After a 26 hour day of travel, I made it to Bangkok Thursday morning, arriving at my hotel at 1:45 am. Everything went more or less as planned. Asiana is an okay airline, which got me from LA to Seoul (13 hours), but nothing beats Thai Airways which I took from Seoul to Bangkok (6 hours).
Surprisingly, the food on these airlines is quite good! Once you leave the U.S., all that kind of thing gets better.
Yesterday was a little rough with jet lag. My eyes felt like sandpaper all day. I didn’t feel too bad, but it hit me at exactly 5pm. I was feeling done. I wanted to go to an event at 7:30, so I said to myself, “I need to lay down for just a few minutes to recharge before heading out.”
Rookie travel mistake!
Ended up waking up at 7:30, my world kind of rocked. I gave up on going to the event- by this time I couldn’t manage to think, and my eyes were practically glued shut. I still needed food so I stumbled (literally- I felt drunk) down to some little restaurant and got a big bowl of Tom Kha Soup (my favorite). As I sat there in the twilight zone, the soup did wonders and I started feeling human again. Got back to my hotel around 9:30 and opened up a book I’m reading.
Within 2 paragraphs, I was out like a light. woke up around 11 and shut the lights out and went right back to sleep. I managed another 7 hours and this morning I felt like a million bucks! (that’s 6,711 bitcoins if you’re keeping track with a more real currency).
That’s the beauty of traveling from east to west. It’s not hard to adjust to the new time, usually takes just a couple days.
So Bangkok is not my favorite city, but I have been very happy being back here. Walking around yesterday I randomly smiled so many times at various things that reminded me of how much I love the differences and oddities of being in a completely different country, far from my routine. The first tuk tuk driver that got my attention made me laugh out loud (LOL), not at him but just that it brought me back to the reality of where I am – Southeast Asia, where taxi driver seems to be the #1 profession for men.
And I had forgotten about the sin of letting anything but the bottoms of your shoes touch the ground here. I sat down for lunch at a little place within a big market, where everything was written in Thai and just pointed to a picture of something that looked good. I thought it was chicken, it turned out to be beef (I think), and it was….a roi! (delicious). I had put my bag on the ground when I sat down and the lady making the food came over to me and pulled out another chair. I thought she wanted me to sit in that chair for some reason so I switched chairs. Then her friend who was sitting there saw this and came over to me and tried to explain it, and pointed to my bag. I finally figured it out! Rule #1 in Asia:
NEVER LET ANYTHING TOUCH THE GROUND!
Here, the ground is considered the most disgustingly filthy thing imaginable. The thought of going barefoot would probably have one kicked out of the country! (or maybe you could just chop your feet off since they’d probably be permanently contaminated in that case).
Anyway, I did think about it a bit on my walk back to the hotel. There was a huge storm earlier in the day and lots of water and puddles all around. I stepped in a few of them and thought I probably got some horrible disease since I was wearing flip flops. But alas, I woke up with both feet in tact and nothing apparently wrong with them (except for my unusually skinny toes, which I can’t do much about).
Today, I’m writing from a Starbucks which apparently charges for wifi. The whole reason I would fly 8,000 miles and go to Starbucks is for the free wifi. Not an international rule I guess!
Later I’m meeting up with a friend from San Diego who moved to Bangkok this last summer, then the Dynamite Circle conference starts at 7:30pm with an opening party. This will no doubt be a great time!
So far the Freedom Lovin’ connections are working out well. I got a ride to LAX from a listener on Tuesday, chatted with another listener on Skype today about some business ideas, and I have yet another listener in Chiang Mai to meet up when I get there next week.
Once again, I love the internet and I love 2013 where you can…like James Altucher says, “choose yourself”.