We’re doing a little traveling, visiting our daughter, son-in-law and four grandsons (all ages 6 and under) in Thailand! After the 32 hour plane ride on three separate flights we finally arrived, although we were pretty exhausted. It has taken a couple of days to adjust to the new time zone, 11 hours ahead of Raleigh time, but we’re not waking up at 3 am and staying awake for a couple of hours anymore. Since our time here is limited, we aren’t letting any grass grow under our feet, although not much grass is growing anywhere here in Bangkok. It’s a really busy place full of sights and smells not often experienced in North Carolina. Traffic is constant and a little harrowing with pink taxis, tut-tuts, baht buses, and motorcyclists fighting for their piece of the narrow streets here. Kathleen drives their mini van around like a champ, not easy considering it is an American vehicle and they drive on the other side of the road here so she has a double challenge with her steering wheel being on the wrong side of the car! Can’t seem to figure out who has the right of way, pedestrians or drivers, as no one wants to give, but we finally realized that if you are walking you are always on the defensive.
What we take for granted in the US is obvious here, as there are hardly any sidewalks wider than about three feet and they are in a constant state of disrepair with uneven levels to navigate, large holes and cracks, and loose tiles. We’re doing a LOT of walking but have to constantly watch where we step so as not to end up flat on our face in front of a taxi or oncoming bus. Needless to say, walking anywhere with a six year old, a four year old, and a set of two year old twins is a lesson in patience and fearful hysteria. Sidewalks aren’t wide enough for a twin stroller so in order to use the stroller you have to walk along the edge of the street and hope no one is having a bad driving day.
Temperatures around 100 degrees are normal here and we, as Americans, seem to be the only ones with sweat dripping from our “red as beet” faces. Yesterday we spent the afternoon at Chatuchak Market.
This huge market is apparently very famous here, made up of tiny little vendor shops. They sell everything from new and used clothing, any type of Thai food you can imagine, small animals, birds, and fish and furniture and accessories.
I found a pair of pants and a shirt that I liked and asked to try them on. The ladies were very accommodating, “Sure, sure” they said, “try them on here!” and they took me into their tiny vending space and stood in front of me as I stood there half naked trying the clothes on while hundreds of people walked by just a few feet away! I bought the pants.