Wednesday, 20 May 2009

My Birthday

I love Bangkok and while I could have spent my birthday doing something "Amazing" like tubing in Laos or on some beautiful Thai island I decided to celebrate it in this dirty city.

On the evening of the 19th I went out round Bangkok with Aun just to take some photos of the city at night. After this we meet up with a few of her friends at some bar I have been to a few times near the old part of the city for a few drinks. Then to my complete surprise when the clock stuck midnight Aun appears with a little birthday cake for me and her and all her friends start singing a sort of Thai version of Happy Birthday to me and all cheer when I blow out my candle. I was totally blown away by this and really was not expecting it at all. I even got a little present which was a small box of incense. I felt a little over whelmed by it all as obviously today I was missing friends and family and then there were these group of people who I hardly knew singing happy birthday to me in this bar where I was the only westerner. It was just all so nice and made me feel very at home all these 1000's of miles away and is definitely something I will remember for a long time. It all made me feel quite special and just the sort of thing I wanted on my birthday.

When I woke up in the morning Tommy and Pete wished me a happy Birthday also and Tommy had got me a present as well, a snazzy pair of Arsenal shorts. Was a quality present as I had just mentioned to Tommy in general conversation how I was going to try find a pair of Arsenal shorts out here and thought it was real nice how he had remembered.

That night the plan was to go have a nice meal in a restaurant somewhere and then head to a sky bar to enjoy a drink 84 floors up looking out over the Bangkok skyline. For the meal we went to one of the Japanese restaurants here called Fuji and I had a quality sushi bento box, was a right feast. It also took me and Tommy, as well as Pete who had lived in Japan for a year right back to our adventures in Japan. It was so nice and spent the majority of the meal reminiscing about how much we loved it there. Recently here in Bangkok all I have really had to eat is the street food. While this food is amazing, so cheap and tastes real good, it was well nice to fork out a bit extra (I say a bit but really it's a shit load more) and go to a proper restaurant for a change and not sit on plastic seats amongst the Bangkok fumes and instead tuck into some food in a nice quite, clean, air conditioned and comfortable restaurant.

After the meal we then headed off to the Baiyoke Sky Hotel which is the highest building in Bangkok. We got the elevator to the 17th floor only to find that the observation deck was closed : ( My original plan was to go to a sky bar to enjoy a drink over looking the city. While the sky bar was still open the amount it had cost for the meal and then the amount it would have cost to get in to the sky bar and then the price of drinks up there would have made it a very expensive excursion. So reluctantly I said to the guys it was probably best for everyones budgets if we skipped the sky bar and headed to Khaosan road for a bit of a night out.

We jumped into several taxis which all seemed to think as we had just come out of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel we must have been minted, so were all refusing to go on the meter and wanted extortionate amounts of Baht to take us to khason. So we decided we should walk for a few minutes to get away from the hotel and get a cab there. The plan worked and we finally got a driver willing to take us for the standard price.

When we got to Khaosan road myself Pete and Tommy met up with Aun, Mew and their other friend we meet at the full moon and started the usual birthday drinks proceedings. Dasha who I had meet the previous time I was in Bangkok had come to met us as well however he got there at 9 and we didn't make it till 11 so he had understandably given up waiting by the time I made it there. Was a real shame as would have been good to see him again! I didn't really have much of a plan from here so just had a few drinks and despite not wanting to end up in "The Club" we did, danced till about 3am (ish) and by this point to be perfectly honest I was pretty bored so left and just hung out in the street trying to avoid the lady boys and hawkers and just enjoy being down Khoasan road on my birthday. I had wanted to visit the Drum & Bass club that night but Aun informed me it had already closed which pissed me off so I decided I wanted to go home.

That concludes my 22nd birthday in Bangkok. Fairly uneventful as no one ended up in hospital or anything but was still mint to celebrate my first birthday out of the country. It will be strange next year when I think back to where I was for my 22nd birthday if I am stuck back in England somewhere. Part of me wishes I had made more of a night of it and done something mental, but it was a great night with good friends, new and old, and was the sort of night I really enjoy. I'm just gutted I'm not 21 any more it's a great age to be. All I have got to look forward to about the next birthday is that I will actually be able to relate to Blink 182's "What's my age again?" being 23 and not wanting to grow up : ( how tragic.