My name is Dragriffin and welcome to today’s topic:
When Canadians Find Each Other – A Bangkok Tale
I left Beijing quite eager to get to Thailand. I needed to renew my Visa to stay in China longer and decided that instead of doing the traditional Hong Kong trip, I could just head to the beach instead. Heck, I wanted to go to the beach. It’s summer, it’s hot and in Beijing, it’s hard to find a beach. I decided to not wait for the ocean to come to me. (Climate change people, it’s real!). My adventure starts at the airport after a painfully long metro ride (1h30). To find out that the flight is delayed. “Until what time is the flight delayed?” I asked politely the you lady. “Don’t know…” AH! This is the kind of answer we all like. Don’t know. We left 30 minutes after we were supposed to arrive in Bangkok. So obviously, I decided to strike a conversation with a random stranger.
I start talking with Dylan and we find out we are both Canadians. Oh, the happiness! He’s going to Thailand to meet up with his brother and other friends (more Canadians, yey!). By the time we arrive in Bangkok, it’s half past 4 in the morning. I decide to sleep at the hostel with the whole group, because my booking is actually in a city 1h30 away from Bangkok… (where the beach is, remember?).
Some slept, some didn’t. I slept. A good 2 hours. That’s like 13% battery on your cellphone. You’re good to go, but don’t know how long it will last. We go for Kho San Road where the shops and street food is popular. To get there, we take the long boat on the canal. It’s noisy, but it feels awesome. My four Canadian friends and I start the day on the right foot. With beer and street food Pad Thai. Classic breakfast you would call it. We shop a bit, negotiate with the vendors until we make the cry (almost) and start walking toward the Grand Palace. After adding each other on Facebook, I find out that Chester is the brother of one of my friends on Facebook. That’s an awesome coincidence! Instant friends! We take a picture together and just send it to his brother with “Hi from Thailand!”
While we walk towards to Palace like 5 lost souls because we are still sleepy and because we have no idea what we are doing, we get lucky with a nice Thai local. He was just walking on the street. Not a vendor, not a cab driver, not trying to sell anything. Just a genuinely nice person. He dresses a list of 8-9 places to see in Bangkok, hails 2 Tuk-tuk for a VERY cheap price and sends us off to explore. One of the Tuk-tuk was a pimped Tuk-tuk. Modified muffler, big engine, mags and flashy paint. It looked like a roadster. We zoom through the city and we find out how much our luck is strong. It’s both Government day and Buddha’s Day. All the temples and attractions are free! I eat at every stop more street food. Fried crispy chicken, fish balls, etc.
After we say our bye byes to the Tuk-tuk drivers that dropped us off at a restaurant by the Canal where I eat again, we decide to go for the Grand palace. We are five. We try our luck with one Tuk-tuk. We fit. None of us are heavy weights. Maybe Dylan a bit, but he’s working on it. (Joking man!)
5 Canadians in a Tuk-tuk! We ride like a bunch of stooges towards the Grand Palace while we also piss off the driver. We had negotiated with him for fairly cheap and he tried to make us feel bad. So we decided to act as cheap as one can be. 50Baht max for a boat ride to see the Grand Palace. Above, it’s to expensive for us poor Canadians. (Ridiculous. No one would believe it. He though we were serious.) We laughed. Then he laughed after he dropped us because we left us quite far from the palace. Always check your location kids! Lessons learned. It was worth it.
We missed the Grand Palace because they close early with the celebration and prayers. Not much we can do by then and the sleepless night was starting to hit us. We jumped in another Tuk-tuk (5 people again), but this time, we got the trick. Expert Tetris players now! The driver asked us if we mind helping him to get a Gaz coupon. We just need to spend 5 minutes at this place, faking to buy something and then leave. He gets our coupon, we get a cheap ride. “You scratch our back, we scratch yours.” So we did.
After the joy ride we had through the city, seeing temples, shops and eating street food, it was time to part ways. I had to catch my bus toward my actual destinations (the beach, remember?). And it was not a minute to soon because as soon as I got on the bus, it started pouring rain. I was off to the beach!
So what happens when Canadians get together in a foreign country? It’s like a four-leaf clover, we get lucky, we laugh and we enjoy the moment. But lets be truthful, you don’t need to be Canadian for that, just take things with a smile regardless of whom you are with.
I wish happy travels to my new Canadians friends! (Kayle is hidden behind Dylan here!)
Today’s item on the list:
Ride a Tuk-tuk!It was pretty awesome!
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