*extremely picture-heavy post
Several days in Thailand but I was still barely scratching the surface of the course.
Sure that from where I belong inside our own organization, I am quite exposed with most of the core activities that we are doing. Still, you get surprised with some things you know for the first time and input from your colleagues working at a different context.
It rained for the first time in Kanchanaburi on Thursday. The trees and grass looked extra green, and I snapped my flip-flops by stepping on a muddy patch. Before we knew it weekend was approaching and we will be traveling back to Bangkok to spend a weekend in the city.
Families and tourists were beginning to arrive at the resort before lunch time. We had checked out our luggage early because we will be traveling straight away before 5 pm.
When we were about to embark on the bus, it was the convenient time for the heavens to pour its blessings on us. Half of us got wet running under the rain with our bags in tow. It was pandemonium. To make the mockery more stark, it stopped the moment we got out of Kanchanaburi.
It was a pretty uneventful ride, save for our hungry stomachs. We had no stopover because one of our colleagues had to go to the loo and we quickly stopped at a gas station, leaving us no time to stop by the big one where we can get decent food.
We arrived in Bangkok at almost 9 in the evening. Team Philippines (except for Harry) agreed to meet in 30 minutes at the lobby of Swissotel to eat dinner after. Trusting Francis’s newfound expertise as our Bangkok guide, we walked all the way to downtown looking for a place to eat.
We could not decided where to eat. Fortunately, we spotted our colleagues from Myanmar who were already having their dinner. They were also very helpful in ordering our food as they speak Thai as well, making our lives easier!
For Saturday, I had decided to just rest at the hotel. The others meanwhile decided to visit the temples at Chao Phraya. I did not join because I would be visiting these the following weekend when Mon arrives. I did, however, agreed to go to Chatuchak Market for lunch.
Aside from the train adventure that we had when we first arrived in Bangkok, I dit not have much experience riding the BTS. Quite scary at first because this time I was alone. Good thing that the train system is idiot-proof and only a fool could not navigate the map.
From our station in Phloen Chit, it was a straight-forward travel to Mo Chit. It was the last station of the Sukhumvit line and the closes one to Chatuchak Market.
I made it there ahead of my friends and I had enough time to drink my first Thai milk tea. I was too early there that they were still at Saphan Taksin when I arrived. I was busy people-watching while sitting on the floor when they arrived 30 minutes after.
The first, and frankly only thing, on my agenda was lunch. We were at the market during lunch time and it was difficult to find a place to eat. We ended up in one of the restaurants inside with a fairly acceptable price for food. See what I have ordered?
This tasted very good, except for the string beans that I did not touch at all. I tried eating a bit of the pepper to the left but it was really spicy.
The pepper did not help too, as I was near fainting when we got out of the restaurant. The weather was so humid that I fear I might pass out from dehydration. I also had no plans of buying souvenirs that afternoon, so I had to excuse myself and go back to the hotel. The first thing I did was fill in the tub with water and dived immediately inside. I did not go out until almost dinner.
Sunday morning after, we barely have couple of hours before traveling back to Kanchanaburi. After eating breakfast, Harry and I decided to take a swim at the pool just because. Some of our colleagues saw us and joined us after. We stayed until 11 am before going up our rooms again to pack our bags. The bus will leave at exactly 1:30 pm.
Contrary to the week before, we were ready with the absence of hotel lunch. We already bought food from the nearby Mini-Stop, enough for us to be full on the ride back.
We arrived around 5 pm in Kanchanaburi. I had the same room as the week before. But we decided to have a swim again at the resort pool; and in no time, we were splashing around with a couple of families who were still there.
Later during our stay, there was one bus of French tourists who invaded the pool to the point that we left because it was awkward swimming next to them.
I had fun translating to my friends what the French crowd was talking about, especially on what one girl was screaming of at the top of her lungs (I cannot see underwater! I cannot see underwater!)
About an hour after night fall, we headed back to our rooms get dressed for dinner.
As much as I want to say that we had to sleep early for the coming weeks’ activities, we stayed up until around midnight just to chat and bond with other people. We exchanged stories on peculiarities in our respective delegations, and a couple of mishaps at work.
The staff integration had cut us from the rest of the world and I was, again, thankful I got to know more my colleagues, and now friends.