Right after school on Friday, I rushed home to take a shower and get ready for a Girls' Night Out. All the ladies without kids from our LifeGroup went out (while the men were having a poker tournament).
We rode the river taxi to an area of Bangkok where lots of foreigners hang out. It's called Soi Khao Sarn, which is translated "Backpacker Road".
Our dinner was at a very unique restaurant which specializes in sushi and middle-eastern food. (Interesting combination, huh?) The ambiance was very cozy, though the lay-back seats weren't the comfiest.
After dinner, we moseyed along Khao Sarn Rd. There are lots of shops and things. I bought some fun t-shirts and almost bought a very special present for my sister, but I'll have to go back for it. I also bought some big sunglasses with our upcoming beach vacation in mind. It's a fun place to go to hear all kinds of different languages and wonder where people are from and what they're doing in Bangkok.
After wandering for awhile, we found a bar off the main road, with the perfect setting for yummy drinks and great conversation... as well as great music which we thoroughly enjoyed singing along with. It was also right by Starbucks, so we also got some coffee before doing more meandering down the street.
On the way home, we entertained our taxi driver with a sing-along featuring songs along the lines of Baby Got Back, Disney favorites, Beyoncee, and even make-up-as-you-go songs. Poor taxi driver. Fun girls.
This morning, we joined a handful of other GES teachers on a trek to the Grand Palace. We had tried to go before over Christmas break but didn't get to go in because the dress code is pretty strict, and we didn't feel like waiting in line for an hour for the free clothes they let you borrow in order to be 'properly dressed'.
About 8 of us left GES, rode the river taxi downtown and began our stroll along the palace grounds. It was beautiful in some places. Several temples, lots of decorated Buddha statues, lots of old, fancy Thai art. There were some pretty famous landmarks in that area like Wat Phrao Koa, the Emerald Buddha, as well as the palace itself. It definitely was cool to be walking around thinking about all the other people, through the centuries, who had been there. But it was hot!
Neither Matt or I were dying to go there, but it was something we felt like we should do during our time here. And since we only have a couple of months left, we figured we would go today with other teachers. It was about 95 degrees while we were walking around today (which was pretty toasty), and if we had waited much longer, would probably be a lot hotter.
So, we were starving after our couple of hours of walking around the palace. We re-grouped at a Panera-type restaurant across the street for snacks. After being recharged and spending some money on souvenirs, we split up into two different taxis to head to Siam Paragon (the mall with the aquarium, car dealerships, 7 stories and movie theaters) to get movie tickets for the evening. One taxi got lost, so our taxi ended up getting the tickets for everyone, and we all met up at an acclaimed restaurant for dinner.
It's called Cabbages & Condoms, which is part of the intrigue, and it turned out to be a fancy Thai place which is part of an organization that raises money for the development of Thailand. Specifically, providing food (cabbages) and safe-sex awareness (condoms) for some of the poorer parts of the country. The atmosphere was awesome, and the decor was very different. Everything was made out of birth control packs and condoms. Apparently, the place has won some awards for public service, so it was pretty cool to know that the money that we spent for dinner (good food) also went to serve a purpose.
After experiencing Cabbages and Condoms, we took the SkyTrain back to Siam Paragon to see our movie. We saw Valkyrie, which was fabulous. We loved it. I would watch it again right now if I could (which I probably can since this is Thailand and I could by a pirated copy off the street). You should definitely go see it.
After the movie, we walked around the Siam area for awhile and then headed back to school. It has been two days in a row of doing fun, out-of-the-ordinary things, and I'm ready to chill at home tomorrow! But I'm so, so glad we're starting to enjoy (and be able to afford) life in Bangkok more.