This year, I had another weird birthday. My last birthday was spent in Bangkok, alone at a hotel. After that, I thought I might never travel to Bangkok again, but coincidentally, not only am I back in Bangkok, I even spent my birthday in the exact same hotel.
The difference was, this time I wasn’t alone, but with family.
Spent the day at IconSiam & bought the Apple Watch braided solo loop as a birthday gift. Overall, a nice upgrade from my last birthday.
Since I left Gurgaon & moved to Bangkok, I have been in quarantine with my family. Almost 1 week in, it has been a bit difficult, but not torturous.
We are not allowed to leave our hotel rooms, except to pick up the food which is placed outside our rooms 3 times a day. Apart from this, our only window into the outside world are the windows with the same constant view.
The only difference in the view is how it changes between day and night & during different hours of the day depending on the angle of the sun.
Looking forward to getting out of quarantine in 9 more days and exploring the city (again).
During my last trip to Bangkok, I had a yearning to go visit a beach. Me and my Indian friend decided to head to Bang Saen, which is a beach in Chonburi province, a little more than an hour’s drive from Bangkok. He also brought along his Indian roommate. His name, translated to English literally means Snake 🐍, so that’s how we’ll refer to him for the rest of the story.
The Snake is your typical Indian tourist who doesn’t want to part with any of his money & is always on his guard thinking that everyone is out to cheat him. He cribbed about paying 10 Baht to use the changing rooms (why can’t we just change behind that tree?), paying 50 Baht to use the beach chairs (we should have brought our own chairs). He cribbed about paying for food (so overpriced). When we decided to ride the crazy sofa, he immediately began to haggle with the operator. Note that, he paid for none of the above things; he is just a habitual haggler.
Unlike a Banana boat, which is streamlined and cuts through the water gracefully, a crazy sofa is inherently unstable and would bounce and flop around even in the most stable waters. So when the snake haggled with the operator and the operator agreed to reduce his rate, but with a nefarious smile slowly spreading across his face, I knew something was wrong.
So started our crazy sofa ride, with me and my friend on each edge and the snake in the middle. It soon became clear that the operator’s main agenda was to punish us for haggling like every other Indian that had crossed his path in the past. The ride was simultaneously the most thrilling and the scariest experience of my life. The operator was going much faster than usual, the sofa was bouncing like crazy and we were holding on to the plastic handles for dear life and screaming for the guy to stop (he conveniently forgot how to understand even the most basic English words).
A Crazy Sofa ride, not our Crazy Sofa Ride
Now would be a good time to mention that the snake easily weighed >100kg and was bobbing around both sides and hitting me and my friend (who were already bouncing hard) and only sheer terror made us hold on and prevented us from being thrown off the sofa. Multiple times, the sofa was airborne for more than 5 seconds at a time and more than a couple times, it almost overturned.
When the operator finally stopped the Jet ski and let us off, we literally toppled into the water from sheer exhaustion and took a long time to wade back to the beach.
Next day, woke up with soreness in unusual parts of the body, like the joints of fingers etc. This was one adventure, though, that I am unlikely to forget soon.
This year, I had the weirdest birthday ever. Normally, my birthday is spent with a close family lunch and a wider family dinner. This year, however, I had to travel to Bangkok for work & since this was my last week in this particular company, I didn’t say no.
I went on the company trip and planned my family to visit me on the weekend before my birthday and stay till the day after my birthday, but because of the Covid-19 situation, their trip had to be cancelled. On top of that, my birthday was a Thai holiday, so I was staring at spending my birthday alone.
I started the day waking up late and having a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.
I saw a couple of movies, and then was surprised by the Hotel staff with a birthday cake. The cake was delicious and heavy, so I skipped lunch.
In the evening, I took a long walk to Benjakiti Park, took the Skytrain From Asok to Phrom Phong station and spent some time at the Emquartier mall. After roaming round the Glass Quartier, the Waterfall Quartier, I headed for dinner at the Helix Quartier.
The Helix Quartier is a beautifully designed section of the mall. As the name says, it has a gently sloping walkway in the shape of a Helix without a clear distinction between different floors, with restaurants lining both sides of the walkway. I found a nice Korean Organic Chicken and Rice place and had a hearty meal.
After dinner, I went back to the hotel, alone, watched some TV and fell asleep, thus bringing to end, the weirdest birthday ever.