GPS abandonment, the $4 haircut and the $40 omelet, the alleyway discoveries. There’s no place like Bangkok!
Our day started with a little shortie bike ride to drop off bikes at Velo Thailand, a hidden gem of a bike shop with a couple of fantastic guys who will clean up our bikes all sparkly then squish them into boxes in preparation for the flight home. Our short little three kilometre trip stretched into 6k as we discovered that the surrounding buildings make the GPS go all birdbrain on us. Stay in school, learn to read a map, kids! It’s a skill that comes in handy when your GPS lets you down.
After gleefully handing off bikes we found ourselves bike-less, accompanied by a strange but liberated feeling of loss. We could go in and out of any store we wished without standing on guard with our bikes outside! We were mobile in the City! And that led to a haircut….
Randy’s haircut! Without bikes, and with our newfound spontaneity we hung a quick right into the nearby barber shop—very much a man’s-domain! Randy got a great hair cut, his face spritzed & dried, and a mini shoulder and neck massage all for the big price of $4.
After the $4 haircut we sipped ice-cold strawberry smoothies and struck up conversation with Dhanube, a young local man who kindly showed us on the map where we could find a particular restaurant. Not just any restaurant, but the one with the famous crab omelette made by none other than Michelin Star street-food chef Jay Fai. We’re not talking about your typical dollar-omelette, but a big, feasty, juicy, sweet crabby one with a big juicy price tag of about $40. If you are unfamiliar with Jay Fai, do google her. She has a fascinating story! Given the tourist shortage we were able to score an omelette every bit as delicious as they all say! Not only did we score the omelette, but we were seated in the best spot in the restaurant to watch her in action the whole time. We should mention that her restaurant does not resembles the hoity toity style one might expect. Menus are still old faded color photocopies held together by plastic sheet protectors, and its open-air street food dining atmosphere is unspoiled. She herself still cooks every single dish over hot charcoal woks. One could ponder the irony of a $4 haircut and a $40 omelette, the cost of which in Canada would be reversed.
There are alleyways, lanes, and narrow rivers, all crammed with shop-houses, which in turn are crammed with product waiting to be discovered at every turn. We just hang a left here, turn right there and everywhere you look, you can’t stop gawking. So much to discover and that can be best captured with pictures rather than words.
After we exhausted ourselves with walking in the scorching heat we negotiated a TukTuk ride to the hotel. Not knowing if the driver even understood where we wanted to go, we agreed on price and off we went. Nevermind that he stopped halfway, sought directions from another TukTuk driver, then offered a cold glass of water to yet another. Who even cares where we are going?? We’re going on a TukTuk ride and it’s gonna be a blast!