After five months of incremental movement across parts of Europe, our arrival in Bangkok feels like a pretty dramatic change.
This is a city of extremes, all packed in together. Luxury hotels and air-conditioned malls abound. But you are never more than just steps away from alleys jammed with cheap food stalls and chaos of all stripes.
Our first evening last night was a perfect study of that contrast. We’re in a pretty luxe 60-story hotel here; your hotel money goes further in Bangkok than anywhere else I can think of. Before heading out for dinner we stopped by the rooftop bar for an overpriced cocktail and spectacular views of the city. Then we headed into the chaos of the immediate neighborhood in search of a restaurant I’d researched online. The place was impossible to find in the labyrinth of streets and alleys, so we eventually gave up and settled for a typical place in the neighborhood. That meant plastic chairs on the sidewalk, food so spicy it made our noses run, and a dinner tab ridiculously under budget.
We are excited about the new kinds of adventure ahead of us — the kind that can be more stressful and more difficult, but more exciting and rewarding, too. And just to get it started right, we’ve both got appointments at a Bangkok dentist this afternoon for our semi-annual teeth cleaning. I’m hoping I won’t have anything too interesting to report back from that.