Friday, February 08, 2008

Tuk-Tuk Goose

I ordered The Lonely Planet's Bangkok book over two weeks ago, and it finally arrived today. Maybe I should thank for preparing my butt for spring, as I doubled my daily trips up and down the stairs, hoping upon hope that the Amazon box would appear in my mailbox. I eventually was forced to send a curt email to their customer service department and, lo, the book appeared this morning, and I could barely wait until Theo's naptime to crack it open and start reading.

We are going to Thailand next week, by the way. It was a somewhat last-minute decision involving an already-planned business trip and someone in the family whining and wondering why some other person didn't just MOVE to Asia since he was spending half his time there, thereby cleverly wrangling an invitation to the tropics. We are all choosing to ignore the upcoming ten-hour plane ride with our almost-walking child, and the possibility that jetlag will mean we spend most of our days trying to catch up on sleep and our nights strolling the streets with our wide-awake son. Fortunately, I've heard there is plenty of after-dark entertainment in Bangkok.

My vision of the flight involves mainly anticipation of the delicious chocolate I'm sure to be served since we are flying Swiss Air and gratitude that we are not flying through Frankfurt. I could be a member of the Partridge family based on the amount of time I've spent on a bus in that place. BUILD SOME NEW TERMINALS, PEOPLE, or at least rig up a train. You are a country of engineers who created the world's most complicated yet efficient Christmas tree stand. Why can't you figure this one out?

However my daydreams always end upon arrival because I am a travel guidebook addict and must read the book from cover to cover before arrival. MUST. And must think in advance about where we will eat and which days we will shop (must shop at the beginning of the trip because will be energetic and enthusiastic but must leave time for shopping at the end because will understand the market/prices better at that point), and exactly how to get to and from the airport, and where we can buy pasteurized milk. And then I usually highlight the relevant passages and write things down in my specially-assigned travel notebook.

I'll bet you really wish you could travel with me because I'm so much fun.

No, really, I can be fun. As long as I know I have to be fun in advance, so that I can PREPARE for the fun, and have the right clothes. And you can see why it so pained me to have to wait for my book. But it's here now, so I'm able to step away from for a few minutes every evening.

Also, speaking of clothes, I think I might try having some made while I'm there. I've heard the horror stories about ripoffs and cheap fabric, and mean tailors and renegade tuk-tuk drivers, but I also got some helpful, encouraging information from Holly, who incidentally just posted a handsome photo of her boyfriend in an equally handsome (well, almost, he's pretty handsome) jacket she had made for him in Vietnam. So I have hope. And, yes, I realize Vietnam is not Thailand. However I am terribly embarrassed to admit that I'm not sure I could have picked either one out on a map until we started planning this trip. In fact, maybe until this morning when MY BOOK (with map) FINALLY ARRIVED.

You can see why the book is so important.

Thank you for your nice comments on the previous post. Now look at the kind of rambling post you're getting. Are you sure you really want (to quote my eloquent friend Geoff) the whole ass?


Erin said...

You're going to have an awesome time. And it's going to be SO HOT.
Definitely have something made, the Lonely Planet guide I think has some suggestions about tailoring, you can also check out their web forum (Thorn Tree) for up to the minute advice. Unless this totally freaks you out you must also get a foot massage, Theo might not want to sit still that long, but for about $5 you can get an hour of fabulous relaxation. And the food is fantastic.

Nicole said...

Have a great time! You might want to check out my friends Dan and Audrey's site: They have spent the last 14 months traveling around the world and have been in Thailand quite a lot. Dan also just got robbed by airport security in Bangkok, so there's that safety alert as well.

Blythe said...

Erin - I cannot wait to have a foot massage. I plan to have one every single day if possible.

Nicole - Their site is amazing, and that's quite a robbery story, applicable not just in Bangkok but at airport security everywhere. I'm not sure if I would have had the gumption (OMG I sound like an old person) to go back and fight it out.