Day off today - my plan of exploring by myself was almost foiled.
Just as I was traipsing off from where we were dropped off at the Grand Palace with a jubilant cry of havefuneveryonebyeeee I was summoned back to the group as they had just received devastating news - the Grand Palace was closed for the day. A tuk-tuk driver, the same one who had given them this news, was recommending other places they could go to instead, offering them too-cheap-to-be-true prices. This is a common scam. There's even a sign near the grand palace that says Don't trust wily strangers which I found extremely amusing.
The Palace was definitely not closed. Wasn't quite successful in convincing them, so after sharing my money-changing skills I walked with them to the front gate and bade them farewell, feeling rather like how a mother must feel on her child's first day of school. It's a bizarre (and I'll readily admit, fulfilling and gratifying) feeling to be the go-to person amidst those who are much older and more educated than I am.
Found my way to Khao San, Bangkok's backpacker ghetto, and felt right at home. Wandered around for an hour before settling down to brunch which was an awesome Thai tofu thing and the serving of rice came in the shape of a teddy bear. Best thing ever. Phone's acting up so no pictures for now. =(
Went to get my eyebrows done and paid less than half what I'd pay at home. Spent most of my time after that people-watching - every time I saw someone with a TUBING in Vang Vieng shirt, my heart wept and yearned. They wear it like a badge of honour, as they rightfully should; it's a rite of passage in South-East Asian backpacking. I think I shall wear mine tomorrow (I had two but my cat ate one).
Chatted with 2 girls (who I think were German) and borrowed their travel guide to see where Pattani is (mine only has Bangkok and North Thailand) and turns out it's really near Malaysia. Oh, overland opportunities!
I want to blog more about the situation I posted on facebook but it's too mentally exhausting to think about right now (my day started at 6am) so I'll leave it till tomorrow. But there have been developments along the lines of apologies and explanations.
Since life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better. –Simon Raven