A few tentative steps that turns into a 6 hour marathon…
Not particularly jet lagged but as to be expected sleeping patterns are somewhat awry. Bed at 4am and awake by 11am – actually it’s just like a normal weekend night out. Priority right now is food – the aroma of Chinese and Thai cuisine just puts any thoughts of KFC, MacDonald’s and all that western gunk we’ve grown up with to the furthest, darkest corner of ones mind. It’s warm; very warm indeed – about 31 deg c with a nice breeze. 3 steps to the right is a café, 3 steps to the left is another café and directly opposite is a food cart. Soi Rambuttri (Rambuttri Street) is crammed with cafes, carts and guesthouses and of course backpackers mostly from Europe, Australia and the USA. Brunch is a plate of Padthai and coffee (2 pounds) then a glance at the tourist map and a glance it was since this isn’t going to be any major expedition – a few steps around the block will do for a jet lagged (sort of), first timer in a crowded city that is Bangkok.
The place is a maze of side streets, alleyways and lanes all lined with either ( and mostly) food, a shop, massage places, bars, stalls – The Bangkok experience in part. The end the of the street, a dead end by the looks of things. Oh look, there’s sign, hand painted onto some iron paneling inviting lost trekkers to climb the fire escape, go through the bar and drop down to the street beyond – I didn’t stop for a drink though.
Crossing the eight lane boulevards are easy enough with well controlled traffic lighting systems that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. A 30 second countdown light located above the road and everyone can see when the lights are about to change. Their Boulevards, expressways and highways are a sight to behold with monuments every few yards along the central divisions and occasionally arching the complete highway. This is a nation where its people stand in pride with patriotism flagged on every street. Thai’s seem almost as patriotic as Americans! That’s the impression average Jo tourist is getting and I’m sure that’s the case.