Thursday, January 20

bangkok's tourist economy

I've been amazed at the sheer number of tourists here. People of all ages - you're "typical" round the world traveler in their mid to late 20s, then the folks my parents' age, in their 50s, either in the form of couples or men here for the sex tourism - so many large, older, white men with wee bitty young Thai women; it's very disturbing. I've heard there's a large gay community here, but I haven't seen it. there are also older travelers, in their 60s, prehaps 70s. it's a very easy country to get around, as i've said. the huge disparity between rich and poor that is so prevalent in India, isn't as true here. Bangkok has a thriving middle class.

I had a great day/night. I'm not very good at bargaining, spent too much for cloth to have made into clothes by a Miss Hong. I'm probably paying too much for that as well, but it's still far cheaper than having custom clothes made in the US. I'm having 2 shirts, one long coat, a skirt and a skimpy dress made. I came back to the hostel and went off with 3 other folks. We took a river boat as far north as we could go, to the next town, Nothaburi. We stumbled upon a food fair! Probably 50 booths set up selling different things. One had 5 different curries that you could get over noodles and then add cucumbers, bean sprouts, vinegared bananas and cabbage. I skipped that though and went for the stewed pork, predominately feet, but some flank as well, that was cooking in a broth, so tender it was falling off the bone, served on rice with a garnish of fried fat - the way I'm describing this it doesn't sound very good, but oh my! it was delicious. Then we got some pork sate, a wonderful pork sausage that was packed full of fresh ginger, lemon grass, and chilis. There was a cucumber salad. After all this, it was time for some sweets. I tried a barley (huge grains), corn and tapioca type thing topped with a salty coconut milk; it was weird, but good. We also got a purple rice, fresh coconut sweet thing. Later a gelatenous ball filled with a toasted coconut and brown sugar concoction that was so good. Boy, what a food night!

I finished the evening off with another Thai massage; found one for 200 baht an hour. This one involved a lot more of the contortion and pounding of my knots, constantly toeing the line between pain and pleasure, but I feel great now. No definite plans for tomorrow, beyond my fitting at 5. Hopefully, I'll be able to get together with Joy's friend who lives in Bangkok. I still need to get a towel and prehaps a blanket, but I'd rather count on my sleeping bag to be enough. Ooh, I know what else I want to do, have my teeth cleaned. Much cheaper to do it here than back home where I lack dental insurance. Yes, even abroad, one shouldn't neglect their gums.

1 comment:

minnie said...

mmm. food sounds good. even tho i tend to avoid pork.