11.11.2008 31 °C
After two weeks in Thailand it has become apparent that two worlds have collided and we, being mere Farangs, (foreigners), don't always know which world we are in. For instance: A Starbucks' coffee costs 8 times as much as the full fare on the riverboat from one end of Bangkok to the other. And, Gabriolans take note as you board the BC Ferry, the one hour ride costs just 5 cents. (It was five and a third cents until the fuel surcharge was removed last week.)
We went to Hua Hin by train, (250 Kms,) and it costs $15 for the four and a half hour journey - So how much do you think it cost us to return to Bangkok a week later?
If you can answer this question correctly we will buy you a Starbucks' coffee in Bangkok, (airfare not included.)
This is truly two worlds: Opulent shopping malls filled with the World's most exclusive stores are surrounded by shanty towns where a Dollar Store would seem an extravagance; corrugated iron shacks sprout giant satellite dishes; wizened Thai peasants have cellphones that play "Jingle Bells"; and working elephants share the road with motorbikes and SUV's
Signs outside restaurants read: "Beware of Fake Monks" and "Beware of Wily Strangers."
Some hotels should have signs saying, "Beware of hotels offering Serene Corners."
Beware of smiling Thais - especially when you are attempting to use a pedestrian crossing.