Tuesday, December 20, 2016

November 12

We woke up early(ish) on the morning of the 12th and headed down to breakfast. Though I have no idea what caused me to feel sick the day before, I stuck to toast with butter and jam for this and most of the rest of our breakfasts in Thailand. Didn't help that my appetite was still all but non-existent.

We decided to relax at the hotel for the rest of the morning until our check out time at noon. At noon we checked out, shouldered our packs, and headed out! We crossed the river again and headed to the Thailand National Museum (recommended to us by the nice gentleman of the morning before). Wonderfully, the entry fee was waved in honor of the King and we were able to check our bags so we wouldn't have to carry them around with us. We spent most of the afternoon there wandering from building to building seeing all types of things from all parts and times in Thailand. There were things relating to Buddhism, things relating to Hinduism, things relating to their monarchs, and much much more. Some buildings were air conditioned, some only cooled by fan. It was an interesting space.

When we finally went to leave, we noticed that free mango and stick rice were being handed out. We got much more than we needed from a very friendly Thai man. Stuffed, we grabbed our packs and tried to find a cab. We wondered for quite awhile before asking for help. But just as we asked, we saw a cab and waved it down. The taxi didn't have a meter, but we settled on a price that was reasonable enough to us, if relatively high comparatively. Our driver took us to the train station and we got out and slowly made our way across a very busy intersection to the building where we would pick up our pre-purchased train tickets. It was a fairly intense intersection. Once across we easily picked up our train tickets and had a nice conversation with a German man who now lived in Thailand. Brandon also had a nice conversation with some Brazilians who were there. Also, there were SO many Brazilians there! There might have been more Chinese tourists, but after that, definitely Brazilians and then maybe Brits. We were definitely somewhat uncommon as Americans.

Leaving the ticket pick up we then headed a few blocks over to Wat Traimit - the home of the 5.5 solid gold Buddha. We arrived just in time to buy tickets, go up, visit, and come down before the Wat closed for the day. It was very good timing (and lucky on our part as we had no idea when it would close before going there). From there we headed back to the train station and waited a little while for our train to be ready to board. We hung out in the cafeteria to one side for awhile and then moved out to the regular (comfier) seats in the main large room. And then it was time and we headed to our train! It wasn't too difficult to find our seats and we settled quickly and ordered some dinner.

As we waited what seemed like forever, it was very entertaining to listen to the British/Canadian couple and German couple seated just beside us. This close to the election they had some very decided opinions about Americans and our level of consideration and education. And they were loud enough that it was easy for us to overhear them.

Dinner finally came (it was ok) and then our seats were broken down into beds and we climbed into our bunks, ready to sleep most of the rest of the ride away. Duane and Shauna took the lower bunks and Brandon and I took the upper bunks. I'd been a little nervous at keeping my bag in the open where anyone could get into it, so I put it at the foot of my bunk and never really noticed it was there while I slept. For the record, I think that trains are SO much easier to sleep in than planes.

The man who brought us dinner initially brought everything he was serving (to everyone he was serving) and plopped it
down on our table. :)

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