I am head over heels in love with this city. From the sites, sounds, smells, and flavors to the people: there is nothing not to love about this place.
I arrived last night, and it was nothing like what I expected. The airport is more organized than anywhere I’ve ever been before. I also feel the safest I’ve ever felt alone in a city. Now this may be because it isn’t the first time I’ve traveled alone,but I’ve honestly never felt more comfortable, secure, and safe in a foreign city as I do here.
After a smooth stop at passport control, I got my visa and got a taxi from the airport to my hotel, which was about an hour away. Getting the cab was so well-organized and simple, New York City area airports could learn a thing or two from here. I got into the car alone, something I had previously been apprehensive about, but immediately felt safe. As we drove by the scenery, I felt almost as if I was in Miami, a strange comparison, but between the palm trees, highway, and homes alone the way, that’s exactly how it felt. I was surprised by the skyscrapers and BMW ads, aside from the highway signs it was almost easy to forget where you were.
Once on the side streets, however, it was clear we were in Asia. The sights looked just as they did on t.v., just less intimidating. Even when my cab driver took me to the wrong street, and left me on my own in the middle of a hectic city street, I still felt that I could handle it, and I did.
I wandered with my suitcase down a street filled with tightly packed restaurants and hotels, food vendors, and stalls selling everything from ids to sandals, and yet I didn’t feel lost, even though I was. Instead, I felt content. I made it here, and although there were people trying to persuade me to get a tattoo or try the strong drinks in the bar, I wasn’t annoyed, I was in love.
I kept wandering looking for the Villa Cha Cha, our hotel, until I realized it clearly wasn’t on that street. I asked two beautiful women working in front of a restaurant if the could point me in the right direction. They were more than helpful and made sure I clearly understood where I was going before I left their side.
A few minutes and one block down later, I turned the corner and saw the bright red sign: Villa Cha Cha. I was finally here.
Our hotel is cheap, beautiful, and comfortable with an open air area with a restaurant and pool. After an incredible meal of sweet basil chicken, how am I ever going to eat Thai food in America again, we went out last night for a stroll in the markets. I truly love everything about this place, and already feel like I’m home here. I don’t know how I’m ever going to leave.