I arrived in to Bangkok with not so much of a bang and more of a crash in to the nearest possible bed. I spent most of the day in a sleepy stupor. I was faced two possibilities in the evening:
Play it safe, get room service and start properly the next morning.
Go out to find somewhere to eat and possibly go to a bar afterwards.
In what can only be described as similar to the bathroom pep talk you give yourself when drunk, I sat on my bed and told myself: “Come on, you can do this. And if you can’t manage you can always leave. Now drink some water and get going.”
On a high from my decision to go out in to the night and feeling brave, I walked out of my hotel and got speaking to one of the tuktuk drivers.
“Where you wanna go?” he asked.
“China Town,” I said, firm in the knowledge it was nearby.
“It’s closed. Holiday.”
I knew it wasn’t bloody closed but I was far too tired to argue the point.
“You go there for eating or shopping?”
My stomach did the equivalent of rolling its eyes. “Eating.”
“You like barbecue food?”
“Erm… Yes?” I mean that’s why everyone comes to Bangkok for, barbecue food. Right?
He nodded his head to the tuktuk. “I take you.”
Knowing this probably wasn’t the most streetwise move, but too jet lagged and hungry to care, I got in.
I told him it was my first time in Thailand.
“Welcome to Thailand!” he said, his voice fill to the brim with joy.
The wind rushed through my hair, the traffic roared alongside me, the road still glistening from the rain earlier and I fell in to a euphoric feeling. I’m actually doing this!
The tuktuk driver continued to ask questions. “How old are you?”
“Oh you are beautiful.”
“Er…. Thank you,” I said, taken aback and sounding incredulous..
Then he giggled, full on proper giggled and squealed, “Lucky lucky!”
There was a pause, filled only by the ever present roar of traffic.
“I love you!” he proclaimed.
Having no idea what to do or how to respond, I laughed. Somewhat manically. This made him giggle more.
“You like spicy food?”
Oh God, I thought, am I going to be on the news? Where is he taking me? Some spicy meat crime den? Or will this become some weird date?
Thankfully, all it resulted in was a 15 or so minute journey to a quiet restaurant – weirdly with no barbecue food in sight. Other than a mediocre chicken and cashew stir fry (with the chicken and mushroom worryingly hard to distinguish between) there was no harm done.
The driver also came back to pick me up after an hour, as I obviously had no idea where I was. Clearly, he did this with a lot of idiotic Westerners. Perhaps his confession of love to me was not sincere.
I collapsed back in to bed.
Tomorrow, I told myself, tomorrow I’ll explore properly.