7/15 – After a month at the beach, we are back in busy Bangkok. While we are here, we need to purchase some things we couldn’t get on Koh Chang – Jim’s medicine, dental floss, rechargeable batteries for my camera and a new battery for my watch. We found a pharmacy right down the street, then asked our hotel lady where batteries could be purchased. Her answer, of course – the mall! A taxi ride got us over to the modern part of town. We walked among familiar shops, including a Dunkin Donuts and a KFC. Did I take pictures? No – you know what a mall looks like!
The lower level had a fresh food court, and there we saw a lady selling durians. Now, you will remember that durian is either the king of fruits, or the smelliest fruit ever, depending on who you ask. A notice on our hotel wall reminded me that I promised to try some.
Now, we have been keeping our eyes open for a chance to score some durian, but unlike other fruits, which the street vendors are happy to cut up and sell, we’ve only seen durians for sale whole and unopened. We don’t want to bring a whole one home and take a chance of stinking up our room. All I want is a little bite! So here at the mall, imagine my surprise to see durians opened and sold by the piece! What’s more, the lady has a plate of durian pieces, and is offering samples. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for!
I bent down and sniffed the durian skin – nothing. I took a sample and sniffed it in my hand – nothing. I placed it in my mouth and… yum! It tastes very faintly like a pineapple, only creamy instead of fiberous. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t know what the “stink” is all about. Maybe it gets smelly if you leave it out? Let it get overripe? If anybody knows, please share. As far as I can tell, durian = nice fruit.
We walked all around the mall, surrounded by “stuff”, but after getting our batteries, couldn’t think of a single thing we wanted to buy, so hopped in a taxi and went back to the non-tourist side of town.
We walked down the street outside our hotel, looking for things to buy for supper. So much variety!
I’m partial to the Chinese steamed dumplings.
We bought a bunch of stuff and had a smorgasbord feast, until I found a whole chicken foot in my ginger chicken and rice. Gave Jim the foot – there are some things I just don’t need to try!
7/16 – The other thing we decided to do in Bangkok was to get Jim a new set of hearing aids. We understand that we will save several thousand dollars here, rather than waiting til we get home. I located an audiologist who was recommended and spoke English, and made an appointment. The office is more than a taxi ride away, so we got directions for the Sky Train to take us there.
The Bangkok Sky Train is an elevated railway, fast and modern. Like other metros we’ve seen in Asia, there are plexiglass walls that prevent the crush of people from pushing folks over the edge onto the tracks. Like others we have ridden, the process was easy, from purchasing tickets, to changing trains, and getting off at the right stop. Stops were announced in both Thai and English. Easy peasy. Happy to say that people queue up politely here, like in Japan, and don’t push and shove, like in China.