anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

Bangkok, Part One

First and potentially-definitive impression: Having my passport checked and stamped by a Thai airport official, thanking the poker-faced man with a wide smile and a cheery 'thank you!', only to have the 'counter closed' sign shoved in my face.

How. Absolutely. Lovely.

An aside: I haven't been around much but amongst all the places I've been to, after taking into account the frailty of the human memory, the most pleasant passport-checking experiences I've ever had were mostly at the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport. One instance sticks out most in my mind: Going back to Taipei in December 2004 and making small talk with the man checking and stamping my passport because he talked to me first. This doesn't happen in Singapore, ever, and it sure as hell didn't happen in Thailand.

Thai airport officials don't seem to care about efficiency. When a counter is empty the person behind it doesn't bother with waving people lining at other counters over to his counter; all the person does is to put up the 'closed' sign and goes off to...wherever. Smoke break, toilet break, lunch, who knows and cares. But having the 'closed' sign shoved in one's face after one was really quite nice to the person doing the shoving was not very pleasant at all.

And the new airport didn't impress me. But I've never been one to fawn over clinical glass architecture that look the same the whole world over. Our obsession with some ill-defined, hazy concept of 'modernity', scarcely-disguised Westernisation, really has got to stop.

Random hotel room nonsense. Our stuff, a self-take, the beds, me again. The room was...decent. I itched a bit during the second night but other than that it was fine. The slippers kinda sucked though, and the tap in the bathroom had some seriously weak water pressure. The pillow was comfy. The complimentary buffet breakfast was one of the shittiest complimentary buffet breakfast ever. I stayed at the Arnoma Hotel, apparently it was pretty expensive, didn't matter 'cause Mom paid, I can't imagine her roughing it out, more importantly I can't imagine roughing out with her. That's the good part about travelling with a parent: You're not restricted by your pathetic lack of financial resources and so you pretty much travel in comfort. Awesome.

Just to get this out of the way, because if I don't I'll find myself raving about it when I go on to write about what I did there: Thai food so damn rocks because it so damn does. Granted, I'll probably get sick of it if I have to eat it every day because it's generally sweeter than what I'm used to, but Thai food so damn rocks anyway. My cousin took us to a nice Thai restaurant she frequents during our first night and she ordered a papaya salad (see first picture). Where's the bloody papaya, I hear you ask. Well, there it is, sliced up into strips and looking pale because it's raw. I'm not very big on salads; in fact I'd much rather die than to eat salads; but I took some of the salad anyway since it was right in front of me and I was starving and fuck, it was fucking good. It really was. There was a bit of an anchovies overload (I hate anchovies) but the tangy sour, coupled with the crunchy raw papaya, was bloody awesome.

My cousin also ordered this coconut seafood curry thingy which I didn't take a picture of 'cause I was too busy eating. The curry and the seafood came in a coconut and it was the best curry ever. Like, EVER. I didn't even care that it was fattening as hell; I just ate it. I even ate the prawns and I HATE prawns. It was just so damn good. And that prawn nugget-ish thingy I ordered (see second picture) was yummy too. My mom didn't really like the steamed seafood paste (see picture below papaya salad) because it wasn't spicy but I thought it was awesome. Dinner was just awesome.

Thai food is awesome. If you know anything about me at all, you'd know that I generally don't give a shit about food. Eating is a necessity which makes it a chore which makes it a severe pain in the ass and the pain of eating is further compounded by the fact that it makes you fat. Therefore, the fact that I'm actively raving about and swooning over Thai food only goes to show how awesome it is. The picture next to the seafood paste is a bowl of fishball noodles I had at a food court in a mall next to my hotel (The Big C or whatever. Weird name for a mall). It was soup-based and I hate soup-based noodles and it wasn't amazing but it was decent. More importantly? IT WAS FUCKING CHEAP. It was like S$1.50. Where the hell can you buy something for S$1.50 in a food court in Singapore?

