I had the chance to travel to Bangkok last November 9 to 12, 2006. It was not intended for a vacation. I went there to apply for a new business visa so it was shouldered by the company. As stated in my contract, I can only apply for a new one in Bangkok, as it is the nearest country to Myanmar. But because I got the visa so quickly, I had the rest of November 9 afternoon till evening of November 11 to tour the city as well.
I was initially tensed while preparing for the trip. The ticket was only bought a day before the expiry of my visa, and I was not too keen to proceed with the travel as it would be the first time that I would be arriving at the new international airport, and I would be travelling alone to find my way into the city. It was a good thing that I had friends in Bangkok to help me-Rinna &Carlo, and Jonathan, still in Manila at that time, took turns in texting me in finding my way around Bangkok, in riding the BTS skytrain, and assuring me that the lodge I was staying was a safe place, despite my room not having double locks in the room door, and in the window leading to the side street, and the room phone can't make outgoing calls. I also appreciate Ned, a friend also based in Bangkok, who recently visited Yangon, that even with his super busy schedule, was able to treat me for a Thai food dinner.
Carlo was so helpful during my shopping spree at Chatuchak market as he carried almost all the things that I bought. He even accompanied me to see an IMAX movie, a wooing 1st time experience...it felt like you were really inside the movie itself and able to touch the characters inside. I found Siam Paragon Ocean World advertised in the map, so I checked it out, as it claimed to be the biggest aquarium in southeast asia. It was similar to a place I visited in the Mall of the Americas in Minnesota. Being alone at that time, it did not stop me from enjoying the place as I was able to take pictures using my mobile phone, and requested the staff and other tourists there to take my pictures.
Rinna and family were not able to meet me though, She and Mike were so busy at work. However, it was a good thing that me and Rinna was able to chat for a long time over the phone for several times and with Mike on one occasion. I haven't seen them since they transferred to Bangkok in October, 2005, so maybe on my next Bangkok trip, I hope they already have the time to meet me.
I learned so many lessons from that trip. I learned that God indeed gives us worries and problems to make us stronger, and experience is the best teacher. Before leaving Manila, I disciplined myself in riding the MRT/LRT to save on taxi fare so at least, getting used to riding the BTS skytrain in Bangkok was not that difficult. Also, my new company in Yangon let me stay for 3 weeks in a cheap hotel last May, 2006, where there were also no double locks inside the room door. So even if I still had some worry on the safetiness of my BKK room, I was not that scared anymore compared to my first time experience. I also got fooled by the taxi driver coming from the airport, making the meter start at 73Thb instead of 35Thb, but they can't fool me the next time. Also, even if the Thai staff at the lodge where I stayed were not that warm to me, I just gave my best smiles in every query I made. In the end, they were so excited to have a picture taken with me, that they even put their best make-up on.
But the most that I like from this trip is that I knew that I can really count on my true friends again. I hope I can make it up to all of you in the future.
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