On Thursday I sent a text to my travel girlfriend “BKK for NYE”?! and on Sunday I was hauling my butt as fast as I could to the airport. Because I was under the impression that our Scoot flight was at 7pm. Damn you, 24 hour format. 17:45hrs is not 7:45pm. Normally, I’d be more alert. But when you factor in my 3 hours of sleep over two days, you’ll understand why everything was a blur. On Friday I had told my friend the flight is at 5:45pm. On Sunday, I kept telling myself just be there by 5:45pm. Pffft. Luckily my friend sent a text an hour earlier to ask my whereabouts because she couldn’t find me.
But I reached the airport without having to pull my hair (or the taxi driver’s); he pretty much channelled his inner Fernando Alonso. I remember sending a prayer up on the expressway. The rest of the ride was a blur.
As our plane was taxiing to the runway, my friend and I were discussing about the riots going on in Bangkok. A mutual friend who just returned from Bangkok told us that the media was hyping things up as usual, as he didn’t see anything major. They didn’t invade the shopping and touristy places of Bangkok like they did previously.
I was sitting beside another girl, and after a while we got to talking. My friend was watching a movie on her phone; I was taking a break from reading. She’s a Singaporean who lives in Australia and was traveling to Bangkok to meet her boyfriend. Her boyfriend’s family are Australians and run two restaurants in Bangkok – an Italian and Thai restaurant. Bravassimo. She started speaking with a funny accent, but an hour later she was speaking Singlish. What gives. But she was a decent girl, friendly and all. She said every time she visits Singapore, she feels bigger (and she’s bloody skinny) because the girls here get thinner. I told her it’s the skinny epidemic; especially amongst the Chinese! My friend took this chance to quip “not us, we’re still maintaining our sizes, we like our thighs without gaps”. Did I mention we met at the gym. Thanks, Fitness First!
Bangkok has undergone many changes from my last trip in 2007. Back then I felt like a giant and their medium sized clothes were small for me. But when affluence expands so does girth, and in my case, shopping. For one who hardly shops, I spent almost everything on the 2nd day at Platinum mall. When almost everything every top/dress is 200 baht (roughly 8SGD), you can merrily kiss logic goodbye. And they have shopping centers that can shame Ion. Firstly Central World is back bigger and brighter. The last riot in 2010 almost destroyed Central World. I remember seeing parts of the building charred and crumbling to the ground. Siam was our holy grail to some of the best shopping centers in Bangkok, but unless you’re willing to spend a few hundreds on a bag, put your wallets away, and just window shop. Siam Paragon was massive and we got lost inside trying to find Fitness First. Siam Center is a concept shopping mall, and caters to the younger generation so the prices aren’t too steep.
Some highlights of NYE 2013 in Bangkok.
- Authentic Thai body massage and foot massage almost every other day. S$15 for 2 hours. That would cost about S$130 in Singapore.
- Meeting my dear friends in Bangkok and celebrating NYE with them at Bangkok’s gay district.
- Desserts at a whimsical concept café at Siam Center called Mr Jones’ Orphanage. The décor in the cafe makes up for the less than spectacular desserts, but the Chocolate Soufflé was pretty good.
- Getting a taxi driver from Khaosan who insisted on 200 baht back to our hotel and when we demanded he use the meter, brought us on a merry go round through seedy dark alleys, speeding at breakneck speed and ensuring the meter reached at least 150 baht. I hope his taxi gets stuck in mire.
- Delicious street food, tom yum soup, and Thailand Ice Tea.
Because it was only a 4 days trip to Bangkok, I didn’t take many pictures and I forgot to bring my phone out on NYE – smart move. It was a great trip, my friend and I are travel-soul mates, so the trip was filled with so much laughter. I ended 2013 and greeted 2014 with glitters, balloons and hot gay men and close friends. How can one complain when the year ended with glitters!