Today’s schedule says exploring China Town with a group of local girls from Couchsurfing looking for travelers talking English to them.
My day starts at noon, again
Before exploring China Town tonight, I will go for a nice cafe again and follow up on some more administrative things. But first, I have to get up, shower and actually start the day.
Even though i finally bought my Rabbit card and thought it would be the one key to all the public transportation in Bangkok (at least the regional trains), it is not. I have to pay a extra one-time fee because my “home” station is a bit out of town and I figured out that I can’t use it for the MRT. The MRT looks identical to the SkyTrain but maybe is operated by another company so the tickets can’t be combined. Whatever. So I now have my card that is charged with 15 rides and still have to by single tickets for other tracks.
Belle recommended me the Terminal 21 shopping mall for a cheap lunch and a good chance to find a nice cafe. I am following her recommendation and end up in a huge mall that is crowed by hundreds of local teenagers going crazy for something like a Justin Bieber boy-group performing playback in the lobby. I am sneaking my way through them trying to find the food court, it is located in the top two levels. Arriving at the food court I am really disoriented and need some time to figure out how things work. I have to charge a plastic card with money, this can be done at a counter at beginning. I figure out that I can get the unused cash refunded directly after the meal. I got me some rice and minced chicken with basil and a spicy sauce.
Still in the mall I found a small cafe and decided to sit down, have an Ice’d Tea and get to work. I used my Skype credits to call the job center, my health insurance company DAK and the ADAC for my travel insurance. I could not get a direct answers from the DAK on how to handle my case as I was not formerly registered as unemployed and in addition to that, no in the country for a long time. The job center was quite clear: I have to apply in person, as long as I don’t do this I won’t get any support or money. The ADAC was the easiest to handle. Even though I was already abroad, was I already have a short-term travel insurance with them that covers my case right now, they can make an exception and still give me the long-term protection, done. Sounds easy, but took me a couple of hours.
Heading to China Town
Meeting point is Hua Lamphong MRT station. I was already connected with some of the girls to meet via WhatsApp. After I set up my public trip for Bangkok on Couchsurfing, a girl contacted me and explained that she is an English teacher and connected the girls from her classes with travelers to get more practice in speaking English. I agreed to forward my contact details and to meet up. So I met with Kay, Runny, Pang and two other travelers Salman and Paul. The girls had some sort of agenda, her teacher was not yet with us, we met her later at a hotel in China Town.
Tired of trivial conversations
It took me like five minutes until getting bored of the simple conversations we had. Especially Pang, she was assigned to me, she had a very limited vocabulary and it took me a lot of patience following her simple questions. They have all been very kind and I liked the group, but yeah, it was a new experience for me and it wasn’t easy to handle as well as unexpected. Besides these efforts of both sides, the girls gave us a very nice tour through China town and once we met their teacher it was on us to tell what of the goods sold on the street market are similar to what we have in Europe. The answer was easy: None of them. Nothing was even close of being similar to what we have on our markets in Germany. Nearly everything was totally different. If there where products that looked slightly similar, than the material of ingredients they where made of, or the way they where actually made, where totally different. After a nice simple dinner we separated and I join Sal for a tour to the Khao San Market.
Khao San Road and Market
The Khao San Road is the main tourist area in Bangkok. If you’ve once met other travelers you need to find again, that’s the place for you to look at. Everyone is drunk, the music on the road is too loud to have a conversation, the beer is cheap, the alcohol and drinks are bad. You can buy nearly everything hear. I was offered fake ID cards, driver’s licenses from California or Germany, wrist bands with the most stupid slogans on it, Weed, Cocain, Ping-Pong shows, Laughing Gas, massages with happy ending, prostitutes, anything. Sal and I we limited our experience for this time on two beers and a bucket Gin Tonic. later I extended mine for a fried Scorpion that tasted like Shrimp and wasn’t bad at all. It was already late and I did not want to keep Belle up as she had to go to work next day in the morning. Unfortunately she had no extra key for me. I took a Tuktuk to the SkyTrain and went back home.
Find more details on my maps in the category Travel.
Find more details on my expenses in the category Expenses.
Belle from Couchsurfing was so kind to host me.