Bangkok is a way cooler city when you are adopted by the most awesome Aunt ever.
Our good friend John came out to meet up with us in Thailand for a two week vacation, which we knew would be an awesome addition to our trip. As it turns out, back in the day, his mom’s family hosted a Thai exchange student in Wisconsin for a year, who now lives in Bangkok. John hadn’t even ever met her, but his mom insisted that he link up with “Aunt Toy.” Franklin, Sascha, and I arrived two nights before John did, so we posted up in a hostel until he got there, a period of time known as BEAT (Before the Era of Aunt Toy).
When John arrived, Aunt Toy and her daughter Tair picked him up at the airport, then picked us up at the hostel and took us out to lunch at one of her favorite childhood restaurants. Immediately we knew it was an awesome connection to have made in Bangkok; lunch with them was a blast.
Until then, Aunt Toy had coyly offered us a place to stay in her “spare condo,” which she insisted on downplaying. As we approached the high-rise on the river, Franklin said, “that’s the condo?” Needless to say, when we showed up at a beautiful three-bedroom, 19th floor, condo with a view of the entire city, we had to tap into maturity-chemical reserves in our brains to hold back from jumping and giggling like little kids (we did that as soon as Aunt Toy left). Her generosity didn’t stop there. I would say the three best meals that I’ve had in 2013 were all compliments of Aunt Toy. But more significant than her showering of accommodation and food, Aunt Toy and her family are such wonderful people and an invaluable part of this trip. We can’t thank them enough for everything.
Also, the recruitment of our good pal John to the travel team made Thailand that much more enjoyable. I think both of us look back on our two weeks in Thailand as the highlight of this 10+ week adventure.
We all really took to Bangkok and ended up staying there about 7 days in total. It’s a wildly big, dense city with tons to do and eat. It gets a bit of a sleazy, smoggy rap, but it’s one of those places that I think can leave a very different impression if you stay 5-7 days rather than 2-3. I feel the same way about LA, so I have a soft spot for the misunderstood cities of the world.