Thai food is awesome and Thai food is cheap. Our most expensive meal was around S$30 - and we had seafood. Curry crab on the second night. I didn't eat the crab but I ate the sauce and it kinda tasted like Calbee potato chips but damn it was good. On the third day we ordered green curry with fish and eating it was like going to heaven. We ordered pad thai (fried grass [sic] noodles, Thai-style) and it was the sweetest fried noodles I've ever had but it was good anyway. The pad thai I had at the Mango Tree (see picture below fishball noodles) at the airport while waiting to board the plane back to Singapore was much better. But the green curry, oh my god the green curry, just so totally amazing that I have no words to describe it.

We ate twice at this Thai restaurant located in the mall opposite our hotel. The mall had like Isetan and stuff. Whatever, who cares. The first time we ate there I ordered green curry fried rice and it was soooo damn nice. My mom ordered fried curry fish/prawn/seafood/whatever paste and it was soooo damn nice too. It was too spicy though and my lousy tastebuds couldn't take it so I didn't manage to finish it, which was sad. What was sadder was that I could only eat half of the spicy fried rice noodles (it was like hor fun, just super fat) with seafood I ordered the second time we ate there (only because we were in a hurry and needed to settle lunch pronto) because it was FUCKING SPICY. Like, OH MY GOD, I had to drink water every two bites and I don't like drinking and eating at the same time. My cousin ordered red curry and it was soooo good and sooo spicy. What a pity, really. Thai curry so rocks.

We also went to the MBK Centre food court where my cousin bought us some very interesting and delicious Thai dessert - glutinous rice with the sweetest mangoes ever (see the most obvious picture). This is an acquired taste, I think, because eating rice sweetened to such an extent is kinda out of the ordinary if, like, you're not Thai. Or if you're Chinese, like me. And it did get sickening after a while but it was good anyway, and the mango was just totally freaking amazing. Eat the mango and the rice together and you get the best dessert ever, and oh-so-fattening to boot but who cares when you're overseas and starving because you've been shopping for the whole damn day and haven't had dinner.

So that's Thai food. Needless to say I miss it very much. There are Thai restaurants and stuff in Singapore but you see, the amazing thing about eating amazing food in Thailand is that it's cheap. It won't be the same eating Thai food in Singapore 'cause it'd definitely cost like twice as much here, which makes the experience inauthentic and, to be honest, shitty. Food is good when it's cheap. Good food is out of this world when it's cheap. Bangkok so totally rocks.

The street where I stayed; a random sign in the antiques/craft mall to the left of my hotel; me in front of the four-face Buddha which is in the middle of the shopping/business/etc district; people praying in front of the Buddha; wide shot of the Buddha; me being vain; don't really know what this is; and Bangkok traffic.

Me being vain while walking along the overhead walkway thingy that links up several malls and leads to the Skytrain station; view from the overhead walkway thingy; bus stop and bus; I forgot what building this is, and a portrait of the King; same as the preceding description; me being vain in front of the building that the preceding description attempted to describe; and a colourful, bright Christmas tree in front of Siam Paragon.

We went to Siam Paragon. It sold a lot of branded stuff. We went into Jimmy Choo and simultaneously salivated and fainted, salivated because the shoes were pretty and fainted because they were expensive. Well, it's not like I'd buy/wear them even if I could afford them 'cause they're not animal-friendly, but I'm just saying. You can admire pretty things without breaching your morals.

The top level of Siam Paragon housed a lot of furniture and craft stores and it was interesting. I bought a bracelet and a pendant.

Siam Square reminded me a bit of Ximending, except I like Ximending a lot better. It was about 9-ish when we were there and half the shops were closing. I was quite surprised that life ended so early in Bangkok. We went into this dessert shop called Mango Tango and I had mango pudding and it was soooo nice because the mango was so sweet. The entire store smelled sweetly of mangoes. Gosh, I could live in that store forever and be happy like that.

The only downside - and it was a major downside - to Day One was that I wasn't entirely there. Shoot me for being a girl, and I would really shoot myself for being a girl if I could, but half of me was back in Singapore, wanting to see a particular person, be with him, hear his voice. Ah, the lovesick puppy syndrome. Just as I think I'm over it, it creeps up on me and pulls me back in. I won't try to hide this anymore since I think most people have heard, deduced something from my entries, or just kinda guessed anyhow, so yes, here it is: I missed the boyfriend like fuck on the first day. And that's about as romantic and smoochy as I'm gonna get.

Tags: bangkok, food, neb

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