Bangkok..The city I used to know

Duty call requires me to go everywhere and anywhere – be it domestically or internationally. I work with one of the largest MNC companies, with diversified industries, currently under the limelight. Most of the time I would drive down to south to attend meetings, trainings and sorts.

Last December & January, I was assigned to go to Bangkok. The first trip was with the other 3 team members and the subsequent ones were with another 6 of them for 3 weeks or so. Stayed in two different hotels.
The very first visit was brief and tight. No time to have fun at all. It was all work, dinner and sleep – not even facebooking. The second trip was much more enjoyable and endurable. And that was the longest for about 2 and half weeks. So that was the chance to explore Bangkok.
We stayed at one of the Ascott chains – Somerset Lakepoint @ Sukhumvit business district. Nice rooms, well, actually it was a serviced apartment. So, it did feels at home – but without the hubby and the kiddy. Well, it was a terrible time too coz I missed them so much. So, what can you say about Bangkok? Congested. Yes – it is. The people are nice? Yes they are. But some are not too. Shopping? Okayyy – one thing for sure haven for those who are addicted to shopping.

We reached Bangkok on Sunday @ about 9pm Thailand. When we reached our hotel, we scurried down along Asoke Road to look for food. We were super starved. The airline food was minimal and did not quite filled up the tummy. We do not wish to walk far so we opted for Subway sandwich.

The next day was hectic. We were doing knowledge transfers sessions at one of the division. The barrier in language really worn you down as you need to understand the processes and at the same time understand any gaps. We pulled through the first day though – tired, lonely at the strange land. Dinner was somewhat seafood – a treat from one of the senior colleague. Then off to bed.

The days after the first were smooth sailing. We fought among team members, made up again and be friends again. We are professionals about it. Obviously, these are the challenges when you work with people – especially people that have different personalities, upbringing and background from your own. But again, an objective is always there, the one that we were focusing on at that moment.

So when we entered the weekend, we loosened up a bit and made plans to explore Bangkok. So, we decided to go to Chatuchak (or Jatujak;
Thai: จตุจักร) weekend market, the largest market in Thailand.

We took a cab and fitted in 5 of us. About 45 mins ride passing 2 toll stations and poof!! we reached Chatuchak. Once we gotten down the cab, we were like super excited kids & hyperventilated with happiness. Yeaahhh! We finally reached the biggest market and bargains are on the way.

We were awed by the many items on displays. We decided to split up and call each other when we thought we are done. We got lost in the market, went through the many sois (lanes) and met the same soi again. Oh boy..we are educating ourselves of how to survive in Bangkok. Nope – we did not call each other after that because we were so much consumed in the shopping mode. We were only done @ 6.30 pm, when our feet alarmed us that it needs some massaging. My damages?? Not that much coz I decided to stay disciplined. Anyway we were in the land of stranger, we might need to be a little bit savvy with our greens. That night, we jam-packed the massage parlour and subscribed to foot massage. Some, to the whole body massage. Yeaaah, it was nice…

We thought weekend was done with Chatuchak. Nope, we went to MBK – Mah Boon Krong. One of the must-go shopping mall in Bangkok. This is no flea market like Chatuchak but a bit on the classy end, with plenty to keep you entertained from casual wear to shoes, bags and mobile phones. We went from floors to floors to see if there are any that captures our attention. Not for me, but yes for my friends. At once I thought she wanted to buy the whole MBK. But the one experience I cannot forget was when we were chased out from one of the stalls as we were comparing the prices and we didn’t buy anything. Oh why oh why we talked in English…Muahahahhahaha..we just rolled our eyes.

The second working week was a replica to the first week. But, we had many more night activities in Bangkok. Hang on there..don’t get super excited. We were decent clans and we didn’t do “that” kind of night activities. We went to Suan Lum Night Bazaar – a haven ideal place for nocturnal shoppers. Again, you have to do the leg work similar like Chatuchak, but slightly nicer and cooler. You can get imitation goods from t-shirts, eyewear, shoes, jewellery (i.e. Tiffany) and many more like Thai crafts. A good area also to get some souvenirs home. Not so much for bargains but you can try your luck if you wish. Food wise, it was pretty expensive here and they use coupon methods. But they have the best mango sticky rice..yummmm!!

The rest of the nights were filled up with facebooking sessions till 1 or 2 am, plus doing the work that we were supposed to do. Calling up my family back home. Ohhhh..forget Skype. I can’t event logged on. We just used up the prepaid that we bought and it is kinda savvy too.

We left Bangkok end of January – tired, miserable of missing our families, super excited coz we were heading home, and many more mixed feelings. Even Suvarnabhumi Airport was not saved from the shopping mode of my friends. A last minute one. .

The Bangkok I know yesterday was different from what I see from the tv today. There was no more Land of Smiles, only blood, pain, tears and death. I may re-visit Bangkok in future, but again future is unpredictable. I just hope that Bangkok will return to peace and be in the smiles again.

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