Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yesterday steven, paul and I went to Bangkok to a market (pronounced talaad jatujak). We call it jj's for short, its easier on the tongue lol. It was the first time we ever took the city bus anywhere, and we were pleasently surprised by its cool and inviting atmosphere. There are two kinds of buses here, the yellow, which are air-conditioned, and the blue, which are not. We took the yellow #29 all the way to our destination (about an hour away) for only 20 baht, which is less than a dollar (about 60c). We went to JJs because steven wanted to see the pet section, which hosts many more pets than do the pet stores in America.

Now, JJ's isnt an average market. It is 35 acres and nearly devoid of anything that would help you find your way. We try to stay on the outer perimeter when we go there so we have an easier time leaving. There is a skytrain station next to one of the exit gates, so transportation around bangkok is easily accessible from JJs.

Dear lord. The pet section was so absolutely atrocious. There were puppies and kittens of course, but there were also squirrels, sugar gliders, and little baby hedgehogs. Most were kept in very confining cages, something I am not a fan of. We only stayed there for a few minutes then returned to the outer perimeter, next to the plant section. Oh my goodness....they had every kind of plant imaginable. There were all sorts of fruit trees, including durian, rambuchan, lychee, papaya, mango, lime, lemon, banana, longan, coconut, jackfruit, tamarind, tropical plum, and several others that I could not identify. I am now the proud owner of a lime tree named sprite and a mango tree dubbed mr. mangoes. Awesome? Indeed. Pictures will be available soon.

From Jjs we went to Siam Paragon, which is a 9-story supermall in the middle of bangkok. We only went there to eat some mexican food, so we will be returning next weekend to see all the shops in that mall. The bottom floor hosts southeast asia's largest aquarium and an imax theater. I know the fourth floor had some car dealers (jaguar, porche, lamburgini, etc.) and Im guessing there are all sorts of cool stores in that mall.

When it was time to return to the dorm, paul left for some reason while we were in bangkok and we were told to take a specific bus with a yellow sign and it had to say #29. I asked a lady on the sidewalk in broken thai where the bus stop is and she responded in english lol...so we went to the bus stop and waited with about 300 others as all sorts of buses piled in and gathered customers. We saw several 29 buses, but all had a blue sign. Finally we saw one with a yellow sign and boarded (with a lime and mango tree in hand) and pushed into the crowd of people on the bus. When the ticket lady got to us, i told here where we were going and she said it was the wrong bus...we had an 'oh shit' moment for a minute there then asked why it didnt go where we needed to go. It turns out we boarded a number 8 bus, and since i was only looking for a yellow sign i forgot to look at the number. She said the bus was about to turn off onto a different interstate so she had the bus driver open the door (we were in the middle of the interstate in rush hour traffic) and we got off and weaved through traffic to get to the side of the road (all while carrying fruit trees). We waited for a long time for a vacant taxi but all were full, so we walked all the way back to the bus station (still carrying fruit trees) and finally boarded the correct bus. An hour later, we were home, and sprite and mr. mangoes have a nice spot on the balcony.

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