Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Touchdown

We're back! Bangkok was great. The experience was wonderful. I had a lot of mixed emotions which I experienced throughout the whole trip.
Well, when we left for Manila on Thursday night (after a zillion reminders left with my MIL and nanny), I felt a bit sad and guilty. Leaving the kids?! 4 days?! But I reminded myself that Jet and I deserved this. So come Friday morning on our way to the airport I felt that everything was surreal. Was this really happening?? Oh yes it was.
Upon entering the airport, memories of my childhood travels just flashed before my eyes. Suddenly I was craving for the thrill and excitement I would feel every time my cousins and I would travel to Africa during the summer to stay with my Aunt. The last time I traveled outside the country was when I was 14 - we went to Bali and Bangkok. So I thought I forgot what to do or where to go. But just a few things had changed like we departed from a newer airport and security is a lot tighter (which is a good thing) but other than that, the process was all too familiar to me. I was so excited.
So we checked in and passed thru immigration and then - something terrible. During the what they call, final check, this lady from immigrations asked me why I had more than the prescribed amount of allowable money. I did not know that there is a law that states each Filipino citizen who leaves the country is only allowed to bring PHP 10,000 ($200) each. If a person exceeds this amount, he/she can bring additional money but in any other currency, not just peso. I had a little over PHP 30,000 ($600). The thing is, I do not have any credit card (cut all the cards before my mom died, felt it would put me in debt - knowing my spending habits!). So all the money I brought was in the form of cash. And the lady was saying that whatever exceeded the PHP 20,000 (10,ooo each for me and hubby) would be confiscated and would be considered national Treasury. And I was like - What the ---!? Are you kidding? National Treasury? Or Own Pockets? Geez. I swear I was on the brink of crying. So I asked what options we had. And she just kept saying that I should have known blah. Well I didn't. In the end, she allowed Jet to run to a nearby bank and have the excess changed into US dollars. After all that, Jet couldn't stop laughing at me and how wrecked I looked. Geez.
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So the wait at the airport seemed like forever. I have seen better airports with lots of things to do (like the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam) so the wait was long and boring. We finally boarded and reached Bangkok at 12:30 PM. Again excitement filled me. I just had this urge to call my Mom and tell her that Jet and I actually made our first trip abroad together. I suddenly missed her so much. So I decided to dial her number on my cell (I do this often when I am lonely), and as it always happens, the other end said "Number Not In Use." So I hung up.
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Right after checking in at our hotel, explore was what Jet and I decided to do. I felt so free. You know? This was the first time in 5 years that Jet and I would be doing something together without anybody else. First time in 5 years! Wow. Having kids does change your life.
Like I was thinking if the kids were with us, we could not, would not and should not have left the hotel without a fixed, structured itinerary. No way. But since there were only 2 adults involved in this trip, there was just so much freedom. We walked the crowded streets of Bangkok looking for authentic Thai food. And Authentic Thai food we did find. Man, their food in Bangkok is so cheap. And dig this I was free to have a couple of drinks. Hah!
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The next day we had a city tour. Basically went to see temples and take pictures with Buddha. After lunch, Jet and I went to the Chatuchak Weekend market. Man I went wild! I love shopping by the way - given I have the luxury of time to really dig in those SALE piles and have the money to spend. And I found this to be the perfect time to do it. Thailand (even the Philippines) is one country the Western market caves it's way into especially the retail industry. We offer cheap labor - given the fact that we have very high unemployment rates and low literacy rates, one who does not have the privilege to finish schools takes on whatever job is available to support his / her family. So cut the long political story short, I found a LOT of Hollister, Abercrombie, Old Navy and GAP export overruns.Woohoo. Like a shirt for just 50 baht ($2)!?
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Tired was what I felt next. My feet were aching! But walk is still what Jet and I did. We did not want to miss out on any sale or bargain ! Haha. I want to laugh right now just remembering how excited we were.
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More details to come later. But on the last day, I just felt ready to go home. I bought things for the boys and I was just so excited to see their reactions. I wanted to hug them both so badly.
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This morning I reported for work. Groggy and sleepy. Arrived at 2AM and as soon as the boys heard us, they decided to wake up and wait for their goodies (yes even the 10 month old baby). We all finally went to bed at 4AM. Had to go to work at 8. Arghh.
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Pictures to follow :)

1 comment:

Shoshana said...

I want to shop in Bangkok too. You can't get a 2 dollar shirt at Gap here, not unless it's clearance and then usually no sizes for me.

Louanne, don't forget to post your salad recipe and link to Mr. Linky at:
http://crazyhipblogmamas.com/?p=194