Thursday, May 17, 2012

Trip Report 7: Bangkok to Pattaya

The morning market near Glow and the Chong Nonsi BTS

While my friend explored the wilder side of Bangkok last night, I had a much quieter evening; up much later than I'd expected after getting into a visa discussion with my friend over dinner. He accompanied me as I went around taking some night photos and we talked about the logistics of getting him to the USA to visit this year, and we spent a fair amount of time back at the hotel with my pocket translating device because a great deal of the conversation veered into areas we hadn't discussed previously.

Due to a number of factors I don't need to go into here there's a distinct probability he'd have no trouble getting clearance for a visitor visa whatsoever, and, understandably, he's very enthusiastic about the idea of coming to do the tourist thing here.  He's been one of a handful of extremely gracious friends I visit there and it would be fun to return the favor.  That all remains to be seen as the year progresses.

He snores like a freight train, but I was so worn out after fighting my body's urge to sleep all day that I slept quite soundly, waking only when his alarm went off over next to his bed, somewhat harshly letting him know he had to be at a desk in three hours. We had breakfast and I walked him to the Chong Nonsi BTS station, where he caught his ride to his office.

Repeating an image from the March 26th post... sorry

The breakfast we'd had in the Glow Trinity Silom cafe was good. It was the first Thai oranges I'd had this trip, and they were worth waiting for.  A large bowl of freshly picked som (pronounced with a long "O" with a high tone of short duration) proved to be easy to peel, intensely flavored and honey sweet.  I think I had three of them, glucose levels be damned.

Som seems to be the main word used for any variety of orange, and these were actually a type of tangerine; som keaw wan, should memory serve. Different types peak during different times of the year, but these are without a doubt my favorites. The bag below wasn't labeled in Thai and was perhaps ready to export, I don't know.  I do know it went from the morning market back to my room with me, and to Pattaya later that day.

Som Keaw Wan - what I'd call tangerines back home

When I returned from my morning walk through the market my friend Ben was having breakfast in the cafe. We waved an acknowledgement, I pointed at my watch, mouthed "noon" and pointed to the lobby. He nodded, knowing we had a car due to pick us up then for our transfer to Pattaya. He went back to his "becon" (as the Spam was labelled at the buffet) and I went back to my room to shower and do some minor re-packing.

[Not to air my dirty laundry (figuratively), but here's a tip that might fit your style: I shower before breakfast and put on clean clothes for the day. Nothing so odd about that, but if I'm going out to walk around in a morning market or outdoor area on a warm morning I'll change after breakfast back into the clothes I wore the previous evening, assuming they don't stink. I figure I'm probably going to get sweaty before I'm back, and why do that in the clothes I plan to wear for the day? When I'm back I do a quick shower again and change back into the morning outfit.]

I called to confirm the taxi I'd arranged to take us South - a driver I've used a few times - and when he said he remembered and would see us at noon I stopped to sit next to my window and eat another of those oranges, looking into the auto park next door.

There I noticed a group of guys on break; playing checkers, reading the papers or napping on and around the three picnic tables at the inside edge. I took a few pictures for the Sleeping series and then stretched out on my bed to have a bottle of water and watch some TV until it was time to check out.

Sacked out on a bench, having a snooze

Soon enough it was time to call for a bellman and load my stuff down to the lobby, get myself checked out at reception and wait for my friend to meet me. After the taxi arrived we settled in for the 90-some minute ride South to Pattaya, where both of our schedules would really get busy.

Along Sukhumvit Road into Chonburi - Pattaya bound.


Anonymous said...

The label on the tangerines is chinese. I'm not surprised if the better oranges in Thailand come from China.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your reports and pics. I'm moving to BBK, Pattaya, or Pkuket later this year and your sharing has lessened my anxiety considerably, from nervous wreck down to just jittery. So big thanks to you. : )

Now I'm hoping that you'll mosey down to Phuket. ; ).

khunbaobao said...

Good point, Eduard - they may have been imported. I was wondering if they were being readied to ship TO a Chinese-speaking country, myself. I saw Bing cherries there for $6 per pound, and I imagine they were brought in. Flavor was rather flat for something local.

khunbaobao said...

Thanks, anonymous. Phuket is still uncharted territory for me, but I'll make it one of these times. The furthest down that way for me has been Hua Hin.