Fragile Package for Bangkok | My Family Travels
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 I am awaked by a jolt. We had begun our descent. I am on an Airbus A321 bound for Bangkok, Thailand, to see my father. This is my third plane in the last twenty-four hours, and my journey is almost over. I find myself in the standard seating for an unaccompanied minor (UM), the last row of coach. To my right is a sleeping middle-aged Korean man, who I had discovered spoke very little English, and on my left is the standard small window, I slide the cover up. Looking out, all I see is the rain splattered plexi-glass, but before long it changes; no longer a dark, an empty canvas, but instead it has been covered with neon lights. The doors open, and everyone rushes to get up, and slowly two hundred and nineteen people filed out through the opened doors. Wearily I don my backpack and tried to make my exhausted feet move any faster than their current pace.

I dutifully follow my UM helper as we glide through immigration, baggage claim, and baggage check. I try to get my passport from the lady knowing she will not relinquish my passport until she saw my father comes to meet us. Finally he sees me, and my father and the UM worker both sign my UM form, each leaving with a different slip of paper; it is an exchange similar to when you get a package from the UPS guy. Within minutes I am running through the rain toward the parking garage.

The agenda for day one was packed with my favorite hobby, shopping. Climbing the thirty-or-so worn cement steps, I then take in the hustle-and-bustle of a metro. It takes us 10 stops and 1 transfer to reach our destination, Chatuchak, Bangkok’s famous weekend market. The smells from the street food vendors waft in from every direction, leaving me in a lightheaded dizziness. 

That night, I was able to see all of the lights I had seen from the air, only this time they are above me. They seem to reach towards the heavens, like tentacles on an upside-down octopus. Dodging street vendors, beggars, and everyone else, we make our way to our destination for dinner. In a city that houses close to nine million, before the addition of tourists, it is hard to get restaurant reservation; avoiding the hassle we decided to get the most unlikely food choice for an exotic vacation, McDonald’s (©2009), which happens to be next to a Subway (©2009), and across from Starbucks (©2009). Entering the fast food joint, it is filled with blonde families unable to feed their picky children anything besides happy meals. Things do not change on the other side of the world.

Day two was previously decided to be educational by my dad. Our first destination is Wat Arun. A Wat is a Buddhist church, but they would be more comparable with cathedrals for their design and gaudiness. Upon entering the temple, we remove our shoes as a gesture of respect. While most of the visitors to the temple are tourists, you can spot the occasional worshipper. The day Thailand ends with the two hour drive to my dad’s home in Chonburi. Driving home, I take a look behind me to see the sunset, I see a city that is over-crowded, but at the same time so endeared in people’s hearts. I love Thailand, and Bangkok is like a city that is incomparable to any other city I have ever visited. I think that Bangkok is indescribable, and the only way to understand is to live it.

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