I arrived to the Mo Chit Bus Terminal at about five thirty in the morning not exactly ready to face a full day but there I was working my through and past the attempting pleas of taxi drivers and such to take me to Khao San Road which was far, far from anything I wanted to bring myself to. Instead, I chose to walk myself to the Mo Chit metro station which I had practiced before on my previous travels in Bangkok. Although I should have likely taken up what was a fair offer for a motorbike taxi I needed to stretch my legs for once in a long time. I got to the metro station by my own power and rounded out to Phaya Thai metro station, which acts as central transit hub in the city but for me it was the perfect place to get a hostel where I was surrounded by all things Western in terms of more cleanliness, skyscrapers, malls, and namely Western food. Originally I would have liked to stay with my Couchsurfing friend but with him busy at a conference this seemed to be the next best fit. After laying around a little while in the hostel lounge still not yet able to check into my bed, I got some quick advice about the Western food options recommended nearby with the only requirements being Mexican and a burger. After searching for directions to the nearest location, I went ahead to the nearby luxury malls. The first mall had basically just a bunch of fancy Asian flair restaurants which only frustrated me further spotting Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, etc. because in my eyes it was all one large mess of rice and disappointment. I found some Italian but I couldn’t stomach the idea of ingesting a bowl of noodles. My patience was wearing thin and I began to seriously contemplate the idea of contacting tourist police to solve the matter. Anthony needed Western food and he needed it badly. Not willing to succumb to such a result that felt short of my expectations and aspirations, I went to the next mall called Siam Square and Paragon. Both malls were flashy with their boutique clothing/suits, watches, electronics, and grand pianos sitting on wooden decks over koi pools, but this one had a gourmet food hall paradise. Before even arriving to this foodie heaven, I was floored by all the technology including the escalators around me. I walked around and glided up these escalators lifted up by the cool air-con ambience all with a full, unrequited smile on my face looking around in bewilderment at the first world culture I had stepped into. I felt like Buddy the Elf from the American Christmas movie classic when Will Ferrell’s character first arrived to New York City after all his time in the North Pole. I had been living in dire conditions (much better than the locals themselves but for especially considering the heat) with little to nothing to work with and now I entered a different world entirely. In another not far off comparison I felt like a kid that just entered the gates of Disney World where all dreams could come true. I found a burger joint not called McDonald’s and picked my gourmet burger of choice along with some French fries. The burger was delicious but I made the ill-fated decision to swap the missing French Brie cheese with Gorgonzola blue cheese. The meal was far too overpriced even for Western standards let alone my own low Asian standards at fifteen bucks all inclusive. After walking around to explore the many other stands and shops with freshly baked breads, exotic dessert treats, sushi, salad bars, etc., I got myself some Dairy Queen for a rare treat. After more lingering and eye balling food I knew I wasn’t going to eat or had been hungry enough for, the mere sight of it all brought a wide spanning smile across my face. Back at the hostel, I passed for a good few hours before hitting up 7/11 my one true love out here in Bangkok for some milk and cheap quality pastries but what counts the most is their dependability of being nearly one every corner and stretch of street. Once again I passed out for good to sleep with no necessary time to begin the day at any specific hour.
Last Days in SE Asia Day 212: Foodie Part 1