So, with mum now feeling much more comfortable in this city what else to do but drag her to a lady-boy cabaret..! What pun?
After such a big day on the tour the day before, the plan was to relax, catch some rays and then head to the Calypso Cabaret. The show started at 7.30 and we were being picked up in our hotel lobby at 4.30pm. Interesting, a 3-hour free-time gap. Apparently we could wander around the area before the show and get something to eat.
After the standard traffic haunted Bangkok drive to where the show was, and a very nervous Mum pretending very unconvincingly to be thrilled at our impending entertainment, we arrived at the Charoenkrung District. Well, what we arrived to was pretty unexpected. The area we were told we could ‘wander around and have a look’ before the show was just a Big Zipper and a few rotating clown heads away from being a full-on Carnival! A Ferris wheel, Dodgem cars, restaurants and bars, stalls upon stalls!
We chose a place to have dinner. Somewhere with a good mix of tourists and locals has been our strategy so far and it’s worked well. We found a place. I ordered a spicy curry, not realising that spicy in Australia and spicy in Asia have absolutely no relation whatsoever. They are not even distant cousins once or twice removed. But damn it was delicious. A full belly and a layer of skin missing from the roof of my mouth later and we then wandered around the shops. Soaking up the carnival vibe and activities until the ladyboy show started.
Now to the Q&A part of this post – have you ever had to explain to your mum the anatomical logistics and varying stages of ‘Ladyboy’? I now have. “So they are boys that are now girls?” “Are they gay?” I think I used Caitlin Jenner as an example but then also tried explained that they might still have their non-lady parts in some situations. Now how to explain sexual orientation. Hmmm.. Gay? Well no, they now identify as women so if they date men they are straight women, who just use to be men.. however might just like other women (in which case Lesbian), or both… oh geez I don’t know!
So that hideous conversation out of the way, we enjoyed the show. It was pretty fantastic. The highlight was definitely Beyonce. I’ll pop a video below. It’s a short clip and you’ve gotta see Beyonce’s moves.
To my absolute delight, mum declared after the show that it was a highlight for her so far! She thought it was going to be something filthy and was a bit nervous. I told her no Ma, that was the ping-pong show I accidentally ended up at two nights before!
Another major lazy day followed the Lady Boy Cabaret. We had big plans to go to the huge Chatuchak Markets that afternoon. The place is huge! It has 27 sections and while we didn’t even come close to passing through all of them we did get very very lost. That is half the fun though right?
If you’re going with a certain something in mind though you might like to download or print the map on this page to keep your bearings and head to the section you want to be in: http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-market/popular-markets.htm
The vibe and standard of the Chatuchak Market is kind of stuck in between; the well put-together and sophisticated set-up of the TALAD Night Markets and the ‘dodgier’ (for lack of a better word) side alley markets that are scattered all around Bangkok (that I love to wander through just as much). There are still some very questionable people and smells here, but all harmless and well worth it in pursuit of a bargain.
We walked around as far as we could given the size of the place. I got myself a silver ring with a K on it that I love ($15 aud) and a cute AF jumper for Philidelphia ($8 aud). I will be there in a couple of weeks and it is freezing there right now!
I managed to convince mum that now was as good a day as any to give the Metro a try for the first time. I’m a seasoned traveller and I know the value of a good metro system in a city but Mum has been terrified and pushing back on trying it all week. A friend we met even told us how clean and smooth the ride was. She still refused, until today.
So we braved the Metro. I sat mum down while I stood up. She was looking very rigid and uncomfortable the whole time. I’m not entirely sure what she was so scared of? Standing on the Metro had me realise for once what it was like to be one of the taller people in a space. I’m only 163cms, so not ‘tall’ in any other country! I mused over this for a few stops. It was freezing in the carriage and I had dressed for a warm summer’s day at the markets. A few more stops went by and a fair few more people pushed onto the carriage. My pondering had me suddenly realise that a few stars had aligned to create a very awkward situation for me on that carriage which, until that moment, I was blissfully unaware of…
1. I hadn’t worn a bra that day
2. It was freezing on this train
3. My new-found height meant the people around me were all at nipple level.
Yep, so while Mum did survive her first international Metro trip, I, on the other hand, spent the rest of the trip home trying desperately to not take someone’s eye out.