Bangkok so far

It’s hot. and humid. I’ve never appreciated a cool breeze more… or guzzled down so much water without needing to make a stop every 10 minutes. Davis in the summer is nothing compared to Bangkok. But that’s about the only thing causing me discomfort.

Davis Thai food is forever ruined for me, because I’ve tasted the real thing (for a fraction of the cost) and I can’t go back. Seriously. Highlights include: roasted chicken liver, fried quail eggs with a dash of maggi seasoning and white pepper, slightly pickled guava, crunchy green mango dipped in a mixture of crushed shrimp, salt, and red pepper flakes, spicy catfish salad, and EVERYTHING from tonight’s meal.

The traffic is terrifying, though not nearly as chaotic as China. Motorcycles zip by without a care as to which lane they’re in, which direction traffic is coming from, and how many people are on the damn thing.

So far, we’ve wandered around some shopping areas, visited several temples and palaces, and made obligatory trips to the touristy areas. Bhume is an excellent host, and his house is amazing. It’s built in the Thai style (see here for an example) and is connected by small wooden gates to houses of several of his family members. Nearby is a cafe his sister and cousin own, his family’s gym, and his aunt’s restaurant (where we ate tonight). There’s a hospital literally across the street, so as a result there’s usually two street food vendors by the gate to his house. It’s understandable that people in the hospital would prefer that food to the Sodexo offerings in the hospital. Oh yes, Sodexo, as in the same awful caterer we have on the UCD campus.

There’s lots of rumors and apprehension regarding the Red Shirt rallies planned for this weekend. Military personnel are everywhere in the major tourist attractions and near government buildings. Some of the major areas will be closed starting tomorrow – including the areas we just saw today. Lucky us.