I’m sure you all know the song? Well, my time in Bangkok was everything but wild.
I left Indonesia early on Tuesday morning. A four-hour flight later I was back in Bangkok, where, according to my original plan, I would’ve started my travels. I took a taxi to the hostel and dropped off my stuff before heading to the hospital. My stomach had gotten worse again, so I figured it might be better to go to the doctor now rather that than invest another week or two in recovering, which clearly wasn’t going to happen anyways.
Luckily, the hospital was located right around the corner. I registered and took a seat. While sitting there in the waiting room, killing time watching some Thai soap opera on tv, I noticed that being there didn’t bother me at all. I was totally fine with spending – I first thought of using the word ‘wasting’, but I wouldn’t call it that – an evening at the hospital.
Back home I’d feel like I was wasting my time doing nothing, trying to think of ways to make the most of my waiting time. Here, though, things are so very different. We’re currently in Pai, which is a tiny little hippie village in the north of Thailand. I’m writing this sitting in our hostel’s common area, and right before my eyes on the wall next to the reception desk there’s a quote stating the following:
The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.
I might’ve been bitten by the travel bug, but isn’t there a point to it? I mean, if you really think about it? I think there is. It is so simple, yet so difficult at the same time.
Once I’d been prescribed antibiotics and a total of four other medicines, I headed back to the hostel. I met up with Lauren and we had dinner at an Indian restaurant down the street. I’d heard mixed opinions from people who’d visited Bangkok, but so far I was liking it.
We were planning to take the night bus to Pai via Chiang Mai the following evening, so we had all of Wednesday in Bangkok. It was going to be a 10-hour bus ride with an additional three hours for the 90 kilometers between Chiang Mai and Pai, a distance which is famous for its 762 winding narrow turns through the mountains, not to mention the carsickness it causes.
We had breakfast at the hostel, a bowl of cereal (oh, how I’d missed milk!) and two pieces of toast. I was not supposed to take the antibiotics with milk, but I couldn’t help it. Being used to drinking milk with every meal at home the cereal bowl was like… home.
The afternoon was spent watching Bridget Jones’s Baby at one of the malls. The price-quality ratio of the 3 euro movie was phenomenal – I loved it! We got back to the hostel at around 6 pm, and were supposed to be picked up at Khao San Road at 7 pm to be taken to the bus. We thought it’d take us about half an hour to get there, but when we came in the girl at the reception asked us if we’d changed our plans and were no longer going. “Oh no, not at all. Why?” Well, apparently it could take up to two hours to get to that part of town during rush hour. Whoops!?
We took our backpacks and jumped into the first cab possible.
Were we going to make it? Walking (or running, as we would’ve had to) 5 km with all of our luggage, mine alone adding up to a total of 20 kg, was not an option considering the 45 minutes that remained. We concluded that there was absolutely nothing we could do about it, just wait and see, so instead we had some snacks, which felt like a way better option.
– What if we miss it? What do we do?
– Well, we book another hostel for tonight and leave tomorrow instead.
– What time is it? Do we dare to check the map?
At 6.45 pm our driver stopped the car on what seemed to be a bustling street full of life. People, bars, restaurants, cars, street food, shops everywhere. “Welcome to Khao San Road!”, he said… or no, not really; he was super grumpy, but it didn’t matter.
We made it!