Bangkok day 25

Ade & Jos Adventure day 25: Hoo Yah.

Our first day of actually waking up in our new apartment, the bed has a much firmer mattress than the hotel, I slept really well and woke up with no back pain! I hope this is the way things will be from now on… I woke before Jo and wandered into the living room, Jo had the air conditioning on in the bedroom, the living room felt like someone had left the radiators on… But we have no radiator… Just the naturally hot temperature of Bangkok. I type up my blog as Jo carries on sleeping in the bedroom, looking out the windows it looks quite misty this morning, the traffic in the street below is building up and container ships are making their way up the river.. It’s really peaceful here… I’m really enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of our new home, I’d just finished posting my blog when Jo wandered into the living room, soon we’d be having our first breakfast in our new home…

Jo cooked sausages, egg and toast for breakfast, we’ve been unable to find a suitable replacement for English sausages here in Bangkok, they have become one of a few little things that I miss about England, we miss our family, our pets and our friends of course… But there are a few other things that Bangkok just can’t seem to come up with.. Sausages being one of them.

Breakfast eaten, and after a while just sitting in our living room, we decide to head into the city… Today is Ikea day!

We stop by the reception area of the apartment block first of all to pay our water bill, we also have to ask why we have no hot water coming out of the tap in our kitchen… We speak with the apartment manager, a really lovely bloke who speaks pretty good English, we pay the water bill, he explains that some apartments only have hot water in bathrooms, we can arrange a water heater (we decide we can manage as we are) he also invites us to the apartment complex Christmas party, Jo says we will go but we don’t know anybody, to which he replies “We’re all family here”.. Bless him.

A taxi ride to Ikea (We could have gotten there using public transport, but Ikea is the one place in Bangkok we’ve found that doesn’t have a direct BTS or MRT link).. Ikea is also based at the same complex that “The Marvel Experience” is based… Jo is like a kid, she’s so excited.

We get to the complex via taxi, our taxi rider played music for the entire journey, first it was classical then he went for some easy listening classics.. Brilliant! We found that the complex was also home to a huge mall (surprise surprise.. Another mall!) Jo really likes this mall, she actually said her jaw was aching from smiling so much, She bought some shower gel from “Lush” and then we went on a mission to buy a “Google Chromecast” so we can watch videos and TV shows on our television without having to keep plugging in an HDMI lead every time….. We wandered into a few electronics shops to no avail.. We found a huge electronics store that looked like it sold every thing.. I found some amazing speakers and mixers in there (would have been an ideal place if I was still a DJ) we got the attention of a shop assistant Jo asked if they sold “Google Chromecasts” the assistant didn’t speak English so mumbled something in Thai, did a strange hand movement (which we read as I’ll go get someone who speaks English) and ran off… A few minutes later he reappeared with another shop assistant “Do you sell Google Chromecast” asked Jo… The assistant looked blank for a while before pulling out his phone and opening google translate, he handed his phone to Jo who typed in “GOOGLE CHROMECAST”.. Turns out if you translate Google Chromecast from English into to Thai you get “GOOGLE CHROMECAST”.. The assistant is still confused, So Jo decides to try to find a better way of explaining what we want to this man who obviously speaks NO English by saying “It’s a thing that lets you put a picture on the tele!” I start laughing, the poor assistant is now even more confused… I eventually tell Jo to get a picture of a Chromecast on her phone and show it to him… He sees the picture and then tells us they don’t sell them. Nowhere in this mall sells them… The search continues.

We decide to visit the “Marvel Experience” we’d seen videos of it on Youtube when we first started looking into what was in and around Bangkok, so it was no surprise that we would visit here… It’s situated in an area behind Ikea, it’s also based right next to a school (how cool would it be going to school every day right next to this place?) We go inside and there’s a couple of girls posing in Cosplay.. There’s life sized statues of “The Incredible Hulk” and “Groot” on display, we go to pay (3000 baht.. about £70.. bit pricey) and make our way up to the second floor to get our ID card photos done, we have our photo taken and wait for our time slot in the “second holding area”.. A group of people go in and it’s clear it’s an audience participation type show… The guests are “recruits” training to join S.H.I.E.L.D. (or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division for any non comic book lovers reading this) there’s lots of shouting “HOO YAH!” going on… Oh I hate audience participation… Jo is like a little kid, she’s so excited… Before long our time slot arrives and we move into the experience.

