Safe and Sound in Bangkok, Thailand

I don’t believe there are words to describe the incredible sense of relief and security that we feel when we arrive in Bangkok.  My brother Marko’s wife, Nida, is from Bangkok. When she heard we were going there she arranged for us to stay with her family. Nida’s brother, Naa is waiting for us at the airport when we arrive.

Last night in Phnom Penh we had an attempted break-in at night into our hotel room as we slept. Our nerves have been on edge since then, and I have been seriously wondering about the wisdom of coming on this crazy trip that puts my children in danger.

When Naa meets us we instantly feel welcome and safe. It feels like we are meeting a long lost friend in a faraway place.

  

When we meet Nida’s mom we feel very welcome. Our ability to communicate is seriously hindered by a language barrier, but I can see in her eyes that she is happy we are there, and we feel most welcome!

When we arrive we are exhausted from our prior sleepless night. The first thing we do is go lay down in our room. They had gone through a lot of trouble to get bedding for us. We are cozy and comfortable.     

In the evening we go for dinner for Thai food, of course! Do I need to tell you it was delicious?

    
    

Naa and his wife and son.

  

On the way home we stop at a real grocery store. When we leave it is raining heavily, and the parking lot attendant escorts us to the car with his ginormous umbrella. 

In the morning Nida’s mom makes us a delicious Thai breakfast. They bought some peanut butter and jelly and cereal, too, which makes the kids smile. They tell the kids they can drink all the Coke that they want.  It’s like a paradise!

  

Their row house is super cute.

  

David is having trouble adjusting to being a passenger on the left side of the car. He keeps thinking he should be the driver.

The family home is in a subdivision just outside of Bangkok surrounded by rice fields. We love it. It’s awesome to have the big city nearby, but great to leave the city to the nice countryside for a much more peaceful existence.

  

Then there is the story of the custom suit. We have heard that Bangkok is the place to go to a tailor and have them make you custom suits or clothes. David had been thinking that he might like a new suit for the upcoming wedding in Singapore. Our first stop this morning is a recommended tailor. David had his nice Hugo Boss suit sent to Singapore already, so he really is not convinced that he wants to spend money on a new suit yet. The tailor shows us some fabrics which are not that impressive, but when they pull out this bolt of beautiful cashmere fabric…..it glistens and shines and feels soft and oh so glorious!

The mannequin in the window displays beautiful workmanship.

  

And he says, “Yes, measure me up!” He wants a suit made out of the beautiful cashmere fabric. We negotiate the price from 15,000 baht down to 12,000 – it seems like a good price.

  

When we leave the shop David has a bit of buyer’s remorse. Did we pay too much? Is the fabric good? Never once did it enter our minds that the workmanship might be questionable.  

We had every intention of going to temples and even the floating market today, but it ends up being a day of shopping. David bought himself one new shirt, since he had taken so few along. Before he left for the plane in Arizona he had taken out a couple shirts because his bag was so heavy. Bangkok is a shoppers paradise. You can find virtually any chain store here if you are into that. Personally I like variety and find it annoying that the huge conglomerate stores have taken over the world, but it is kind of fun to see what all is here.
  

Oops….there’s a Krispy Kreme….obviously we can’t pass that up! Naa seems to enjoy them, but his sweet tooth is probably hurting afterwards…..in this part of the world people eat very little refined sugar. In fact if you go into a grocery store you will find that the sugar bags are very small…..

I do have to wonder about the high security here. Every mall entry has metal detectors.

In the evening we are in for a fabulous treat! Nida had arranged for us to meet with her friend Puy. Nida paid for all of us to go on a riverfront dinner cruise! Thank you Nida for this very special and delightful treat!

Annika loves Puy at first sight.  
    

The city sparkles and glistens in the night. It is so beautiful.

  
    

I especially love how the temples are lit up, how they sparkle and glisten…..

And a little church shows all her glory, too.  

Bangkok is an interesting city. While it is ultramodern in some respects, it is still so different. Here you see in a bad traffic jam (traffic is horrible here) people are going to work in the back of a pickup truck.

The contrast in this photo is very evident. In the foreground you see ramshackle buildings beside a beautiful temple, and in the background modern high rise complexes reaching up into the sky.
  

On the morning of our last day in Bangkok we go straight to the tailor. Sure enough, in less than 24 hours they have the suit ready for a fitting. It is looking pretty promising.
  

  

 

  

  

I ask if I can see the bolt of fabric to take a photo for my blog.
  

 

We get a little tour of the shop, charge $325 to our debit card to pay for the suit, and head off on our way. Not a bad price for a cashmere suit…….or so we think….

  
We end up at another shopping mall to grab lunch. This one is called Terminal 21. The shopping malls here never end.

It has two floors that are a mini replica is San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is cool, but we notice that the cars are driving on the wrong side of the road.  

When we get back to the parking garage we find out car is blocked in. No problem…..the parking lot attendant comes to push the cars out of the way. You have to leave your car in neutral so it can be pushed around.  

I get a chuckle by this whitening soap……

As the day wears on I am thinking about the suit. I am thinking about how on the edge of the fabric there was an inscription that says wool and cashmere Super 130. That can’t be right! I thought I remember the fabric that they showed us yesterday said only the word “cashmere”…..so the fabric we ended up with is a blend? And another tailor had showed us Super 160 fabric….we thought we were getting the best fabric…..did they switch it on us?  I bet they did! David feels sick about it…..I try to comfort him. Don’t worry, you will still have a nice tailored suit even if it’s not the best fabric and even if you paid more than you should! The truth is that we don’t even know how sick he should be feeling about it……

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