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Saturday January 13, 2007 // By Sandy

Day 2: Bangkok

We’re in the airport now, waiting for our domestic flight up to Chiang Mai. For all the warnings we heard about the inefficiencies of Bangkok’s new mega-airport, we’ve sailed through in a breeze. No delays at the counter or security (where they — gasp — let us carry through both shampoo and water). We got to the gate so early, I realized I should probably double back and get some food, which is when I ducked into this Bangkok Airways waiting lounge and stole some sticky rice with shrimp and some Internet access.

A quick word about yesterday, unintentionally themed as The Day of All the Animals. First we hit the snake farm, where the mellowest of handlers taunted and toyed with venomous snakes just meters away from the crowd, then picked them up and carried them around as if there weren’t nothing to it.

After that we went to Chatachuk, an outdoor market the size of a small town. We spent a lot of time in the puppy section, where I’m pretty sure they sell dogs as pet, not food. We stumbled across some bunnies and squirrels, some dolled up in fancy dresses. We saw LOTS of fish, from the tiny to the huge kind with goiters coming out of their heads. On the way out we heard a bunch of screaming and turned to see a crowd clusted around a ring, shouting things. We pushed our way in to find an old-fashioned cockfight.

On the way home in the evening, the jet lag reared up and laid the smack down, rendering us fairly immobile for the rest of the night. Some poolside reading, a dinner at a riverside restaurant that seared many million of taste buds (note to self: “spicy” means something different here), and a short trip to the flower market was all we could muster before crashing.

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