First Night in Bangkok

I have a little evil laugh to myself as I finish packing my bags and phone the taxi. Its a quiet chuckle through a grin. ‘Heh heh heh…’ Two weeks holiday ahead of me in a far away land, with only myself to look after, only myself to please.

Nineteen hours of trains, planes and taxis. I think about how reserved I am, why that is, and wonder whether it will change. A couple of youngsters say something funny on the train, I have a little laugh with them then put my nose back in my paperback. Why am I a little averse to having a conversation? The girl next to me on the plane struggles with working the in-flight entertainment thingy. I show her how to do it then quickly put my headphones back on and ignore her. Why am I uncomfortable? My first walk around Bangkok, I order a beer from Cheap Charlies in Sukhumvit, where bunches of young americans and europeans are hanging out and chatting at the pavement tables. I feel ill at ease, stood there like a rod on my own. I sup up and walk on. Then I think, why didn’t I start just say hello or start talking to these people? Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by meeting too many knobheads in my life. Perhaps the ratio between friendly, interesting people and nasty, uninteresting people is far too unfavourable to represent a good gamble. Perhaps I’m scared stiff of getting into a conversation that is boring or one-sided because I find it very difficult to cut these conversations short once they have started. Perhaps I worry too much. Definitely I worry too much. Most people do.

One hour later I am in a different frame of mind. I have just had the most amazing massage. I had forgotten what its like to feel properly relaxed. That means treating your mind to a little blankness. Giving your head a break from being a racetrack for 1500 different thoughts.

I order beef from the roadside food vendor and it comes over in a noodle soup with dumplings. I taste it and it doesn’t seem very spicy. I pile in some condiments and it becomes very spicy. Two minutes later I am gargling Heineken and trying to stop my nose running. I have turned red and feel a little dizzy. Perhaps I should have taken it easy with those pickled chillis and chilli oil. No worries, for I am living the dream. Munching fresh hot delicious food at a pavement table in Bangkok. The vendor giggles at me.

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