Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10: Bangkok

Today we were scheduled to visit many temples around Bangkok.  I knew coming here I would have to have my shoulders covered when in the temple but with the 109- yes that's one hundred and nine degree real feel temperature, I didn't want to wear more than my tank top if at all possible.  

So last night I went on a hunt to find a cheap button up shirt that I could throw on when in the temple and take off and throw in my bag when I wasn't.  I didn't want to buy it at the stalls and pay more than I had to for some knock off shirt made of faux whatever.  So while Dr_EAM was in the grocery store searching desperately to replace his misplaced Fabreeze, I looked around for a possible shirt.  And I found it- cheap, lightweight and button up.  And the added bonus it wasn't white so me and my "recess-kid" self wouldn't get it dirty the first second I had it on.

Now I know this shirts is Aloha-fabulous and rather bright, but I was still surprised with the attention I was getting today.  Thai people looking at me, staring, talking.  And then there was the news station that wanted to shoot video of me at one of the temples.  I was beginning to feel self conscious and asked Dr_EAM if he noticed it too.  Typical guy, said he didn't.

It wasn't until we were on our way back to the hotel that our guide said "I see you're ready for the water festival."

"I am?"

"Yes, your shirt.  This is the traditional water festival shirt.  It says you're ready to be wet."

Doh!  I guess I'm not as attention-grabbing as I was beginning to think.  At least I didn't purchase a red shirt.

Speaking of red shirts ...

The red shirts and police had another standoff today.  Here was the view from the skytrain bridge as we tried to board to go outside the main center (where the group has been protesting for the last month) to see some sights in Bangkok.

However, their protest shut down the skytrain- so instead we started walking.  And walking. and walking.  When we got to the canal we jumped on one of the local water boats- a trip that is not for the faint of heart.

After getting out of, as best as we could tell, the protest zone we walked to the Buddha market, where locals go to buy their status of all sizes.  And then to Chinatown where we tried all sorts of food

In the end, after more walking and walking and walking, we were very thankful that at least the subway was still running so we could get somewhat close to the hotel.  And we rewarded ourselves with some Sushi do!

At least this morning we were able to see some of the temples of Bangkok which were busy and largely decorated because of the upcoming water festival.

Tomorrow- out of this protesting mess and on to Chiang Mai


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