Is it me, or does (too) hot? For those who believe that there is nothing worse than staying in Buenos Aires in January and Microcentro walk to one o’clock, I tell them that for me to be there would be a relief. You do not know moisture, heat, which makes in this city. Sure, I forget that I am in the middle of the tropics, the same height as Guatemala City. (Almost) All hostels, shops, restaurants, pharmacies, transport have air conditioning set to zero degrees, then costs go out and face the sun in the neck gives you wherever you are. I swear I never spent much heat as here, or yes, but the difference is that here there is no beach to go into the sea and forget everything. This is a city with thousands of places and neighborhoods to meet, a city to walk from one side to another, a city to discover … and everything on foot because getting traffic directly would be suicide.
The tourist map of Bangkok should come with a manual: Learn to cross the street in fifteen easy steps . First, look both ways, second, look up, down and to that end street, third, again looking sideways, room, look for some semaphore, five, keep looking for that light that will now appear six , let pass that bike that comes from who knows where, let double that collective and cross the tuk-tuk, seven, continue to wait patiently for the traffic at some point will decrease … fifteen, take air and run as quickly as possible to the opposite sidewalk.
The street in Bangkok is chaotic, it is true, yet everything is efficient, transport works and sidewalks are clean. In these few days I’ve been here, I used the subway, the skytrain (the train that goes above) and boat to get from one place to another, and I’m fascinated with how well everything works. My first encounter with the skytrain was complicated. I went to the window where he said Tickets and ordered one to the Saphan Taksin station (I can hardly memorizarme these names), the guy who checked me gave an incomprehensible number, I offered all the baht (Thai pesos) I had, I pulled a ticket of 20, changed me for two coins of 10 and pointed a machine. Apparently his role was only me loose change, since the passage is taken out through the little machine. Luckily the instructions are in Thai and English. You need to dial the destination and put the coins, as simple as that. For the subway, however, must approach the window and change the baht currency by a kind of plastic that serve to open the turnstile and go to the station. Both the subway and the skytrain are air conditioned and spotless, I traveled at peak time and no clutter.
The boat is great. Bangkok has a river on the east side of the city and on its banks there are several very interesting places to meet, so there is a river transport system is also highly developed. My first encounter with boats was also difficult because I had no clue what was to take to get where I wanted. I asked a guard and had a conversation like this:
And we are, the farang (foreigners of European origin) who walk around town with maps and face not understand anything. Thais are exotic for us, but I assure you that they should kill with laughter every time we try to communicate through signs and mispronounced words in Thai. The Thai alphabet is very difficult to learn for us as it has 28 consonants, 15 symbols are about 28 members , and five tones or different ways of pronouncing, ie a word can be written in a certain way, but if not pronounced in the right tone comes to mean the opposite, which can lead to misunderstandings and ridiculous phrases. So all who come from western countries are the same: communication by signs or in a basic but efficient English.
Today I was walking down a street (I forget the name) when a Thai stopped me and said: “These girls are students and They need your help.” I thought, if I want to steal, I do not have to be carried too … or maybe they want to give me some important message to send to the media in my country (?). So I approached the girls. They immediately made me a sign to me to sit on a ladder, a sat beside me, another took an image setter and the third stood to one side with signs in Thai and English. I was interviewed for a job English faculty: I said my name, how long was in Thailand, where he came from, how I got to the country where he was going after, where I was staying, how long, what recommended to see in my country . It was a very nice talk, when we finished, the three girls greeted making me a bow. So my video appear in any English class of a university in Bangkok. It was a productive walk. Later I saw a baby crying hysterically, mom looked at me, said something, the boy looked at me and cried harder. Perhaps the mother threatened that if ignored him, the farang was going to abduct. Who knows what will be urban myths to scare the kids here.
The official currency is the baht, one dollar equals about 32 baht. A shared room in a hostel is about 300 baht, the skytrain and subway passage between 15 and 25 baht, a bottle of half liter of water between 7 and 10 baht, a lunch between 50 and 200 baht. What strikes me (for good) is that even street vendors have written the prices of all products sold, meaning that there is no way they want to overcharge “for free” (here it is impossible not to face abroad, so we’d all be fried). And another thing that strikes me most (and very good) is that street vendors wear gloves and facial masks to prepare food, eye, not all, but I saw several, and generally never touch the food with their hands. How are you?