A group of SHIELD agents turn up and tells we’re recruits on our way to become SHIELD operatives… “Are you ready? Shout HOO YAH!”… “HOO YAH!” shout the group… “hoo ya” quietly, mumbles Ade.

We go inside a room and sit down in front of a video screen that is playing a CGI news broadcast… Two characters are arguing about superheroes on screen J. Jonah Jameson (editor of the Daily Bugle from Spiderman.. And a Stanley Leiber.. Or Stan Lee as he was most commonly known..It’s the first Stan Lee cameo i’ve seen since he sadly died.. It’s odd seeing a CGI version of him on screen… Quite sad really) Then we get a video package telling us about SHIELD and The Avengers, a door opens and Spiderman comes running through the room, he high fives the kids (which they love) and buggers off.. Then we move on through the experience… I’ll not give any more details (you never know, you may want to visit yourself some day) all I’ll say is that there is very clever use of CGI and 3D Technology, about an hour in the experience and at the end you get to meet a superhero.. We got Captain America (Jo actually squealed ”It’s Captain America!”).. We both really enjoyed ourselves, I spent a bit of money in the gift shop, I now have a SHIELD ID card and a SHIELD badge for my collection…. And then.. We headed for the furniture based nirvana that is… IKEA!

Thai people have a very relaxed attitude. Seriously relaxed. As in we saw two people at different points on our walk round Ikea, curled up and asleep on the furniture.. Actually ASLEEP. Now that is relaxed. So we’ve established that Thai people are relaxed… Let’s now establish that Japanese people will take a selfie with absolutely ANYTHING… Oh look a bookshelf.. SELFIE!… Oh a plant pot.. SELFIE!… Oh a person taking a selfie… SELFIE!

We look around and see a few things we’d like in our apartment, then decide to get some lunch… Swedish meatballs, eaten by English people, in a Swedish shop, In Thailand… Finding a table was a struggle here.. Ikea Bangkoks restaurant seems to be a restaurant that doubles as a homework study group and an office space.. Tables were occupied by groups of teenagers doing school work and office types doing filing…. It’s all a bit strange.

Lunch eaten, Ikea shopping done we get a taxi home, traffic by now is a nightmare so it takes an hour and a half to get back, the taxi’s here charge by distance (thankfully) so the charge was only 230 baht.. but we paid 300.. (about £5.50) which for a 90 minute taxi ride isn’t bad.. Jo had a sleep on the sofa when we got back.. When she awakes we’re debating going out for a drink and a bite to eat…. I want to go to the madness and debauchery that is Ottobar… Jo wants to go somewhere else… I suggest “Queen Bee” (A cool little live music bar nearby) so off we go.. 10pm and heading out for the night, it’s really warm out and the streets are still busy as we make our way to Queen Bee…. we get a table inside, there’s a guy playing blues on a guitar, he finishes and he’s joined by a band who play a mix of blues, country and folk as we drink and eat our food.. It was chilled and relaxed and we had a really enjoyable night… We walked back a different route, we think it’s bin collection day tomorrow as the paths have a few full rubbish bags on them… Jo sees a rat run across the path.. “I just saw a rat!” she shouts “And a lizard!”… Mr Lizard obviously needed to go to the same place that Mr Rat did… However, judging by the god awful squeaking noise Mr rat made as we walked past, i’m guessing He and Mr Lizard do not get along… We stop by a 7Eleven, Jo wants a snack to take back to our apartment… She buys a bag of crisps and we continue on our way home.. For some unknown reason Jo decides to shake her bag of crisps as she walks.. Suddenly we were surrounded by kittens! Mewling stray kittens and young cats all thinking Jo and her bag shaking routine was in fact Jo just about to feed them. Being the gentleman that I am I made a point of telling Jo she was cruel for teasing these poor hungry animals… How she had lead them to believe that tonight they’d get a decent meal.. And how she had broken the hearts of these poor creatures. I think she may take to carrying a tin of catfood around with her.

Back at the apartment we sit for a while before crawling off to bed… It’s been a great day AND night here again…

Night night.

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Ade Cox

A working-class man from The Black Country, plucked from the factory and now living the best life in Bangkok