NOTE: I am totally procrastinating (writing a treatment for an episode I can’t finish) right now by blogging at least the first day of our first out of the country trip to Phuket, Thailand! Here goes the blogging spree, I hope!
Day 1 – Manila to Bangkok to Phuket
We left the country at 6AM Manila time and arrived at Suvarnabhumi (crazy airport name!) International Airport around 9AM, Bangkok time. The flight is about 4 hours and Philippines is an hour earlier, freaking time zones, I know.
I love airports! It’s always filled with people from different nation and poging porenjers and everything is so fast-paced you will get left behind if you don’t keep up.
Bangkok airport (yeah, like I’m ever typing those crazy words up there again) is so big. Imagine, we had to walk 800m just to get to the immigration? Que horror. Buti na lang may walkalators. Anyway, once we get passed the immigration, which by the way, was so easy compared to horror stories they say (or maybe because chismisan ng chismisan yung dalawa dun, baka tungkol kay Baifern o Mario Maurer, ewan ko lang, lol) that it’s really hard to get pass them.
Once we’re out, we got our luggage and find where we can buy Thai sim so we can contact our tito and mom. We we’re finally able to get one (in nano sim, so hard to find one) and they told us to find a metered taxi that will take us to the bus station that will then take us to Phuket.
The frustrating thing with Thailand is that the people are not really very good with speaking English, I mean, I was asking the airport police if that is where the taxis are, and he can’t answer me, WTF, right? Pano pa pag wala na sa airport? Punyetang Tower of Babel talaga yan.
Bangkok, Thailand is kinda like a cleaner and progressive Manila, or at least the areas that I have seen. I love their highways! And If you must know, their vehicles are right-hand drive, unlike here in the country, so European! The first taxi we rode broke down that we had to transfer cabs, but that’s okay. Short story: The second taxi meter’s at 129THB and we only paid 120THB because I thought that was the fare. Anyway, the cab driver let us go maybe because he thought we’re stupid or maybe he does not want to get into an English language discussion with us, so what’s 9 baht, right? Haha. But that was really a very honest mistake, I even thought I gave him a 1 baht tip.
We were dropped off at this mall, with a very loooong name I didn’t even bother reading. It was a small mall with tiangges, think168 with fewer stores. We found our way to the ticket booth and got ourselves a bus that will leave at 4:30 pm, giving us about 4-5 hours to spend in the mall. Ang mumura ng items!
I don’t get this at all!
We ate at KFC (because we don’t want to explore this early at baka magka-diarrhea), jusko, walang translation ang mga nakasulat, ngayon lang ako naging tanga sa buong buhay ko. We were just looking at the photos and figuring out what to eat base on that. Buti na lang, the smaller menu has English translations. We ordered this lemon spicy chicken (I wish we have it here!) and coke and mashed potato. Yum! I have to tell you, their mashed potato has a spicy oomph to it and I love it and their servings are bigger than they serve here. Grabe ang liit liit ng servings sa Pinas, I feel like we are being robbed of the servings we deserve. I only ordered regular sized meal but theirs are a size bigger than us!
She hates her spicy food. Lurve it!
We strolled the mall for a while and saw this 7 11. So different from here and at a cheapeeeeer price, I’m telling you. Here are some of the stuff they have there:
their Yakult version and some gummy candies
Mario Maurer and Baifern!
Sorry. Cannot understand this at all.
Saw this charging station that only has Thai instructions available, so when we found somebody who spoke little English and we were able to charge our phones, I did a crazy thing: translating it in English. Haha!
I hope this post-it saves some tourists. 🙂
I’m such a Good Samaritan. I need to give myself a pat on the back. There, I just did. 😉
Afterwards, got myself some yummy breads from Mr. Bun, wala sa Phuket, sayang! They have yameeee butterrrry breads that my palate loves!
And You Think You Can’t Get Any More “Lost In Translation” Than You Already Are
By 4pm, we we’re lugging our things to the bus. Have I told you that it was a two storey bus? Coolness! Have I mentioned that their seats are La-Z boy type? And they give free bottled water and mamon-mongo-like bread? And free blankets so you don’t get cold? And you can turn your AC off and you have your own light similar to an airplane? And that the bus has its own washroom and stewardess??? No? Groooool, right? The 12-hour bus ride is more bearable than the 4-hour flight, I swear! Ni walang free food sa Cebu Pac, buti pa sa PAL may pa-mani at tubig!
I was so overwhelmed with all of these. I mean they are so forward and the Philippines is so backward. I mean, if you have experienced riding a bus in the Philippines, you’re lucky if you can stretch your legs in that 12 hour ride to Bicol, or not get a back ache.
Patubig at pa-mamon-mongo bread
Ang cool ng bus nila! I can’t stress it enough! At 680 baht, we have a first class experience and I slept like a baby in that 12 hour ride! E dito sa Pinas? Do you know that I never returned to Leyte since I was in high school because of my horrendous bus experience from Manila to Leyte? I swore I’m not ever coming back if it meant land trip, HELL NO! And I remembered my father paid P1000 for a seat back in the early 2000s pa yun ha!
The only bad thing about this whole experience is the people do not understand a word we are saying, even if we combine it with hand gestures. The stewardess is not very accommodating, probably because we can’t understand Thai. When we were at the pit stop to get something to eat, we thought we had to pay for food. Buti na lang, there was a woman who was kind enough to tell us that we just have to show our ticket to the carinderia-ish crew and they will give us food, that’s still included in the 680 baht.
Di maintindihang foodS. Caught in this whole cultural divide.
We didn’t enjoy it though. They served us bland porridge with different viands on the side. I later found out that yun daw ang lugaw nila, walang lasa, as in parang nagsaing ng kanin na sobra sobra ung tubig. I even joke that parang pinagsaing si Peyu at naglaro ng tubig, naging lugaw. The side dishes were dried spicy na dilis, itlog na maalat with nuts, bland longganisa, some veggies and chicken with veggies. Ihahalo mo yung mga ulam sa walang lasang lugaw, ganun ang tamang pagkain. We didn’t like it. We ended up just eating itlog na maalat, yun lang kilala namin e! Haha at konting dilis and the bread we have not eaten yet. And then we went back inside the bus because we are so afraid to get left behind and magsama-sama na lang sa isang episode ng Reunions, o maging sequel ng Finding Nemo.
We slept for another two hours and when we woke up, Phuket na!
We ride a tuktuk to Patong City where my tito resides and I just have to say, I’m just so happy that we got there alive. Que horror and language barrier, worst thing ever!
If in Thailand, they are more progressive when it comes to infrastructures and such, we are far better in speaking English, and I kind of think that’s so much better! You can strike a convo with a driver, a vendor or even a street kid in here, but in there, I tried asking students and even professionals, but it felt like I was trying to teach my little niece Algebra. L Speaking to Thais is sooo frustrating. I think they are really helpful though, or would like to help, but they just try to look unapproachable so we won’t ask them and they won’t look stupid not knowing English.
On my first day, I already gave up on talking to them. I’d rather feel hungry and just eat at Phuket than exert effort for Thais to try to understand what I mean and in the end, waley, they don’t get me at all! This is the first time that my English communication skills failed me!
On the other hand, I appreciate the fact they give us the right amount (in the tuktuk at least) and do not overcharge us just because we’re tourists. Unlike here in Pinas, grabe mangtaga ang mga tao sa presyo. Nakakahiya.
Enough of negativity na, because my vacation is one for the books, or for the blogs, at least.
Day 1, done!