What exactly am I supposed to wear underneath? Just a bra? A tank top? Can I expose my little boobies? I mean – what’s the protocol? And why do I want to pay $50 for a shirt that’s thinner than a handkerchief? This is when shopping becomes a chore and I feel very perplexed.
Nonetheless, I came back from my Bangkok weekend with four pairs of shoes, a few tops, a hand bag, one suit and a pair of linen pants. Oh, and a new love of black sesame ice cream, which – trust me – is to die for! I can’t wait for the next visit!!!
On the Bright Side,