So I am home. Finally. One the one hand, it's great to be able to wake up not covered in sweat and bugs, eat cheese regularly, and wear jeans. On the other hand, meals now cost more than a dollar, I am back at work, and will probably not go swimming in the ocean again any time soon.
My list night in Bangkok was a little bit hectic. I did some last minute shopping during the day and had my last dish of 20 baht green curry. Walking around Khao San road i ran into a guy I'd gotten to know on Kho Tao, and we made plans to meet for dinner at 7 that night. I went to my cooking class and was 20 minutes early, which ment i had plenty of time to sit and sweat and reorganize my various purchases.
The cooking class wasn't really what i had expected. I should have guessed from the price (1000 baht or about $28), but instead of it being a low key class in someone's home, including my much anticipated trip to a real thai market where i could go crazy and buy tons of spices to bring home, it was a classy cooking school designed for hotel-saying tourists.
I actually felt quite scuzzy, being picked up from Khao San, the hippie/backpacker hangout, in my dirty fishing shorts and tank top, and then riding along as the taxi collected chilled pairs of people in clean, matching outfits. The cooking school was also pretty fancy, but it was nice because we each got our own student kitchen, so we got ot actually make the dishes ourselves. I made Pad Thai, fried fish cakes, coconut and lemongrass soup with chicken, and for dessert, Crunchy Ruby suop, which is made with water chestnuts, coconut milk, and sugar syrup. Everything was Great! Afterwards i bought some curry paste and a knife like the one i used...very nice and very cheap!
I got back from my cooking class late and was late to meet with a friend from Koh Tao. I had also stoped to try to check in for my flight online, to save time, but got an error message telling me to speak to a counter person. Which freaked me out. So, after wandering Khao San road for about 15 minutes looking for my friend, i ran back to my guest house to try to straighten out my flight. Of course everything was closed and wouldn't be open until 8am, at which time I expected to be in the air, so i decided to hell with worrying, and went off to meet my second dinner date of the night, my friends from the Canchanaburi day trip.
We met up and ended up following Natty, the Thai lady, to a little restaurant tucked away off the main path. I decided the fact that the menu didn't describe the dishes in english was a good sign, and let Natty do most of the talking and ordering. She was such a cool person, born and raised in Bangkok, and she really knew her stuff. We had an amazing dinner and a lot of Singha beer!
After a few hours of great food, great beer, and a couple of rounds of pool, Sheila, an older Canadian woman I'd met on the Canchanaburi trip went to check her flight details. It turned out she was on the exact same flight to SFO as me, so we ran back to say goodbye, then ran to our rooms to pack up. We grabbed a taxi at aobut 3am and drove to the airport. We got their early, beat the crowds and got all checked in and set. We had a little breakfast at the airport, a fancy western sandwich with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. Even at the airport, Thai food is cheap!
The flight was tedious because i couldn't seem to sleep, but only about 6 hours long. Then we landed in Tokyo/Narita for a few hours. I bought some souviners and ate some sushi, which was pretty good for airport food! Then our flight to San Francisco, which i think took about 10 hours.
Long story short (well, kind of short!) I am home now, with a bit of a cold, and back to work and back to the grind. Now it's time to figure out my next steps in life!