The aftermath of our first night out in Bangkok, left Kaela and I nestled in the cocoon of our one bed, tightly cramped hostel, planning our itinerary for the better half of the day. By the time we had a game plan, an ominously thick layer of rainclouds had replaced the blue skies and the sound of thunder and torrential downpour filled the tiny room. We tried waiting out the rain, but our anxious desire to explore a new city soon had us reluctantly stepping out into the eye of the storm. The narrow alleyway that tucked away our hostel was completely flooded, so we waded through water up to our calves and hailed the first taxi willing to let in two drowned rats. Luckily, this led to our first meeting with Mr. Sandwich who took us to Bangkok’s lively China Town. We wandered the colorful streets, pulled into shops of strange oddities by the whims of our curiosity until the rain had finally let up, and rays of yellow streaks began to pierce the grey sky. We decided to make our way to a rooftop bar where drinks were expensive, but the spectacular views more than paid their worth. Bangkok is not an easy city to navigate so we asked a passerby, who happened to be a ‘Lady Boy,’ for directions and were basically told we were nowhere near our destination. ‘She'(?) kindly gave us a map and told us we could take the Number 1 bus. We nodded our thanks with no intention of braving the Bangkok bus system, but as we went to hail a cab, sure enough, that exact bus rolled by. After a moment hesitation, we impulsively jumped aboard and paid five cents for a form of public transportation where not a soul spoke English. In a theatrical sign language fest of map pointing, hand gestures and head nods, we were ‘assured’ we were heading the right way. The doors on the bus never closed and we were basically shoved out of the moving vehicle when we approached our destination.
The bar was located on the rooftop of a five-star hotel, but apparently our wet shirts and revealing shorts were not suitable for such luxury and we were given tablecloth-like skirts to wear as sarongs. Once we were finally deemed presentable and granted entry, we gazed in awe of the city’s stunning, glittering skyline, basking in the high of our chaotic day. From the grime to the glitz of Bangkok, we were in the heart of Southeast Asia.