August 15, 2010

Bye Bye Bangkok! Back to reality...

We spent the final days of our trip in Bangkok on the exact same road where it all began 2 months ago :)
Kao San Road is a hive of activity; bursting with dodgy bars and crazy people selling everything from ‘massaaaage’ to vest tops, fake ID cards (and fake degree certificates!) to glow sticks, fake shades&bags, amazing Pad Thai cooked right in front of you and (my favourite) side stalls where you dip your feet into small pools filled with small fish who eat the dead skin off of your feet.
We spent our days shopping in MBK (our favourite mall in the WORLD!), haggling and picking up touristy trinkets to bring back home to family and friends. We treated ourselves to a room in a nicer (bit pricer at US$13 a night) hotel on Khao San Road, with a roof top pool :)
We spent our last night in Bangkok airport, as the last bus we could catch to the airport was at 11 pm and our flight wasn’t until 6 am :( Such is the life of a budget traveler!
These months have flown by. Chris and I have been lucky enough to have this opportunity and I can’t say I would have done South East Asia on a shoestring with anyone else but her. We were like chalk and cheese at times but it’s not easy to spend 24/7 with someone for two months, no matter who that person is! We took our differences in stride and enjoyed each others company; I’m grateful for the interesting conversations (we never got bored), the sense of humor we share, the ridiculous situations we found ourselves in (and laughed about later) and the ability to have fun in any situation. I’ve had such a great time! All good things must come to an end and it’s time to go home…I must admit, I’m tired of living out of a suitcase and hand washing my clothes!
(Who am I kidding? In a month’s time I’ll be ready to do it all over again…)
On that same roof top we met a couple in their late 70’/early 80’s from New York. The wife was nearly crippled from an overdose of radiation to her spine (a medical mistake whilst treating her for cancer) and she was in constant pain. Her husband helped her everywhere and made sure she was comfortable, translating the conversation for her whilst she was in the pool without her hearing aid. He told us of all the places they had been together over the last 40 years; the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Europe…you name it, they had been. She had been in that physical state for 10 years and yet they continued to travel. Here they were at a budget hotel in the middle of Bangkok, talking about what a great time they’ve had around Asia and how they love meeting young people like us.
‘It makes us feel younger, being around people with a hopeful, positive attitude. People who travel have a different way of seeing things, they’re interesting and more open to ideas, you know? I just love it. We caught the travel bug years ago and no matter what, we’ve never been able to shake it off.’
I hope that I’m able to do what they’re doing at their age. This Travel bug still has lots of places to see, people to meet and things to do between now and 90!
Until then I’m hoping for a heavy dose of reality as I prepare for my next adventure. Watch this space.
Thanks for following me on this blog everyone, it’s been a pleasure keeping track of this wild and wonderful summer.
Until next time,
xoxo Malou

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