So, within a couple days I’d settled fairly well into my apartment, though I still had a few things to iron out, like the whole wifi situation and figuring out where I could do my damn laundry, but I also now had a Thai bank account, though how to get money from it and into my Canadian accounts also remained a mystery.
The more interesting development was my first trip to Bangkok’s Chinatown, which is a hell of a place. It’s crowded and hectic and bustling and chaotic and intense and pretty incredible, though I certainly wouldn’t go out there every day. There’re tons of food stalls crowding the sidewalks with dozens of people queuing up to the most popular stalls (meaning trendiest at the moment for reasons that are often impossible to figure out). Entire strings of stalls serve seafood, which was a real treat. All of these meals are eaten outside at metal tables and sitting on plastic stools. Since arriving in Thailand I think I’d only eaten one meal indoors, and the thought of doing so again actually felt . . . well, foreign.
I started out at a lovely cafe/bar called Samsara with great views right on the river and a population of cats spread out over nearly every unoccupied surface. I then headed for the food stalls of Chinatown proper where I threaded my way through the crowds and scooters and stall-hopped, trying out two or three of them. I ended the evening in a quiet bar that served a few decent IPAs, so I got to satisfy that particular thirst for the time being.
I’d also went out the previous night with a few of the other teachers in my training group. They were a good bunch and I would certainly hang out with a few of them again.
I had the coming week off, though, so planned to leave the city for a couple days on a visit to Ayuthaya, the ancient capital and site of several impressive ruins. I figured I should take advantage of these days off while I could, still allowing me to be back in town for Songkran, the infamous Thai new year’s celebrations during which the country devolved into a massive water fight.