Double Mai Thai

Two nights on Thailand’s version of the strip in Zante left me exasperated and raring to see what a new area of Bangkok and The Ambassador hotel, which the British Council were putting us up in, had to offer.

Having thought that we’d be able to share rooms with those that we’d already befriended, I was shocked upon check in to be told I would be sharing not only a double room, but a double bed with somebody I had never met. Luckily, the girl who was meant to share my room was told she could share with her friend, and so I was left to room all to myself. The view from both mine and Caitlin’s rooms were incredible, looking out onto rooftop pools and the strange urban jungle sprawled below. Bangkok as a city is nothing like I ever imagined it to be, with the view evoking images of a post apocalyptic Asian New York, with sporadic greenery and the odd surviving sky scraper.

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Not only was our room at The Ambassador complimentary of the British Council, but so was our food. Having unpacked, we made our way to the buffet lunch. Steering well clear of any rice or noodles, my choice was limited. Seeing some sort of coloured boiled eggs, I greedily stocked up, not really knowing what it was and hoped for the best. And the best is what I got. Caramelised onion hard boiled eggs have changed my life for good.

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That evening, Caitlin, Connie, Katy, Jessica, Kirsty and I went to the Sky Bar at The State Tower, the worlds highest open air bar. The cocktails whilst expensive, were divine and the pricetag more than made up for the breathtaking views. Offering a panoramic experience, we saw Bangkok in yet another completely different light. As with the Grand Palace not even LoFi could do that view justice.

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On the last day at The Ambassador, and my final hours of my dossing around Thailand I finally got to meet Somsri, my mentor and principle of Watnongkhae school. Ever since I found out that the school in Monkey Town (aka Lopburi) no longer required an ETA and I was relocated to Saraburi, Somsri and I have been emailing back and forth. Her English is phenomenal for someone who’s never actually visited a country with the language as it’s mother tongue, and puts my lack of multilingualism to shame. Her insistence that we take selfies to send to all her friends, rather than listening to the presentations being given by the British Council confirmed our friendship.

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The following morning after a few quiet-cocktails-which-led-to-four-University-of-Reading-Students-stumbling-upon a-Q Bar saw the end of my holiday in Bangkok and embarking on my teaching placement. Somsri and Mrs Yuphin, an English teacher at Watnongkhae, met me in The Ambassador lobby to introduce me to Mrs Usana, whom as previously arranged, I would be staying with in Bangkok for a further two nights before moving to Saraburi. I did not realise however, that neither Somsri or Mrs Yuphin would be accompanying me, and was horror struck as they shut the taxi doors and I was driven off with two complete strangers across a city I didn’t know. Bangkok had been my Disneyland and I was, as Baudrillard philosophised, totally abandoned at the exit. Struggling to remain composed despite my horrendous hangover and wanting to burst into tears, I wondered about what sort of pretentiously clever English Lit Student symbolic metaphor I could conjure out of the solitary spider that clung to the passenger window, before falling asleep for the entirety of the journey.

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