A Lazy and Hungover Day in Bangkok

My hope for a hangover-free day was in vain. We wake up ridiculously late: around 3 PM. I don’t even know if I can blame the jet lag for this one.

Day 5. Diary date: October 6th, 2019.

What did we do today?

The plan for today was sightseeing in Bangkok, but S and I immediately postponed that until tomorrow…

We woke up to incurably dry mouth and persistent, self-inflicted queasiness. Feeling unjustifiably sorry for ourselves.

We knew we couldn’t just do nothing though, so settled on going to Siam Paragon. I know what you’re thinking—another mall already!? Yeah, I can’t help but think that we’re somehow not doing this whole travelling thing ‘right’ so far. But I guess there’s an adjustment period, and this is how we navigate ours.

Leaving the hotel makes us feel both better and worse. Better, because we’re overcome by the sense of exploration once more. Worse, because Bangkok is stiflingly hot and just altogether oppressive at times. We decide to take some meandering walking routes to avoid the crowded streets, heading down alleys and less-travelled paths:

Bangkok
The image you have of Bangkok shifts constantly as you move from street to street, area to area
Bangkok
The strange incongruity of houses, falling apart, mounted by billboards
Bangkok
Bangkok intersection on an overcast day. I suspect pollution is at least partially to blame—AQI not great.

With the Jay festival ongoing, we eat some vegan beef and noodles with wontons. We see that one of the stalls has a Michelin star, supposedly, and laugh at ourselves for never realising that the Michelin star and the Michelin man come from the same company.

Exploring Siam

Siam has an enthralling cyberpunk-ish vibe at night—I only wish I’d brought a better camera!

We had a couple of firsts today, such as trying bubble tea and successfully navigating the Bangkok Skytrain. The train took us from Siam to Sala Daeng, where we checked out Lumphini Park. It cost only 34 Baht (~£0.88) and took around 5 minutes.

I’d heard that Monitor Lizards were wandering Lumphini Park, but we didn’t spot any, and it doesn’t look like they’re still around. We found one thing though: an outside gym! We did a basic workout. There’s nothing better for you when you’re feeling rough than exercise — sometimes the thing that you want to do least is just exactly what you need.

A sleepless night

We call a Grab back, after a quick visit to 7/11—with which we were quickly developing what can only be described as a personal relationship. 7/11’s always there for you 24/7 and they’re literally on every street corner—which is actually kind of dystopian when you think of the effect this must have on local sellers.

I couldn’t sleep until gone 7 am (yes, 7!) so I went outside and looked at Bangkok sunrise. It was so beautiful, it made the difficulty sleeping worth it:

Bangkok

I start to research Bangkok’s history and trawl through ‘Top 10 Things to do in Bangkok!’ articles, which reiterates to myself the excitement of what we’re doing all over again—it’s easy to forget how amazing the travelling is, and how quick you can lose sight of how great it is to be away from regimented life.

I’m also reflecting on how quick we—or just I?—am to concentrate on the negative aspects of things rather than the positives oftentimes. The negative is just more visceral, leaving more of an imprint to me.

And the mind is like a record, sticking to the grooves that you carve out.

I want to make the needle skip and bounce out of these grooves, to look at life differently. To be more accepting and optimistic, less critical. I guess that’s part of why I’m travelling, maybe even subconsciously. When I look at my life, it’s all been incredibly positive so far—so why do I often give in to incessant negativity? Yin and Yang, two energies and all that, I suppose. But I want to restructure my outlook. It’s one goal, anyway.

The day ends with a lot of thoughts, but a lot of grinning too. This place is intensely alien compared to life back home, but such an incredible experience already. And each section of the travelling will be different: each country, each area, each day—which is something so exciting! I think keeping this log will help keep that mind; there’s so much to come, so much in store, and it’ll be anything but boring. Sightseeing tomorrow (for real this time). I’m smiling.

(Oh, and just to set the scene: Common was playing on repeat at 7 am, while I watched the Bangkok sunrise. Amazing.)

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