Well I have arrived in Thailand. I am writing this post from the free internet in the hostel that I am staying at.
We caught the plane just in time. We took the wrong train from Niigata and ended up in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE in Japan, but somehow managed to get to Narita Airport just in time to get on our plane (we had to go through the staff security checkpoint because we were late). We took a taxi from Narita station to the airport, but unfortunately we were dropped off at Terminal 1. We departed from Terminal 2. At this time it was mass chaos as we more or less ran to catch the bus to Terminal 2.
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. I sat in the back row far away from Juan and watched Ironman and the new Indiana Jones. Towards the end I talked in Japanese to the guy sitting next to me and we talked about Thailand. He seems to work for a civil engineering firm and said that Thailand is actually pretty safe for foreigners. Whenever they made an announcement on the PA they said it in Japanese, English, and Thai. I don’t know any Thai.
I have the weirdest habit in Thailand also. I tend to try to speak in Japanese. I suppose it is the fact that I have never been to a foreign country other than Japan, so my default foreign language is Japanese, but I can only say “Hello” in Thai. Juan and I have something going where if we are saying something that we don’t want anyone around us to understand, we speak in Japanese. That way the only people that would understand us are Japanese people (it is very rare for a Thai person to speak Japanese).
Anyways, after we arrived we passed through customs with no problems and then proceded to exchange currency. I only traded 20000 yen at the airport (63000 baht) and will probably trade the rest in as I go along. We went out to the Taxi line and Juan showed the driver the hostel that we were staying at. At first, the Taxi driver tried to rip us off. He said 500 baht, which is way more than it should be. Juan, being attentive as ever, said just to use the meter. After about a 20 minute drive during which we saw a nice view of the Bangkok skyline, we arrived at the hostel. Again, the Taxi driver tried to charge us significantly more than what the meter said, but we were able to bargain it down to 385 baht.
The hostel is really nice. The AC is huge and Juan and I share our own rooms (bunk beds). The bathrooms/showers are also suspiciously clean. Well worth the $10 a night we paid.
Anyways Juan and I decided to go out to eat. We walked around a little while and then it started pouring rain. After a while we made our way to a 7-11 where we both bought an umbrella for 99 baht. You see some pretty interesting stuff on the street. There were a lot of beggars, suspiciously looking “massage” parlors, and even an elephant on the street next to the swanky looking hotel.
After walking around a little bit we decided to eat at this upscale looking restaurant called “Sillom Village”. It was a little bit more expensive than Juan wanted, but in the end we spend about 800 baht total for both of us (1 entree and 2 beers each). I had this very spicy Thai beef and Juan had this Duck curry. We shared our food and it was really good. The beef definitely had authentic Thai spice.
Anyways that leaves me where I am now. Going to go to sleep soon so I can rest up for tomorrow. I will definitely keep this blog updated though.