Most of us, it is agreed, would like to travel. But with most of us, it is again agreed, our bank accounts won’t let us get much further than the local park. Such are the stark realities of life. Having started on that depressing note, we’d like to take you on a trip, a virtual one, because let’s get real, a physical one is beyond most of our means right now (we’re trying to stay chipper about that fact but we’re internally crying).
Recently, around 8th May (okay fine, that doesn’t sound too recent but time is social construct so we’ll stick with it), Sankalp Malik, Co-founder of Negative Studios went on a trip to Thailand. We’ve finally gotten over our burning envy of their vacation to finally pen down what he had to say.
Once the pre travel manic stage of self doubt (“Do I really need to/want to go on this trip?”) had been crossed (which only lasted around three weeks, tops), the tickets were booked, bags were packed, sunscreen was forgotten and Negative Studios was off! After a harrowingly turbulent flight through storm clouds during which prayers were sung and last words were said (all for naught as it turns out), Negative Studios had finally landed at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, jet-lagged, sleep deprived, hungry and cranky; basically, the three hallmarks of the beginning of every “abroad” trip. After a bout of customs verification during which neither side understood the other and a lot was lost in translation (we’re being literal here, Google Translate can put you in some awkward spots), Negative Studios was cleared. They then proceeded to flag down a taxi and directing the cab driver to their stay (all of this was done using sign language so it’s really no surprise that they got lost on the ride three times over). Once they got to their AirBnB (hotels are now a thing of the past, don’t you know?), they got to the best part of their trip so far; nine hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Over the next one week (half of which were spent recovering from an illness of one’s own doing), malls were visited, money was recklessly spent, far too much food was eaten, conversations were attempted with strangers, and all in all, we’ve been told a good time was had.
Some highlights of the trip:
1) If Mumbai thinks they’ve got their malls right, they need to think again. Thai malls (Platinum mall was specifically mentioned) with their constant flurry of activities (pop up stalls outside the mall, food markets and a whole host of other activities) are the real deal.
2) The cleanliness that the Thai maintain in all that they do was a large part of why Negative Studios had such a great time there. The food, the stores, THE TOILETS, the streets, the people; everything sparkles. And not just because of the bright sun.
3) Thailand provided a front for an entirely unconventional culinary experience. From snails, insects and tentacles (we regret to inform that NS was too chicken to sample most of these), the Thai cuisine is an adventurer’s paradise. But the real icing on the cake is just how cheap (and good) the food is. Desis are always on the lookout for good deals, and in Thailand, you’ll get some of the very best.
4) The discipline of the Thai people. In what will no doubt come as a shock to us desis, the Thai people actually stand in queues???! Yes, even when they’re in a rush to board the train and whatnot. Crazy, right?
5) Sticklers for rules. In Thailand, when they say a bus can accommodate 30 people, they actually mean that. Turns out, 30 does NOT translate into 90.
All in all, our biggest takeaway from Negative Studios sojourn in Thailand was that if our next vacation isn’t to Thailand we might as well not go anywhere. So Thailand is exactly where we will be headed! What about you?