My Mini Meltdown in Bangkok

//My Mini Meltdown in Bangkok

Bangkok is a great city. I know people think of it as greasy sex clubs and a flurry of fluorescent lights, but I haven’t found it like that at all. Actually, I find it pretty clean for a place that houses 7 million people and its has areas of pristine modernism as well as the old city, which is packed with character. Top it off with glittering temples and palaces that would make Marilyn Munroe dance and you’ve got an impressive destination.

So if I’m singing such praises why did I have a nervous breakdown yesterday? Well I like things in neat little boxes and this city refuses to cooperate.  Since landing we’ve had our luggage lost (I was not a happy bunny to have had to deal without skincare for 24 hours), been taken for a ride on a tuk tuk scam (where our rickshaw kept taking us to gem stores and tailors instead of the sites we hired him for), yelled at in Thai for reasons that are beyond me (I really don’t know how immigrants who don’t speak English come to Canada and cope – its been four days and my inability to communicate properly is driving me crazy) and hassled by tour sales person after tour sales person (I know a jobs a job, but its exhausting trying to escape their persistence).  Re: I need a lot of cooling fresh coconut water, of which I’ve had 8 young thai coconuts since arriving.

I’m also a person who tries really hard to be sensitive to other cultures and their customs and its stressful when you’re constantly feel like you’re doing something wrong.  Rules that are always in my mind: Don’t wear sleeveless tops or shorts to temples, always take off your shoes when entering indoors, never point a foot at someone and especially not at an image of Buddha, wave people over palm facing down not up, women can’t touch monks (I think I may have brushed by one in the market – small eek) and be aware of the social hierarchy of age at all times – bow at elders first. 

But yesterday it all came to a head when the cabbie took us to block 130 (aka “soi 130”) instead of number 130.  We realized this as he had driven us 20 minutes out of the city, but even after when we realized the miscommunication he kept on driving us further away, insisting that we asked for soi 130.  So I freaked out, then he freaked out and Ben freaked out at us freaking out.  We later all made up and ended up giggling about it, but this was soon replaced by my fear that our detour would cost us more cash than we had.  Sigh.  I didn’t cry the, I cried when we got back to our hotel and in my tired stupor fat tears tumbled down my cheeks for no apparent reason.  But it was a good cry – it was a resigned cry. One that marked the point of which I will stop fighting the chaos and just go with it.  Hopefully this’ll stay with me when I get home – bc all you type A Pittas out there know that on some level the stress I’m feeling while abroad is just an amplified version of what we feel everyday at home: the need to control and have everything tied up in perfect little packages.

Today, I’ve eaten six mangosteen and I’m going for a thai massage.  This Pitta is officially on vacation.

A more peaceful view of the city from Wat Arun

 

2012-08-21T22:51:05+00:00 By |Stress|4 Comments

About the Author:

4 Comments

  1. Kareen August 22, 2012 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Aaah! That sounds really stressful. Add to that the tropical heat, and I can imagine your skin might be going bananas. Mine definitely would. I’ve done my fair share of traveling in tropical and culturally colorful places. While it’s good to be sensitive to cultural norms, it’s also important to accept that fact that yeah, sometimes you are that bumbling foreigner. When you find yourself in those moments, the best thing to do is just laugh at the situation and take moments to breathe! Also, know that there are people who would love to be in your place, if only for the fresh young coconut juice. Mmm.

    • kristen August 24, 2012 at 5:59 am - Reply

      Wise words Kareen! My skin is freakign out a bit but the humidity is helping a lot. That and the eight young thai coconuts I’ve had 🙂

  2. Melissa August 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    What an adventure! I put all my important skin care in my carry on in no more than 100ml bottles in a medium zip lock bag..I make joel carry one too do I can bring more stuff . Hehe

    • kristen August 24, 2012 at 5:57 am - Reply

      I learnt my lesson Melissa – skincare will only go in carry on now!

Leave A Comment

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.