Since he was at the end of his trip Heewon decided he wanted a bit of comfort and decided to book himself a nice hotel room for his last few days. We were chatting about our rooms when he sent me a picture of his, which included a huge couch. I jokingly replied, “It’s huge, I could sleep on that couch!” but he generously said, “Sure? If you want to you can.” I had already paid for my dorm room for that night, but he said if I wanted to move Saturday morning it was fine with him, so I figured why not. Which is how I also wound up spending the last few days of my Bangkok trip in luxury, and not even on a couch.
When we met Saturday morning I discovered that his ‘room’ was actually a sweet which meant I had my own room and bathroom, fluffy white towels, copious amounts of pillows, a balcony, kitchenette and swimming pool. My gratitude for the liquid courage I had in Chiang Mai was only continuing to grow, sometimes drinking really does pay off. ;)
As a form of ‘thanks’ to Heewon I accompanied him to Chatuchak market Sunday morning to do some shopping. To me this was no big deal, but I guess having English as my native language causes me to easily forget how difficult traveling without it may be. Thankfully the two of us have similar shopping styles (basically we don’t like it) so after only two hours we were on our way back to the hotel, opting for aircon and youtube videos over scorching sun and crowds.
To cap off the trip we decided to splurge on drinks at the skybar where Heewon was staying, ironically a place I had tried to go with my Thai friend a few months prior, but couldn’t due to a private event. Here we discovered more similarities, neither of us accustomed to drinking cocktails had no idea what to order, but the drinks were good and the view was even better.
After dressing up and acting classy at the skybar we completely reversed our roles, made a stop at Tops Market for beers and food, and took advantage of our huge hotel room and kitchen for our last night. With a variety of beers, sushi, pizza, chips and some mystery deli selections we were headed back to our room, and once again this felt totally normal to me. I’m still not sure how I survived two days of full on Korean conversation, but it was so much fun. I’m sure at least 30% of our conversation was lost in translation, or simply just lost, but somehow we made it work and the whole experience reinforced my desire to continue my Korean studies.
Monday morning I took advantage of my last few hours of available pool time before packing my bags to move towards Don Muang airport. I had a flight early the next morning so I decided rather than having to grab a taxi at 5 am, I’d just stay nearby. Oddly enough Heewon was leaving the same day, but even earlier around 3 am and ultimately decided to follow me and stay for a while in the hostel, rather than wandering the streets of Bangkok all day with his backpack. Since we had time, and I wanted to show him the backpacker way, we decided to take the (slow) train to Don Muang, cheap but also a bit uncomfortable.
My plan would have worked brilliantly, there is enough to do around the airport to be entertained for an afternoon, but I wanted to see my Thai friend Kittichai one last night, and Monday was the only night we could make it work. Heewon also wanted to head back into the city for one last massage so after a few hours of rest at our guesthouse grabbed a cab back to town, slightly counter intuitive, but que sera sera.
I fell asleep without a really saying goodbye to Heewon, but was pleased to find a “Goodbye/Thank you” note in my shoe the next morning when I set out for the airport at 5 am. Although I knew his flight was hours earlier, while wandering the halls of the airport I had this strange thought of seeing him there. I shook it off, grabbed my coffee and made my way to the gate. Then only moments before boarding I looked up and what do you know, there he was. Neither of us could do anything but laugh and then he shyly told me, “I missed my flight”. I’m still not clear on how exactly he managed to do so, but it still makes me laugh when I think about the various incidental meetings we experienced together
High on the tourist track for a reason, home of good food (mostly) happy people, rich history and culture. Thailand as many tourist soon learn is just easy. Easy to visit, easy to get around and even easier to stay.