First, a tale of tragedy and woe. And infinite embarrassment.
So our hostel in Bangkok provided lockers to hide away valuables, but they didn’t provide locks. Since I’m such a savvy traveller, I bought my own padlock for just such a situation.
A few nights ago, when Helen, Lisa, and I made our eye-opening trip to Soi Cowboy, I decided I didn’t want the hassle of my purse and put it away in the locker. I also locked up my camera, credit cards, and Helen’s debit card.
Away we went, on our night of adventure. The next morning, as we were about to head out to the Grand Palace, I realized I had made a grievous error: the key to the padlock was in my purse… which was in the locker.
My padlock and the locker itself were no joke, so I asked the hostel receptionist about a locksmith in the area. Luckily, there was one about a five minute walk down the street.
I went to go find him, but no luck. When we came back from the Grand Palace at 8pm-ish, I searched for him again, to no avail. We only had one more day in Bangkok… if we couldn’t find a guy to pick or cut the lock, things were about to get serious.
Thank our lucky charms, the following morning he was there. He came by to the hostel, tried picking it, went back to his shop and got more tools, and returned to the hostel. After a few minutes of effort, he did it! The lock fell open and I took a look inside the locker.
My purse wasn’t there. Meaning the key to the lock wasn’t there either.
That’s when it dawned on me: I knew exactly where the key was.
I looked between my bed and the wall, and there smiling up at me was my damn purse. It has been there all along.
I had to leave the room for a couple of minutes, lay out a string of obscenities, then come back and yell at myself some more. At least the locksmith was cheap (300 baht, or about $10.) Still, we wasted a lot of time looking for this guy, and shed many a silent tear.
Moral of the story: I can be an idiot. Moving on.
Our last day in the Bangkok area was spent at the old capital in Ayutthaya, about an hour and a half away. We caught a van there, which dropped us off in the middle of town. And we had no idea where to go next
Some “helpful” tuk tuk drivers offered to take us to all of the ruins for “only” 200 baht per hour. Knowing better, we had one drive us to the tourism center, since we clearly needed some help having any idea what we were doing there. Then, armed with maps and water, we headed out into the heat.
Hey look, elephants! We didn’t feel like paying 200 baht for every ten minutes riding them, so we just took some pictures and touched one of the smaller elephants instead.
The area is full of temple ruins, including this Buddha head being slowly taken up by roots.
The most spectacular (and crowded) area was the palace ruins. These featured spires, altars, headless Buddha statues, and Rosie the Riveter.
After seeing most of the sights, we got a bus back to Bangkok. Trouble was, it dropped us off at a bus station near but not at the metro station.
That left us with trying to figure out the Bangkok public bus system (scary), tuk tuk… or a motorcycle?!? Clearly we went with the most exciting option.
Helen and I haggled half-heartedly, then piled onto the back of the motorcycle. It was exhilarating stuff. Oh, the roads are clogged with traffic? We’ll just go ahead and weave through that. It made me want to try riding a motorcycle even more.
Lastly, if you see green pancakes with strange hair-looking stuff at a food stall, buy it! It’s like cotton candy wrapped in pancakes. Yum.