Bangkok, Thailand

May, June 2000

Dave Svilar, Ann Svilar

Flying from Katmandu to Bangkok Ann and I figured it would be much the same.  This predisposed idea of Thailand led to culture shock as Bangkok had lines painted on the roads, sky-rise hotels, and even a McDonald's.  We stayed on the famous Koh San Road in one of the many cheap motels.  The road is a famous stop for Southeast Asian backpackers (white people traveling to SE Asia) as it offers cheap accommodation, cheap food, and other cheap travel-related items.

We celebrated our first night with a trip to McDonald's, a place in which I would never eat at home, but seemed wonderful after being in Nepal for over a month.  With a belly full of cheeseburgers we were ripe for a transvestite show, so ordered a tuk-tuk driver to take us.  He took us everywhere but the show, and I finally had some choice words with him.  Big mistake.  This angered him and he began driving his tuk-tuk (three-wheeled golf cart used as a taxi) wildly through the streets of Bangkok weaving in between lanes of traffic.  With our lives in danger we abandoned plans for a transvestite show and bailed out of the tuk-tuk. 

I wanted to spend as little time as possible in Bangkok and get to paradise ASAP, but Ann suddenly became sick causing us to spend an extra two days in the city.  My sister is dangerously hypoglycemic, so I stayed up all night with her trying to get her to eat a soda cracker, cheering each time she nibbled a corner off a cracker.  Unfortunately, the next morning was Mother's Day and I had promised to call my mother no matter where we were.  My mom's a little high strung and when it comes to her kids prone to panic attacks, so news of Ann's sickness led to two weeks of insomnia. 

I killed my extra days in Bangkok by traveling by river taxis to various markets and temples.  The markets sold unbelievably large, tasty and inexpensive fruit.  The temples didn't excite me, but I did enjoy watching all the Japanese tourists posing for pictures in front of each temple.  Sometimes I would pose right alongside Japanese families - I wonder how many Japanese photo albums I appear in...

We finally left Bangkok for paradise, but turns out it was only the beginning of Ann's sickness caused by an allergic reaction to her malaria pills.

One of the many Buddhist temples in Bangkok.


Asian madness.


River taxis were fast and I could usually get on/off without having to pay.  Most importantly, the river provided a welcome relief from the severe humidity afflicting the rest of the city.


I was amused by some of the signs around the city.


Leaving the Koh San Road.  Ann tries to smile despite still being sick.


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