Well, I’m out of the hospital. They released me on Tuesday, and my mom and I are staying in a nice hotel (though we keep lamenting how the food isn’t as good as the hospital food…) with a rooftop pool. Everything in our room is for sale, as detailed by the hotel manual. If you want to buy the sheets, they cost 700 bhat. If you want the coffee spoon, that costs 30. The telephone costs 1,000 and if you want the water heater, that will go for 20,000. The sofa is also 20,000, but the bed skirt is a bargain at 1,000. They’ll throw in your pillow for 300. We tried for a while to figure out if this is an attempt to prevent people from stealing or a joke, but we are still confused.
Also, my mom and I have learned not to dawdle when taking the elevator– that elevator MEANS BUSINESS. It almost slammed my face off once, when I dragged my post-fever self too slowly in the door on the ground level– leaving me bruised, and then a day later it got my mom when she got distracted by the ancient artwork displayed in a glass case outside our 7th floor. We now race to get into the elevator, since it doesn’t seem to have that sensor that stops western elevators from crushing unsuspecting victims into pancakes. My mom says it’s our exercise. Another funny thing is the laundry next to our hotel, that offers to wash your “sleepino suit” (pajamas?) or your “hanukerchiefs”… I might take them up on that one 🙂
It’s raining now, but so far Bangkok has been HOT. We went on a half-day tour to the Grand Palace yesterday, which featured dazzling gold temples, but I was on tottering hospital-bed legs, and kept getting dizzy from the heat and the walking. Alice, our guide, self-named after “Alice in Wonderland” was very nice and worried, and kept fanning me and making me sit down in the shade. For dinner last night, we went to a Korean BBQ restaurant after having a not so great culinary experience at a restaurant called, I kid you not, “Cabbages and Condoms.”
We went for the name, but it turns out the restaurant is a project of the Thailand Population and Community Development Association, which amongst other things– raises awareness about AIDS and the need for safe sex and…. condoms. We’re not sure where “Cabbage” came from, probably just alliteration. Anyway, the food wasn’t very good though the setting was beautiful– outdoor patio under banyan trees lit up by lanterns made from condoms. Very cool, too bad about the food. Super spicy. Tomorrow, we’re going on another half day tour (this one hopefully involves more shade and sitting) of the river temples– we’ll be on a boat. Then, we’re going to check out the Thai Transvestite Cabaret– we are very intrigued! So far we have noticed a lot of effeminate Thai men, my mom now has a theory that Thai men have less testosterone than the rest of the world. Hmmm…. I’m excited to see the trannies though!
Then, on a less exciting note, we bought tickets to return home. There was a while where I wanted to continue on to China, but given my weakened physical state it seems better than I go home to rest and recover. Especially since it’s so hard to find food that is nourishing and does not make me sick, and especially since the heat has made it really hard for me to get my strength back by walking around. And I need to work out my finances with the insurance company. But I still haven’t totally gotten on board with going home, since I really wanted to go to China and never made it…. but as my mom says, better to regroup and then go back out– once I know if I can afford it health-wise and money-wise.
So, Game Over Asia. At least for Round One. I’ll be flying home (through Seoul! At least I’ll set foot in the motherland Korea!) on Saturday, and will arrive in San Francisco Sunday morning. Hopefully, it won’t take more than a couple weeks to get my strength back and in the meantime, I can write on here about a potential program in Israel I discovered….