I have NO pictures of my first visit to Bangkok, no pictures of prostitutes, illegal drugs or even a temple....sorry
The story that I have to tell about Bangkok is (at first anyway) one of heat, humidity and a very unfortunate misunderstanding in a chemist! I will elaborate...
I , like every other pasty faced westerner, went down with the 'Bangkok bug'. There is, you see, 'Irritated Bowel Syndrome'... and then there is 'Positively Contentious Bowel Syndrome', that is the 'Bangkok bug'.
I went to the chemist and tried to maintain my dignity whilst making actions to explain my situation. This is difficult when you are ...leaking.
Eventually, by patting my stomach and pointing wildly at a row of medicines, I persuaded the confused chemist that I needed some pills. The smiling assistant passed me a bag of 10 pink diamonds, and I felt I was on the road to recovery already...!
I took one immediately.
An hour later I was still dashing the loo every 10 minutes, so I had two more.
Then everything went a little surreal.
To cut out the gory detail. Diet pills are very popular in Thailand. Not because the local population is obese, but because sleeping costs money! If you would rather be driving a lorry or manning a bar, these are the pills for you. They contain a high level of amphetamine, which although illegal, is very good for productivity in the the gerneral population. My friendly chemist probably thought from my hand actions and belly patting that I was going out to a party!?
For the next 48 hours not only did I have the 'Bangkok bug', but I was also acutley aware of it. In fact, I was acutley aware of everything, including the fact that I just had to talk (and talk) to anyone I was sitting next to.
When I finally got my hands on some Imodium (what a relief), I set off on a 17 hour bus journey to Chang Mai. where everything got much better!