Yesterday was relatively low key. Christine had some errands to run, and I was desperately craving cheese and gross American foods, so we split up. I wound up hanging out at Pizza Hut, eating mediocre pizza and drinking unlimited free refills of Pepsi, and Christine met me there.
Word of Saturday’s violence in Bangkok started to trickle in, and people started to be a bit concerned. The prime minister was on TV issuing a statement, but people’s opinions are mixed. The situation actually seems to get tenser by the day. Both sides want something without a compromise, and it would appear the only way it is going to end is with further bloodshed. Thankfully in Nakhon Sawan it was of little local concern.
After pizza, Christine took me out to the park on her motorcycle, and she taught me how to drive it. I found it to be surprisingly simple and VERY fun. I’m definitely going to look into motorcycles further when I return to the states. After that, we went and relaxed by the pond. We bought a bag of rice balls and fed the GIANT fish who live in the pond, watching and laughing as they jumped and splashed over each other for each piece.
After that, we went to a small bar simply named “Cups” to meet her friends, Jon and Tom. It was Jon’s last night in town for a while, so we kicked back and had a few beers. A few locals that the group knew joined us, and we discussed the political situation in more depth. The general consensus seemed to be that both sides of the argument have a ton of merit but are equally wrong in their actions. Unfortunately, there isn’t a third active side, and the average Thai citizen would rather just ignore it and live their lives. Jon and Christine pumped me for information about the recently passed American health care reform bill as they are both are deeply concerned that they may be expected to purchase American health care while living abroad or face steep fines. I admitted that I honestly don’t know how it will affect them, if at all.
After hearing about my first attempt at driving a motorcycle, Jon offered to let me try out his. While Christine has a cute little Honda Wave, Jon has something a little more akin to a Harley. Christine had a good laugh when Jon made me get off the cycle when I asked what “the clutch” was, and he refused to let me try again. Apparently, I’m a freak because I never learned to drive a manual transmission car. How was I to know?
From there, we called it an early night, so I could wake early in the morning for Bangkok to fly to Tokyo.
We got up the next morning, I showered, packed up, and Christine gave me directions to get back to Bangkok. She made suggestions of what to say to Taxi drivers and more. News reports on BBC International seemed to convey even more tension in Bangkok, making me glad I was heading down to the city early for my 4 PM flight.
We said our goodbyes and soon from there, I caught a motorbike to a bus station, the only problem… it was the wrong one. The language barrier soon became insurmountable as I repeatedly tried to explain to my driver where we were supposed to go. Eventually, I gave up and called for Christine’s assistance. She met me at the station and, as she also had to head south, we luckily found one bus that was going to hit both of our stops. It was a 3-hour ride down to Rangsit, and traffic was heavy. As we got closer to Bangkok, you could see military roadblocks where they were randomly pulling people out of cars for interrogation. Not a pleasant sight. Christine got out at Ayutthaya to pick up her Kindle, which she had left in the hostel a few days before, and I had another 30 min until I arrived at Rangsit. From there, I caught a taxi and headed back to Bangkok airport, completely avoiding the downtown area and boarding my flight out of the country.
I had a great stay in Thailand, but now I’m on to my next adventure: 27 hours in Tokyo! Dear reader, my agenda is pretty open. Have you ever been to Tokyo? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what I should check out.