We took a break between appointments. We took a quick trip around Bangkok. We started with a short Courtyard golf cart ride to the BTS Skytrain at Rachadamri. Three stops away was National Stadium, where we picked up a tuk tuk ride to Khaosan. Thongchanh and Vakoung bought bathing suits (to go swimming in the hotel pool). Barbara bought silver findings. (Khaosan is a big wholesale 92.5 silver jewelry shopping area and backpackers meeting place.) We walked down Khaosan Road to the end, then through the temple grounds, through a narrow shopping street to the Chao Phrya River. We jumped on the public boat that took us pass the Royal Palace, Wat Arun and some of the most famous Bangkok hotels.
While Kayeng heard the new sounds and feelings of this city of 14 million people. Leaving the hotel, he took the breath-stealing elevator from his 12th floor room to the ground floor. He clutched onto his Dad. He felt the smoothness of the speeding golf cart ride on the famous Ratchdamri Road to the BTS skytrain escalator (the moving stairs). He felt the rush of the cold a/c when the skytrain doors opened. He heard the throngs of people in the BTS skytrain, talking, laughing, playing games on their mobile phones. Announcements in Thai and English would announce each upcoming stop.
The open air tuk tuk needed a muffler and careened its way through the paralyzing Bangkok traffic. (A recent Thai government auto tax abatement program continued to exacerbate an already serious Bangkok downtown traffic problem.) Kayeng often had a perplexed look as he heard new sounds. When he felt a new surface under his feet, he would stoop down and feel it with both hands, wandering and exploring its texture.
His head cocked towards the new sounds of chattering people, loud music, and street hawkers, selling souvenirs, clothes, bags and authentic fake passports and drivers licenses (even from California). Ladies dressed in Ahka clothes were rubbing a stick on the back of a wooden frog that emulated frog calls to attract buyers to their ethnic souvenirs. When stopping to figure out our directions, Kayeng would look in the direction of new sounds … curious.
When asked about what he heard, we could tell he was alert and absorbing it all. We made our way to the Chao Phrya River. The public boat required a bit of quickness and acrobatics to board. The boat comes charging in. Throngs of people are prepared to jump off and jump on the boat, bobbing up and down from waves casued by the many many boats of all shapes and size crossing and traveling the river. It was hot. We found our way along side to see palace side of the river.
Kayeng felt the wind of the speeding boat, traveling downstream. He exclaimed that he felt the water, spraying on his face. It felt good. The temperature was a cool 30 degrees … 86 degrees Fahrenheit but muggy. He heard the shouting ticket lady, shouting at 90 decibels to clear the aisles and stay away from the boarding area.
We arrived back on shore at Sathorn to take the Taksin BTS train back to the hotel. We were in time to catch a late afternoon snack at the hotel.
When we left Kayeng, he slightly bowed his head forward, nopped his hands and shook them towards us to emphasize his appreciate for the excursion around Bangkok. Before we retired to our rooms, Kayeng was showing us how he knows how to jump into the pool.