Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Being my first ever travel abroad and no. 6 in my 10 things to do for 2007, I just had to write a blog about my Bangkok trip with two of my girlfriends, Angie and Ria.

Team Pilipinas/Phoenix

It was apparent once we got to the airport that we were traveling with 2 big groups of people. First one was from the Phoenix Publishing House and 2nd was the Dragon Boat Team of the Philippines. It is funny how different these two groups look like. First group look all scholarly (geeky is more like it) because of their neon green shirts. The second group, what can I say? They were oozing with testosterone with all their well-toned tanned body, so I’ll be biased. I’d rather not say anything.

I am just glad that I look like a normal tourist and didn’t have to wear any type of uniform. Imagine traveling with that big group. Uhoh, I think I’ll be doing that in a few months time.

Same same? You three persons.

One we got to Bangkok, it was apparent that people there didn’t have the same grasp of the English language as most Filipinos do. In fact, our travel guide, who should have been the epitome of an English speaking Thai, was not too good in our standards. But if you compare her to most Thais, her English is excellent.

When calling our attention, she’d say, “You three person, you call me, okey, if you want to go around.” We were ‘three persons’ because there was a couple with us, so they were ‘two persons’.

Then after every statement, Thai people like saying, ‘Okey okey?’ Yes, okey okey. Oh there’s also this thing that they say everything in double because they feel like we won’t understand them. Well, they are right. And guess what, we learned to say everything in double too. Okey, okey? You say ‘same same?’ when you want to ask if they are of the same size or price.

Megapixels -- pamantayan ng buhay

Taking picture was a vital part of our tour. We started taking our pictures in the Centennial Airport and our goal was to have 100 pics a day. We almost did it because we were only 9 pics shy from our goal. We took pictures everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

On our 3rd day, we asked the guard in our hotel to take our picture in with the hotel facade. After taking the pic, he kept on asking something. Then he pointed at the pixel size of my cam which was 7.1. Oh he was asking, “Pixel?’ THEN, he took out his camera and pointed out his’. Guess what was the pixel of his cam? 10! His was an Ixus Titanium! Gee, biglang nahiya ung camera ko and I was proud of it until then? His cam was a whopping PhP24k.

After laughing at it, we realized how far back our country is in terms of achieving the quality of life we are all dreaming of. Thai money had purchase power. Ours? Not even close. The only consolation is, well, he was a guard!

No Tourist

We never imagined how similar we look with Thais until we were on our 2nd night. We were standing in queue for a cab. There were 3 Caucasian ladies in front of us holding Thailand travel guides, and the lady in front of me said, “Excuse me, where can we find night market at this time?” Luckily, we know what to say because Ria was such an expert on night markets. Then we realized, oh yeah, we look Thai! Isn’t that amazing?

At the Chatuchak weekend market, when I ask for a price, most salesperson would answer me in Thai. Amazing eh?

We Met Someone

After 8 hours of non stop shopping in Chatuchak, you’d think we’d be too tired and go home. But no, shopping being our main sports, we still had the energy to go to this sosy mall The Central World. Guess whom we met? Mr. Potato Head.

This is one of the best things I like about traveling with my college friends, we never let anything stop us from having fun. Can you believe it when we say that we actually had a picture taken with this mascot, among other kids, of course? We’d always be kids at heart.

Wait Till We Tell Paris about This Crazy Cab Driver

To culminate our trip, on our last night, we went to the famous 360° bar in Millennium Hilton Hotel. Yes, this is one of the Hotels in Paris’ inheritance. The bar had a 360° view of Bangkok, of course! Music was jazz with the Patty-Austin-look-alike singer. Dingdong-like pulutan was served for free, lemon grass martini and strawberry margarita were superb! A bottle of water though costs a whopping Bht170! That’s about PhP 225. Needless to say, we were tipsy by the time we got home.

It was really a culmination because our taxi driver was saying things like, “You drinking ha. Filipino?” We had to go with the flow and pretended that I was Paris, Ria was Nicole and Angie was Lindsay. Wahaha! When we were halfway to the hotel, the cab driver suddenly said, “You want to go to Seven Eleven, buy me beer?” Gagu! We were drunk but not stupid. But it was fun pretending to be dumbos.

Filipinos Everywhere

Morning before our trip home, Angie and I were desperate to find tamarind candies. The concierge in the hotel said to go soi blah blah (soi is Thai term for block). We were walking trying to find these tamarind candies when we ran into a Filipino store, the Kabuhayan Center! And yes, it’s owned by a Pinoy, with Filipino customers, and they accept pesos if you ran out baht! And I did.

The funny thing is, even the Thai Tuktuk drivers who hang out outside the store can speak Filipino words like, ‘dahan dahan’ when were stepping out of his Tuktuk. After 4 days of being tourists, we were just glad to ran into Filipinos, buy pasalubong without so much difficulty and we did even make tawad with all the stuff we bought.

Regardless of the beauty we found in Thailand, I couldn’t wait to go home! I love our country and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything in the world. Well, not till I’ve seen Europe. Hahaha.

Okey, okey?

1 comment:

shetty said...

che ikaw ba to?!! hehe Hi!! hindi ko alam kung pano kita macocontact..nagkavirus phone ko. teka muna..HAPPY BIRTHDAY! email mo saken num mo ha.nakakaaliw mga blogs mo.miss u na. these are the moments :)