Zipping Through Bangkok
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With just two days left in Bangkok and myriads of shopping opportunities lying unexplored, we felt exactly what the famished Hansel and Gretel must have felt on reaching the chocolate cottage.
Being adventurous by nature, we decided to forego the ‘touristy’ experience of moving around in a.c. taxis. We decided to take the cute “tuk tuks” as the auto rickshaws there are called.
I suspect that learning about my impending visit, all of Thailand had conspired to raise all their ladders/ staircases, high climbs to play a joke on my knees. Not for a minute could I imagine that my decision to remain “grounded” during my shopping expeditions would literally land me close to the ground.
“You know, I have started doing Yoga” I boasted to my sister. “It really makes you agile!”
Just then, Sam’s colourful “tuk tuk” stopped near us. Like pros, we bargained with Sam’s exorbitant rate for the short journey, finally settling on a compromise.
“Women!” sighed Sam loudly, rolling his eyes. “Sisters eh?”
Did he think this was our first trip to Bangkok, we argued confidently, pointing to the Thai bonnet, the Thai sarong and the orchid flower I was donning. We came here twice a month, we boasted!
By this time, my sister had hopped onto the vehicle and was comfortably seated on the red seat. Price settled, I began my steep climb up. To my horror, the foot -rest was so high that I collapsed at my sister’s feet instead. Cramped and stuck within the confines, however hard I tried, I just could not haul myself up onto the seat!
“Sisters, welcome to Bangkok on your first visit!” guffawed Sam as he lunged his “tuk tuk” crazily through lanes and by lanes.
I am a tall woman—and Thai women are petite. This is why half my leg was dangling out on the Bangkok streets, as we zipped around wildly at James Bond’s crazy speed.
I looked up sneakily at my elder sister, my face flushed with embarrassement.
“It’s the cut on my knee” I assured her.
“No, no” she teased, “It’s a new yoga pose. Yoga makes you agile, right?
When in Bangkok, do remember to give proper directions. We did not. Or maybe Sam was having fun with us. There are two shopping destinations in the city—both similar sounding. We had asked to be taken to Platinum Mall and very soon found ourselves outside Pratinam Market.
“Have you been here before?” laughed Sam, winking at us. “Because if you do not recognize Pratinum from your many previous visits, I’ll take you to Platinum Mall. And that will be another long trip. So hang on Ladies….”
Like two school kids having been caught cheating, we decided to remian tight lipped, holding on to dear life as we dashed and bumped past dangerous hair pin bends.
Till date, this has been the most memorable ride of our lives.
Till date, we have never been taken for such a literal ride!