Sunday, July 08, 2007

Oh the end of another weekend. Boo! I didn't manage to do any of the things that I wanted to do before I leave Thailand but I did manage to accomplish the following:

1) Saw the new Transformers movie and was surprised that I was actually entertained for the first half. Bangkok has some awesome movie theaters; my favorite part is that you get to pick your seat when you buy your ticket so there is no rush to get into the theater so you get a good seat. We should really consider doing this in the States. But unfortunately, like in the States, there are about 20 minutes of previews and commercials...oh yeah and also a tribute to the King where everyone has to stand and watch pictures of his life while listening to same patriotic song. The annoying thing is that the commercials never change. They are still playing the same commercials that they were playing when I came to Thailand a year ago. And those were the same commercials that they were playing the year before that when my friend came. I don't know why we don't go later to the movie cuz we already have our seats. *Note to self. Go to theaters later.

2) Went to the doctors. I love the doctors here. Bumrungrad Hospital is a great place for people watching too. It's like half mall/half hospital, fully equipped with a Starbucks and a McDonalds. They are so cheap, I just want to go all the time. I'm not even sick but think of all the preventive stuff you might consider doing if it were easy to get appointments and dirt cheap. I haven't seen Sicko (the Michael Moore movie) but us Americans have to get our shiz together when it comes to health care. There's just something wrong if I'm scared to go home because I won't have health insurance.

3) Went shopping at Platinum Mall. If you're in Bangkok and you want to find cheap clothes, you need to go to Platinum Mall by Pratunam. Soooo cheap. Six floors of nothing but shoes, clothes, bags, accessories, and anything else you could wear. I probably spent about $100 and I could barely carry all of my bags.

I was determined to make my way home by public transport instead of taking a taxi because I hate those taxi drivers and I was trying to save money. I recognized one of the bus numbers and was excited that it could be so easy so I asked if it was going in the right directions. Of course it couldn't be that easy and they said that I would have to cross the street to go the directions I wanted to go. So I cross the street and wait. And wait. And wait. I waited for a full 45 minutes, just knowing that as soon as I left the bus would come. Finally I gave up and decided I might as well make the trek to catch the boat.

Canal travel is such an interesting way to travel Bangkok. You definitely get a more "exotic" view of the city as you see all the back alleys and tropical vegetation. The problem is that they smell like raw sewage and the boats can be terrifying to get into because you imagine yourself falling into the "klong" which would probably kill you. If you've ever seen Roger Rabbit and remember that stuff that they used to kill the cartoons...I really can't remember what its called...I imagine that that is what is in the klong. If it touches you, you will dissolve. Scary stuff.

Next week I'm going to take my camera around with me and try to catch some pictures of everyday life around here. Maybe I'll even get a shot of the klong!


Kristina said...

I just came across your blog and read the whole thing in one setting. What fun!

I do have one central point to share: I know you care about animals, so I am mystified about why you aren't more thoughtful regarding animals when you travel. I'm sure you will continue to be a world traveler, and I encourage you to prevent your tourist dollars from promoting the exploitation of animals. I also encourage you to help animals while you travel.

Here are some examples:
Do not go to "snake farms". The are abusive. Would you want people to pay money to see you get "wrestled" each day and to live in a cage for people to suck something from your body?

Do not do anything involving elephants (or camels, or dolphin, or other animals like that). I have been to about 35 countries and have avoid supporting any activity like that. Those elephants have been "tamed" and "broken" by being beaten and abused on a daily basis. They don't enjoy being ridden by tourists and they don't need "baths" by tourists.

Don't do water/ocean activities that disrupt the local ecology. It's fine to go snorkeling. But, avoid companies that throw food in the water. Fish aren't meant to congregate around boats eating non-natural foods so that tourists can get a better view.

Finally, you say that you liked the cats and dogs at the beach that you visited but not in Bangkok. The animals aren't as nice in Bangkok because they are STARVING and are ABUSED every day. They are strays trying to eek out an existence. Help them if you love animals. Help them in the name of your cat back home. I lived in Thailand for 4 months once and then returned there to travel for 3 months another time. I carried a bag of cat food in my backpack. It wasn't a problem. I fed all the strays I came upon. If I didn't have food and saw a hungry dog or cat, I bought some food from a street vendor for 25 cents.

Please consider doing your part to alleviate suffering while you travel.

And congratulations for getting and staying out of debt and for making the great choice to have a non-US adventure!

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