Saturday, April 24, 2010

Khaoson Road

After that night of navigating poop rivers, Summer and I had lots more catching up to do and so we stayed up until like 3 or 4 am without realizing it.  And so naturally we slept until 3pm yesterday.  We ventured out onto the street and got some food.  I must be weathering as a traveler, or maybe even changing as a person because this was the same market where, the night prior, the rats ran amok.  Also a gecko was crawling on the food stand.  I ordered some kind of vegetable thing plus another thai peanut vegetable thing, some sticky rice and it was all for 60 Baht, or $2.  Summer got egg rolls and prawns, tails and eyeballs and antannaes and all.

After that we walked back to the hotel, ate the food, did some internet research, and by then it was 7pm.  Not wanting to waste the entire day we hired a tuk tuk (motorized three wheeled scooter taxi) and headed over to Khaoson Road.  On the way we witnessed a car accident in which a bus scraped the back of a black SUV and they were hung up on eachother.  This was five feet from our faces.  Our tuk tuk driver got very anxious and wanted to get the heck out of there.  His only option was to back up but we were in a traffic jam.  The driver of the SUV got unstuck from the bus finally and then got out of his car and started screaming at the bus driver.  We reversed at a hundred miles an hour and took another route.  I got it all on video.  ha!  Crazy westerner, videotaping car accidents in Bangkok.

I was actually shocked to see an accident happening.  One thing I will give SE Asian drivers is (and I'm stealing this quote from a friend I met in Bali) that they "really are familiar with the dimensions of their vehicles".  In other words, can come within inches of another car whilst driving and parking.  So I was watching this bus get so close to the SUV and was even maybe a little impressed and then CRUNCH. 

Khaoson Road is a tourists dream.  It's basically a big long street with shops and stalls and foodstands lining both sides.  You can get a massage, a facial, bikini wax (ew), or even hire fish to eat the dead skin off your feet (ew).  There is a clean bathroom behind a McDonald's that only charges 5 Baht and they give you toilet paper and there is soap!  The shops sell things like fake Ray Bans, real Nike shoes and fake Birkenstocks.  If your name is on the following list I bought you a present: Josette, Miyo, Kady.  I hope you like your fake Birkenstocks, Josette.  Just kidding.  So some funny things happened.  Haggling doesn't happen like it happens everywhere else in the world.  You say, "how much?"  They say, for example, "350 Baht".  You say, "no, too much.  150 Baht."  They say, "No."  They don't counter offer.  You walk away.  By the end I sort of got the hang of it, and didn't go so low on my first offer.  It's more realistic to get like 30-50 Baht discount than to get half off the asking price.  I suppose I should have looked that up in my Lonely Planet guide. 

I haven't mentioned the DVD trade here.  In Bali, you could go to a store, on the street, and pick any DVD of movies that ARE STILL IN THEATERS and buy them for $1.  They are bad bootlegs, and sometimes were filmed from a seat of the theater, but for $1 you can work with it.  I didn't buy any DVDs in Bali because my netbook doesn't have a DVD drive, and also because I had friends buying them and so I didn't need to.  Well now Summer is here and her laptop has the drive, and so we thought we would buy a movie or two to watch.  So here's the conversation between me and the DVD guy:

Kady: "How much for one?"
Guy: "80 Baht. ($2.50)
Kady: "Too much."
Guy: "What you pay?"
Kady: "How much if I buy more than one?"
Guy: "700 Baht for 10"
Kady: (after flipping through book, and choosing 6 titles) "200 Baht for 6"
Guy: "500 Baht for 6"
Kady: "That's more than 80 for one."
Guy: "Go look for better deal."
Kady: "OK I will."
Summer: to man: "Mai pen rai"
Summer: to me: "Kady, say it with a smile.  Be nice."
Kady: "No, this is illegal, these are crappy videos with terrible quality, he's charging too much."
Summer: grabbing my arm, leading me away, to man: "Mai pen rai"

Obviously I didn't get any DVDs.  And mai pen rai means "no worries".
p.s. I paid $17 to go to movies in New Zealand.  And suddenly $2.50 is too much?  What is happening to me?

And then I ate a grasshopper because Summer did first and she said it tasted like roasted pumpkin seeds, and it did.

After getting an hour-long Thai massage for $6, we hired another tuk tuk to head back to the hotel.  Summer cracked me up because an old man kept trying to get in our tuk tuk for free and she playfully pushed him out and then accidentally we both held up our feet to prevent him from getting back in.  All while laughing and smiling of course, but then we remembered it's a HUGE insult to point your feet at someone.  We gasped!  And Summer said, "mai pen rai" one thousand times as we drove off.  On the way back our driver stopped to ask a Policeman where our hotel was.  haha

Oh, and a bum was sleeping on our street with a huge hole in the crotch of his pants.  I took a photo but it's not appropriate to post it.  If I were to post it, I would have captioned it, "I used to think you were crazy, but now I can see you're nuts."


Josette said...

You know I only wear real Crocs :)

Sarah said...

Amy got me a copy of some first run movie when she was in Thailand. I never watched it. I think I lost it. Sorry Amy, but now I don't feel so bad to know she paid about 50 cents for it.

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