May 08, 2016

#TRAVEL - Busy, busy Bangkok [Part 1]

When I started my apprenticeship back in 2013 I promised to myself, that the first new continent that I would be flying to will be Asia. So 2 1/2 years later I started to realize that dream. I asked my mother if she would like to come with me. I think she first thought that I was kidding her, but I wasn't. One day after she said yes, I booked the flights. I showed her the booking confirmation and she was like "Wait, are we really doing this?"
The reason I asked my mother was, that most of my friends aren't that "adventourus" and well, I really, really like to do a lot and see a lot. So on the 4th of april we flew with Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi and arrived pretty early on a wednesday morning in Bangkok.

I had exactly two thoughts in the first couple of minutes after leaving the Suvarnabhumi Airport. The first thought I had was "How the hell am I gonna survive this heat!?" Seriously, when you fly to Thailand you expect it to be really warm over there, but when you're actually there it kinda knocks you right off your feet. I prepared a lot for this vacation because we were in Asia for 15 days and I really wanted to make to best of it. But the one thing you can not prepare for is the climate difference between Europe and Asia.
We were in Bangkok for 4 days and every single one of those days we had around 39 to 42 degrees. It didn't matter when you left the hotel, because it almost never really cooled down in the night. So after walking for a couple of minutes you could feel the sweat running down from ... everywhere. We only packed light clothes and shorts (my luggage weighted exactly 14 kilos when I got to Bangkok) so we walked around in Flip-Flops, tops and shorts the entire day and it still felt like we wore way too much.
The next thing I thought after arriving was "How the hell am I gonna survive this traffic!?"
If you think the european traffic is bad, you've certainly never been to Bangkok. First off, there are close to no traffic lights for pedestrians. Yep, you read that right. As a normal person you are supposed to cross the street whenever you feel safe enough to do so. But let's be real, in Bangkok it's never safe to cross a street no matter how small or big it may be. There is always a truck, a car, a Tuk-Tuk, a motorbike, a scooter or some selfmade contraption that will drive through the street the exact moment you want to cross it. We almost always ran over the street because we never knew when it was safe enough. Because there is one other t
hing you have to know: traffic lights in Bangkok are just for decoration. Basically no one pays attention whether the light's red or yellow or green. They just drive.

So, the insane heat + the always present traffic chaos = awesome. And yes, that's pure irony. But it is a part of Bangkok and I think - in a very twisted kind of way - that it is great the way it is. Because no one would expect Bangkok to be a very calm and silent city. Bangkok is exciting, it is fascinating, it is different, it is shocking, it is beautiful, it is a whole other world.

What Bangkok is also really famous for are the little street food carts. There is no street without them. When you walk through the streets at night you always see the Thai people gathering around tables in the streets eating the cooked meals from the carts. It smells really good and it also looks pretty delicious. You can get various types of meals. There are carts where you can get cooked vegetables with rice, carts with pork skewers, fruit carts, juice and water carts, carts with fish, with rice or noodles - E-VERY-THING. The only thing that I didn't like about all those carts was, that the streets they were positioned on are either very busy streets with a lot of traffic or small alleys where you smell all sorts of things, that you never wanted to smell in the first place. I did not eat from those carts for two different reason: one of them were the surrounding area and the fear of eating dirty or polluted meals. They may look really good and I don't think they taste bad but if you think about how long they are subjected to the heat, the sun, the traffic and the smells it kinda seems wrong to eat something, that very oviously is dirty in some way. The other reason is that I am not vaccinated with the necessary things like Hepatits A or B or even Malaria. I only have the basic vaccinations because my doctor told me that I am kind of immune to those diseases. I am no expert on health but I wasn't quite sure about that so I stayed away from the street food and according to my mother, who ate some pork skewers, that was no bad idea from my side.

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