Seemed like it took all day, but I finally arrived in Bangkok to an airport pickup and transfer to my luxury hotel ($30 per night for 2 people, $15 each). I screamed when I saw Summer! I haven't seen her in 3 1/2 months! We spent a few hours catching up and then decided to go get some food. Summer thought we should ask at the front desk but I said let's just go for a walk, we'll find something!
We headed out into the night at about 11pm. We decided to go left out of the hotel and walk around the block. Everything was closed and we just sort of kept walking and chatting. Midway around the block Summer found a "short cut" and started walking down this narrow sidewalk next to some kind of reservoir. I protested, but she had been here a whole day already (expert, right?) and she really felt this was the easiest way to the other side of the block and so I followed her. As we walked down this tiny sidewalk, bordered to the left with a high concrete wall and to the right with a handrail preventing your fall into the reservoir I was nervous, but we then happened upon a group of people across the reservoir sitting outside eating and I started to feel more comfortable. At least if somebody jumped us my plan was to RUN back to that house with the people by crossing the reservoir on the tight-rope of a concrete pass over it. And by reservoir I mean sewer, or poop trench extending behind a city block. We walked for quite some time and even at one point had to stand on the hand rail and shimmy past a puddle of poop to continue on. Just when I said, "hey Summer, what happens when we get to the end and there is no outlet?", we got to the end and there was no outlet. Summer said, "my bad", and we turned around and went out the way we came in, passing four rabid dogs, one gecko and 4 million gallons of human waste. As we walked back we laughed and laughed at the situation, and suddenly 10 feet in front of us, a stream of water came pouring out of the concrete wall to our right, at about chest level height. If we had turned around 5 seconds earlier, I would have been sprayed with pee in my new dress.
We took a left out of the septic system, and kept looking for a place to eat. A cockroach darted across the sidewalk. Still more closed shops. We passed the train station and made notes about how to get back there. A rat darted across the sidewalk. We found a cross street and cut left again. This one seemed like an alley, but was well-lit and had lots of traffic. There was a 7-Eleven and so we stopped in and bought two X-large beers for $3. Continuing on, we encountered what seemed to be a police traffic stop. They were pulling over every motorcycle going through the alley. We kept walking. I smiled at the officer. He did not smile back. Another eyed Summer up and down. We kept walking. Now we finally found the fool stalls we had been looking for. (Shoulda taken a right out of the hotel). The food looked amazing, but we both felt really dirty after wrestling with the handrail to shimmy past the poop and so we decided to go back to the hotel and wash our hands then come back. But we were still nearly two blocks away and continued passing more and more food stalls. And then we walked through a market. At first it was great because it was mostly vegetable stalls and it made me hungry for a nice meal. But then we heard tons of squeaking, and then I saw the rats. About fifteen underfoot, and more all around. Tails and bodies and faces and noses and squeaking. We pressed on. More rats. Then we were at the butcher shop apparently because two men were totally cutting up pigs or something and there were buckets of entrails underfoot. Blood puddled in the street. Ribs hung from hooks. Then we saw the chicken stalls, and huge trays of chicken parts were sitting out in the heat, here a man cutting off feet, there a man standing there picking his nose, here two guys laughing at our presence. We quickened the pace. To our left the "Nude Resort", to our right another 7-Eleven.
When we finally got back to our hotel, we opted to drink the beers and go to bed.
Gross gross gross gross GROSS!
Kay said "I hope they're okay, you know with the political unrest and all." I said, "that's nothing," and then read him the rat part.
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