15.06.2014 28 °C
I'm planning to stay in Bangkok one more day, since there's always things interfering with my plans. Which is good though.
I actually wanted to visit Wat Pho and Grand Palace yesterday, but the temple was so amazing that I spent the whole afternoon getting lost in it and loving it for that. Though I still don't know if it would be alright to ask a monk to take a picture of him (as far as I know, women aren't allowed to talk to monks and being the respectful person I am, I just don't want to start running around taking pictures of people I haven't asked before). So I went for the templecats instead. I was lucky, since it had started raining heavily before I arrived at the temple and when I entered it in bright sunlight, I found the place deserted. It was so far beyond what I had expected things to be like here, so impressive, all these tiny mosaics on the collums. Must have been meditative to put them all together. And I think those experiences which are dragging me into a completely different culture and lifestyle pay a large credit to the fact that feel like I've been away from home for four months instead of four days.
It was late when I left the temple, lost directions, stumbled into a streetmarket, had yet again great street food and went into a 7 11 to ask for the way to Hua Lamphong station (=Metro back to the hostel). The girl starred at me like I had asked her for the route to the Milky Way, told me it was very far and advised me to take a taxi. First driver that stopped (you don't have to stop them yourself, they would use the handbrake in the middle of a highway if you looked like a foreigner that needed a ride) wanted 200 Baht, which is cheap compared to home, but a rip off here. So I declined and the next driver offered me the ride for 60 Baht. They do have a meter here, but refuse to use it or can take you on a trip around the neighbourhood, if you don't ask at least, what it might cost.
I went with 60-Baht-Adul, who was one of the best choices I could have made (and whose number I have safely stored in my pouch in case I need a ride again). He barely spoke English, I barely spoke Thai. He made the best out of the situation by rummaging through his glove compartment (with half an eye on the crowded street O.O), finally tearing out a CD, which turned out to be some Thai-English lessons. We were both laughing about each others attempts to repeat the sentences and when he dropped me off at the station and the meter stopped at 57 Baht, I gave him 70 (and felt ashamed afterwards, that I hadn't given him 200, because he would have deserved it for his honesty).
Even though it was Saturday night I skipped the option of heading towards Khao San road and decided to do that later. Spent the evening with Nina on the rooftop instead (my favorite place in the hostel, I almost thought about sleeping up here cause it's sooo comfortable).
The only sign of jetlag I seem to have is that I'm not getting tired, no matter how long I've been out during the day. Just like now.
I decided to do the Grand Palace and Wat Arun today, went up the Chao Phraya by speedboat and changed to the ferry to the other side. On the ferry I saw a Chinese taking pictures, so I asked him, if he wanted me to take picture of him in front of Wat Arun (and got my own one in return). We started talking, and this talking went on for next couple of hours. We spent all the sunny hours this day had to offer in the shadows of the temple's entrance area, chatting and discussing about the different lifestyles of German and Chinese. Fascinating and a good preparation for what's coming up soon! When we decided to climb up, it sarted raining. So we went back to our shelter again and continued our talk. I didn't know for example that the majority of Chinese have no confession. And this has an impact on many forms of crime being commited as there is no ethical bottom threshold... quite shocking. Even without believing in the bible we know how to respect life and that you shouldn't kill (to summon things up).
We finally made it to the top and the view over the skyline was just awesome (the steps up were so high and steep that I wasn't sure if I would be able to get back down again though - not recommandable to those being afraid of heights). Seeing a monk taking a picture with a tablet was another sweet sidekick. What we saw from up there was sensable mintes later... a really heavy downpour. I thought that I would know a lot about rain with Hamburg being the rainiest city in Germany... but that was "slightly" different. So no Grand Palace today, too.
Soaken wet I took my first ride on the skytrain, met my roommates the sesond time today (weird in a city that crowded), got my shower and went - like every evening- to my favorite place in the house.
Found some nice company in Tim from Vancouver. But I promised myself to be more careful with offering a "Yes, I've just turned 30"-beer in the
future I might keep that in mind for my 40. birthday though :D