Stickman Readers' Submissions May 4th, 2006

Visiting Magical Bangkok

By Carnation Czky

You have been away from Thailand for half a year and have now a chance to come back. What is the first thing you plan to do? I have been looking forward to coming back ever since my boss informed me that I needed to travel to Asia. I then made up a list of things to do, things to buy, and, of course, food to eat! The list got updated as the time for my departure neared. And for someone who has been living in the other side of the world, a place with harsh conditions (translated: very cold and unfriendly), Thailand seems like heaven and paradise (it really is!). Every day I could not stop myself from smiling because I was so excited. Even if I was traveling by myself, leaving my husband alone for the week. I would miss him, of course. In fact, he was the only one I would miss.

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My stomach was in knots and full of excitement as my TG flight started to descend to Bangkok International Airport. In fact, since I stepped into the plane about 11 hours back, I had started to feel like I was really coming home, although my trip was only for a week. From the friendly and warm smiles of the crew, seeing their respectful wais and listening to their gentle voices, I felt like I was in another world! I could not help my eyes misting over. I really missed Thailand! I am married to a Thai and have lived there for the past 16 years until last year. We had to go abroad as my husband had to finish his doctoral studies (sandwich programme).

So back to the List. What then did I do when I first arrived? As I had only a week, time was short, thereby precious. On the first day, I went to my favorite Thai massage clinic and had an hour of foot massage. Oh, it was heavenly! I went back there again after a few days for a two hour full body massage. Then, the afternoon before I left I went there again but the queue was so long that I could not wait. I was leaving in a few hours’ time so I had to continue with my shopping or else it would never get done!

I also went to visit my favourite food shops. I had some of the Thai food which I really missed, such as pad bai krap pao (fried basil leaves) with pork or chicken, tom yam, som tam, laab, nam tok, tom kha kai, omelet, yam neua, kwei teaw, pad thai, and, of course, fried rice! I also did not forget to pass by my favourite coffee shop for my daily dose of mocha coffee! It tastes better in Bangkok. My coffee taste buds are always looking for the roasted coffee bean flavour which is missing from the coffee served here in the west. <Really? Where do you live?! When I was back in NZ last year, the coffee there kicked ass and unlike Bangkok, you didn't have to hunt for good coffee, good coffee was the norm, not the exceptionStick>

What about shopping? I would not miss that, of course. I got to buy items at reasonable cost but with good quality. I was thankful that I did not exceed my baggage allowance when I flew back. Now I am using these nice and fashionable clothes, shoes and bags which are the envy of friends and strangers alike. I love the colours especially because during the past winter season, everything was just dark and grey. A splash of colour could do a lot in lifting up our spirits.

So what else did I do next? I had appointments with my doctor, dentist and optometrist. I went to the beauty salon for that much needed shampoo, hot oil, perm, and the relaxing manicure and pedicure rituals.

I had a really busy time but I was also able to visit friends. It was nice meeting most of them all over again and sharing my experiences abroad. I just could not stop telling them that life in Thailand is much better. How fortunate they are to be there. I remember about 4 years ago, I was flying back to Bangkok from Europe and was seated next to a young western woman. She told me that it was her second time to visit and I asked her why she came back. She said that aside from visiting her sister in Bangkok, she felt drawn to come back, that there was something wonderful in being in Thailand. I nodded my head, understanding pretty well what she meant, although both of us could not really put it into words!

My husband and I are going back to Thailand in a few weeks’ time. This time it is for good. Until the next trip comes along, that is. But I will always be going back to Thailand. It is special, magical and amazing, my home sweet home.

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Stickman's thoughts:

Great to hear you had such a good time and are so positive about Bangkok. So, are you going to allow hubby a solo trip to Bangkok…?!

nana plaza