I went to Bangkok a long time ago, but that night, the night I arrived, it is stuck in my head like if it was yesterday. Because that night was not a pleasant one.
We arrived one day before christmas. I was with my cousins Angie and Rogelio. We took a flight from Seoul, South Korea and we were supposed to meet my sister Diosy at the “hostel” she had reserved previously. We were tired but we knew we soon were going to be able to have a nice shower and good sleep and to be ready for next day so we could discover a little bit of Thailand. Well, it didn’t turn out the way we had planned.
We took a taxi from the airport to the direction of the “hostel”, it is a far ride from the airport to downtown Bangkok and since I was super tired I closed my eyes and slept. Suddenly I started dreaming that my cousins were telling me that we had arrived to our “hostel” (notice how I keep putting the apostrophes in hostel?), so I woke up and started shouting “It is here! We arrived! It is here! Stop!” after hearing me shouting like a maniac the taxi driver stopped, we got out of the car, we took our stuff, payed and he left us there, all of that in like 2 minutes time. Then I asked my cousins, “So, where is the hostel?” and they both looked at me perplexed and said, “We don’t know you just started shouting saying it was here so we thought you saw it”, and I was like… “Dude I was asleep, I didn’t see shit.” So, there we were, in an unknown and dark street in Bangkok, my cousins, of course, were shouting at me and I was standing there wanting to be dead. It was hot, humid hot, the kind of hot we are used to in Tabasco BUT we still hate, and we were lost with our big backpacks in our backs, so we did the only thing we could do by that time; we started walking.
We passed a big hotel and I decided we should ask for some direction. I had the name of the “hostel” and address written in a tissue paper. I showed it to the lady at the reception and she had no idea of where that was. That was the moment I started to feel a little worried. We kept walking with no direction, we just decided to go to the main road (my cousins saw it while we were on the taxi) which was much more illuminated and felt safer. There we crossed the street in the pedestrian bridge that has like a thousand stairs that felt like billions with the heat and our backpacks. Our faces had a tired and annoyed expression, they weren’t happy ones for sure, and at some point, I thought my cousins were plotting my death.
We kept on the walking, and asking people on the street, one told us it was one way, another told us it was the way we just came and nobody had a real clue of where the efing “hostel” was. It was like it was an illusion. We were walking like stupids rumbling around for what it felt to me like an eternity and suddenly a man that sold some street food told us “oh, oh oh, it is there” pointing a tinny and not good looking alley. We looked at each other like… “tonight we die” kind of stare but we went with the guts and went to the alley. Maybe somewhere in China someone will have my kidney by tomorrow, and thoughts like that passed through my mind while I was walking there. We saw an old building with the name of the “hostel” and we smiled with relief and then back to a worried face as we saw that the building was hideous. We walked down to it and it looked abandoned, we decided to go back to the street when suddenly, we saw a taxi coming our way and in it was my friend Mario (who was going to reach us at the “hostel”). “You just arrived?!” he asked and we almost cried at hearing it.
We also realized that the taxi driver that took us messed around with us, because he was driven in circles so he could charge more, because the direction he had taken was absolutely not the one we walked (being scam in Thailand is pretty usual, we learnt there).
Back to the hostel, there we were watching this building that look like a parking lot and not knowing what to do. Now, if you read my post on my first day in India, then you might have a clue of what kind of hostel my sister used to book. The really CHEAP ones. It doesn’t matter that it has bed bugs or an infestation of rats, if is cheap it is perfect. Well, in Bangkok it was the same. Super cheap but super ugly. It was the kind of stuff that really poor people rent before they go completely homeless. It didn’t look like a hostel at all, it looked like a low class vicinity where I am sure our next door neighbor was a drug dealer and the women around there worked at a bar with a name like “Chica Caliente” or the equivalent in Thai.
A middle age thai man received us yelling at us “It is here! it is here!” and then he said, “your sister is waiting for you.” Damn, it was there. We all were with a fake smile in our faces and following the man who took us to the room where we were going to sleep. And there she was with her Brazilian friend, Anelise, waiting for us in the room, and THAT was the room. It was a large room divided by 3 sections; the first one had an old refrigerator, two bunk beds and a dirty sofa. the second section was the bathroom, it had a bath for two which explained the section number three; a round bed with red lights in the corners and mirrors everywhere, even on top of the bed. It was like a stage for a porn movie. We started laughing at it because at the end it was a funny situation and well… we were super tired.
Oh! I almost forget. This “Hostel” had a computer service. It was this really old computer, the kind of computer from the 90’s that it was super big and super slow. It took us around a decade to go to google. And, this computer room was horrible. It had the desk with the hulk computer, two old chairs, a bunk bed with a pile of dirty cloths and a bunch of craps hanging in all the room. Near the computer there was a skeleton with a mask on it, the mask had a really big tongue sticking out and it had like a zillion necklaces hanging on the neck. I was trying to send a mail (that at the end I couldn’t) and suddenly my cousin A. came and sat next to me with a worried face. She stared at me and said “I don’t like it here, I want to go, I mean…” she pointed at the skeleton “LOOK! they worship the demon!” I couldn’t do more but to burst in laughter. There she was worried about our current situation and I just thought it was so low yet so funny. It was what we had and we had to deal with it. And we did… for two nights (And thanks the Lord it was only two nights!). I mean, for the money we payed we really couldn’t complain. It was really -REALLY- cheap.
Oh! but just if you go to Thailand stay away from Discovery Lodge (the “hostel”), there are so much better and still cheap places there.