Today in the battle of Bangkok weather v Jocelyn mason, I won...mostly. We slept in and started our day pretty slowly. With a trip to the video store for a few last movies and to Tesco for some food we made our way back to the hostel. We waited out the hottest part of the day with a movie (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and then out we went. We ended up hiring a cab to take us to the weekend markets to see what the fuss was all about. Many Thais have told us that shopping in the markets is a strong example of their culture. The markets are a crowded maze of shops and food stalls and vehicles. They were supposed to close at 6 but it never happened, a few shops closed in time for a dozen more to open up in their place. Lots of designers here get their start with pop up shops in the open air markets so there are all kinds of fashions to be seen for great prices, assuming of course you are a size 0-2 and no taller than 5'.
It's fun to see all the Thai people shopping, mixing in with the tourists, everyone bargaining for a deal on a new outfit, stopping for a snack of dried squid or fresh fruit. We wandered through the packed alleyways for a couple of hours, stopping for a few gifts and souvenirs. It made for some fun people watching but after 2 hours of walking in a herd we needed a little reprieve. I was on the hunt for authentic street food but it was Jana that ended up with a few skewers of grilled chicken. She declared them delicious...until she accidentally took a bite of the Thai chili pepper also on the stick, that was mouth burning.
We wandered off to try to find the antique and retro market that was supposedly located near by in some abandoned train cars. Sadly, we never were able to find it, instead we found the local wet market as it was closing down, too bad, apparently it was rated #4 in the world.
We gave up and started the hunt for a taxi home. The first driver set a price of 300 baht ( $9.50) and refused to turn his meter on (illegal). We promptly excited his cab and moved on. In the end we took a tuk tuk home for only slightly less but since tuk tuks are awesome, it was a vast improvement. Our tuk tuk was really burning rubber too! It was literally smoking out the back!
Now the best part... for days we have been trying to figure out how you buy noodles from the street carts. We even tried but the owner ignored us so after several minutes of standing about like dummies we gave up. We keep asking how to do it but people seem to think we are overcomplicating it so all we get is "just buy them on the street, from the people". Yes, sure, very helpful indeed. Today, it worked! I smiled, I pointed at the type of noodles I wanted, I ordered for each of us, I pointed at a duck with a head ( I couldn'ty identify the other options), I managed to save Jana from a chinese celery induced allergic attack. I got noodles! On the street! for $1! I took my noodles, I walked 10 feet, I did a bit of a dance that involved leaping, I got laughed at by Jana. It was worth it, I finally figured out the noodles system...at least at that one stand.
Then back to the hostel for the night. I survived the heat, I experienced a real Thai market and i got noodles, to me that is a victory for this week.
Tomorrow Jana plans to head off to the Grand Palace (yes, she gets confused with Star Wars and calls it the Imperial Palace, much to the amusement of those around her) and the Temple of the Dawn. I would like to go too but I know I won't make it through a tuk tuk bus, a metro and a ferry ride to get there in the heat of the midday. So she shall bring me lovely photos. Stupid heat is ruining my trip. She may also attempt to go to a Muay Thai fight.
Tomorrow night we fly home at 10:30pm. You might just get one last blog entry out of us when we get home, about Jana's trip to the temple and palace and our adventures (short thought they may be) in Korea.
Thanks to everyone for following us and your kind messages along the way.