Sawatdeeka (hello) , family and friends!!
We have been in Thailand now for approximately 10 hours but it still hasn't hit us that this journey has begun. It may be the ridiculous jetlag (there is an 11 hour time difference), the strange eating schedule (we have eaten about 7 meals today) or the heat (seems to be about 100 degrees and 3000 percent humidity), but it has yet to sink in. Let me start at the beginning...
We got to the airport in New York in plenty of time for our flight. We boarded on time and got ready for what was supposed to be a 7 pm departure. Unfortunately, Aerosvit Airlines, the most quality airline in the world, decided to just sit on the tarmac for approximately 2 and a half hours. Which could be a problem, seeing that we had a connection to catch in Kiev and we only had a 2 hour layover scheduled. Finally, we take off. The flight attendants assured us in pretty broken english that the plane would be waiting for us when we got there. They then giggled and started talking to each other in Ukrainian. Very reassuring. After a ten hour flight, we land in what is loosely called an airport. There were about five gates and absolutely no one spoke English. Jason and I LITERALLY ran across the airport to find our gate. Lucky for us, Aerosvit was again lacking in punctuality, and we made it in plenty of time. At this point, we are exhausted and happy to be on the last leg of our trip.
P.s. I know my family is from the Ukraine, but it was rainy, cold and filled with angry people. Also, Jason and I discovered where Caroline truly gets her Borat accent. It is definitely a Ukrainian accent. As we listened to the captain mutter something about Bangkok, headsets and turbulence, all we could think of was little Carolushki.
The second flight was pretty uneventful. We slept, we ate, we got yelled at by a stewardess with braces, a three year old got in a fistfight with Jason, you know, the usual. 2 hours before the flight ended we decided to stick it out and stay up for the rest of it so we could watch the lights of Bangkok from our window. We landed at 3:30 am Thai time, picked up our bags, exchanged money and headed on our way.
We took a cab to our hostel, just a short ride from the airport. He charged us 200 Baht, which we found out later was a HUGE ripoff. By the way, did I mention 200 Baht is equal to about 7 dollars? We got to our hostel around five, grabbed a hearty breakfast of pad thai and singha beer ($4.50) and dropped off our bags. We took a cab and a public bus to a place recommended to us by our hostel owner called Chatchucha Market. On the way, we stopped at what we thought was a mall and ate in their food court, but we figured out that it was probably a school and we trespassed into their cafeteria. Oops.
To take a public bus, you must be willing to stop traffic and jump onto a slow moving bus. When we first went on the bus, it was free, and we cannot figure out if we stole or they just pitied the poor Americans who were clearly butchering their language. We somehow ended up on the right bus in the right place at exactly the right time.
The Chatchucha Market is possibly one of the craziest things we have ever seen. It is a giant market with over 14,000 stalls where you can buy ANYTHING. Imagine an asian imports store at the quarter of the price. Nuts.
We walked around there for a while and decided to, you guessed it, eat. We found a delicious air conditioned restaurant where we got green curry, stirfried noodles with tofu, steamed rice, and 2 bottles of water ($9). By the way, this food is the best Thai food we have ever eaten in our entire lives. It is so fresh and delicious and everywhere you go, there are smells wafting around that make your mouth water, no matter how full you may be. Sitting in the restaurant, I kept saying how stuffed I was and then proceeded to shovel more food into my mouth.
After that, we headed back to the hostel to (finally!) shower and do some laundry. I cannot believe how sweaty we got just walking around for a few hours, but it made the shower that much more amazing. The hostel itself is wonderful. The owner, Da, is the sweetest man ever. He gives us advice and helps us with anything we need. There is a beautiful rooftop patio where they serve dinner and computers to contact all of you! Da is wonderful, but he is no exception. Everyone we have met is so kind and helpful even though we only communicate with five Thai phrases and an excessive amount of hand gestures. Tonight, we look forward to some more delicious food and passing out in our airconditioned room to get rid of this jetlag once and for all. As for tomorrow, you know as much as we do. We are going to stay in Thailand, but that is the extent of our planning. We are trying to meet some people and get some advice on where to go.
We miss and love you all and we hope you are doing well!
And yes, parents, we are alive so you can stop worrying. ;)
Sawatdeeka (yep, it's goodbye too),
Lila and Jason