01.11.18: Bangkok day one

An important note about this blog during my trip: my posts may contain a lot of photos and writing, and it may seem overwhelming to some of you.  That is because this blog is my main means of journaling during my trip and I am not trying to tailor my posts to gain popularity on the internet.  So don’t feel bad if you skip what I write and just scroll through the photos. 🙂

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The past however-many-hours feel like one blur of a day!

We got some excellent sleep at our wonderful hostel, The Yard. (Yard means ‘relative’ in Thai.) This place has a chill and welcoming vibe and I highly recommend it – about $16 per night with all the important amenities (toilets, showers, sheets, wifi, 24-hour reception, free breakfast). I don’t care too much about how much we “rough it” throughout our trip, but within inexpensive locations certain things are really worth the extra few dollars per night.

replacements-2replacements-3I love this atmosphere. Ahh!

I also love the heat. Waking up in the morning and being able to eat in the warm outdoors in whatever clothing I want is luxury to me. Rain and darkness depress me, my body is dysfunctional when I’m cold (which is during 3 of the 4 seasons in Portland), and I find humidity comforting somehow.  I swear I was wired for this climate or something…?!  I could go on about this for a long time but I won’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love the PNW, but I struggle a lot with it and when I’m in this climate I feel freed.

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Our lovely free breakfast of tea, yogurt, cereal, and toast!

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New places can be very disorienting (I already have a terrible sense of direction). This building is called The Pearl and is an easy way to find our hostel should we get too turned around!  On that note – it’s almost weird how convenient technology makes things these days.  We are using the free app called maps.me, which downloads the map of any given area and allows us to figure out where we are and how to get places without phone service!

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Calamansi! These tiny citrus fruits hold a special place in my heart because of my brief stay in the Philippines five years ago, in which there existed a three-minute period of eating a fresh Calamansi…

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The flowers here are incredible. I’ll try to not post too many flower photos (I could post hundreds. Dead serious). My one promise is that I won’t ever boost the saturation of a flower photo, which I must clarify because so many of the flowers here look unnaturally brilliant!

Jennifer and I pretty much just wandered around all day. We took the Sky Train – “BTS” – into town and got a feel for the area and some basics of how things flow.  Traffic flows in the opposite direction from the States, so one of the most important things for us is to get used to looking in the correct directions before crossing (meaning making a run for it like you’re invisible) the street!

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A small but ornate temple with a Vietnamese origin. (That’s all I remember about it.)

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Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand, with Hinduism as a big second.  It takes no more than a couple minutes around the city to notice the importance of these religions to the Thai people.  The rituals and methods of worship/prayer are fascinating to observe, and the deep respect shown (intentional actions such as bowing) by citizens and foreigners towards places of worship is commendable. I am eager to see more temples throughout our trip.

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A ride in a tuk-tuk! I was having too much fun and almost forgot to snap a photo. It’s fast and quickly reveals incredible skill on the drivers’ parts – an acute awareness of how small of a space we can successfully and quickly fit through!  We failed in the bargaining/haggling department because it was our first time hopping into one, so we probably paid more than we needed to, but we’ll get better at that. 🙂

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I was able to take in an overwhelming amount of new things today – it’s hard to process it all – and I am excited to go back to the places that keep coming back to mind. Like a teeny tiny little stand with a woman selling fresh mangoes and sticky rice.

My last comment of the night is that people here are so beautiful and I am excited to slowly get out of my comfort zone and engage with them and photograph them.  The world is incredibly diverse and it brings me so much joy.

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