Home again, home again, jiggety jig

CURRENT LOCATION: Bangkok, Thailand

Sam:

We woke up back in Bangkok still fat and happy from our enormous ribs and sliders dinner from the night before. Another culinary treat awaited us. We had an in room fridge, so the night before we had gone to the supermarket and bought cereal and milk. We delighted in starting our day with frosties instead of eggs!

Back in Bangkok for our third long stay (actually our 6th time there), we were at a bit of a loss for what to do. We decided to tackle a nagging task first - changing our Myanmar Kyat to baht. We had 160,000 kyat ($160USD) leftover, which we intended to change to baht upon arrival to the airport in Bangkok. SURPRISE! It's illegal to change kyat outside of Myanmar!! So no legitimate currency exchange was interested... So we had to find a less-than-legitimate money changer. Naturally, we headed straight to Khao San Rd.

The other issue with the kyat is that if we can't change it in Thailand, neither can anyone else, so no one really wants it. After a mammoth public transport journey, including two sky trains and a ferry, we got off close to Khao San Rd. it wasn't long before we stumbled on a sign saying, "We buy anything". Sounds promising? If not a little creepy. We told a guy what we had, who spoke to a woman, who woke up another guy. He offered us 3000 baht, which is about $90 USD (that day's exchange rate had it listed at 4600 baht). We negotiated a bit, and got him up to 3200 baht, but he fairly pointed out that to change the money is a pain for him - he either has to find someone who wants to buy it (unlikely, since no one really goes there), or go to the border (5 or so hours drive away) to exchange it. He was nice enough, but we decided to continue on in search of a better deal.

The next "We buy everything" guy offered us 300 baht. We laughed in his face and left. The guy after that was from Myanmar, and was very keen, but had to speak to his wife on the phone, and she said no. After a few more failed attempts at black market currency exchange, we headed back to the first guy, bummed to have lost $70USD, but glad to be rid of our stupid kyat. We celebrated with a couple of beers, then grabbed some dinner and headed home.

The next day was very exciting for me, because I got a hair cut!!! Six months worth of split ends and three months worth of grey regrowth the was dealt to in the LONGEST hair cut of my life. It took three hours from walking in to walking out. Phew. Poor Zev spent the three hours quietly dying on the sofa, after I told him I'd be an hour and a half, tops. Is the hair cut amazing?  No. But it'll do, and I no longer have a two inch skunk stripe, so we're all winners here. Except Zev. But he's a trooper.

We spent the afternoon at the movies, seeing Poltergeist. It was pretty good, had some good scares, and was pretty funny. Warning though: contains creepy clowns. Plus we got to see the King's anthem again, so that was cool. Everyone has to stand while you watch a terrible video and they sing a song, and the video ends with a weird montage of photos of the king with his dogs, all of whom are inexplicably wearing clothes. Then it says, "Happy New Year 2014!", so it could use some updating...

Our last proper day in Bangkok started with a trip to an area we haven't been to before: Siam. It was actually pretty cool with some neat little shops that I imagine would appeal greatly to people with A) room in their bags, and B) money in their banks. We passed through, making our way to The Human Body Museum.

Hidden in the dentistry department at the university, we eventually found it on the 9th floor of an unmarked building. The museum contains plastinated human bodies and body parts, just like the Body Works exhibit that travels the world, but on a smaller and slightly less professional scale. I've seen the Body Works exhibit, but Zev hasn't, so it was awesome. Getting to see organs and body systems was super cool, especially for a biologist!

Our next stop was the Natural History Museum, similarly hidden away in another part of the university. When we finally found that one, we had to turn on the lights ourselves to check out the exhibits (the women in the gem museum in Naypyitaw would be horrified). As we wandered around checking out skeletons and taxidermies, it started to POUR with rain outside. Luckily our raincoats were back in the hotel room. 

We jumped in a cab back to the sky train station, then headed to a board game cafe that Zev read about, where we planned to spend the afternoon playing board games and drinking tea. Naturally, when we got there, it was closed. Home we went. Eventually, Zev went out and got us dinner, and we ate pizza in bed and watched a movie.

Which brings us to today. We started our day by packing a final time, with me abandoning all the clothing that has been threatening to dissolve for the last few weeks. We distributed the remaining items more evenly to make sure our bags were underweight, ditched them in reception and headed out.

We started at BKK bagels, where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of... Bagels. Obviously. Then we hit the mall to pick up a couple of goodies for three delightful little girls we know (don't get them excited though). With more hours to kill and nothing to do, we went to our fall back of going to the movies. This time we checked out Ant Man, which was about as good as it sounds. He's a man who can shrink to the size of an ant, and has an ant army.

Finally, we went back to the hotel, collected our bags, and two trains later we were checking in for our flight home.

As I write this, we're sitting in a swanky lounge, full of free food, waiting for our flight to Melbourne, a 6.5 hour layover (ugh), and then our flight home. We're feeling a lot of things. But I think we'll save that for our next, and final (for this adventure) blog post, which will be a bit of a wrap up once we're home, and have had some time to digest...

Lots of love,

S & Z

xxx

(Original post date: 28th July 2015)