Well, I wish I could speak to some of the exciting things taking place in Bangkok you've read about here, but sadly I've been ill for the greater part of our time in the city! I can, however, say that I've seen a Thai hospital, which is an experience in and of itself. Actually, I'm guessing the hospital I was at wasn't exactly representative of all Thai hospitals (their slogan was "BNH Hospital - Experts in International Care" - so I think it was more or less a hospital designed for foreigners like me), but I was quite impressed nonetheless. For one, I've never gotten into *any* emergency room quite that fast (and I didn't look too bad at all by the time I got there)! The moment Dr. Iyer and I walked in a nurse approached me and demanded what was wrong with me -- next thing I knew, I was laying on a bed in a pristine care center. Shortly thereafter, they had me hooked up to an IV, and about 45 min later we were led to the pharmacy where I was given three separate medications in a dainty little gold and white shopping bag that looked as if I had just purchased jewelry at Bloomingdale's. All this, and the total price? About $100. Sure, $100 is a lot, but compared to US emergency room visits -- amazing! In fact, the actual doctor's visit was only $12, while the rest of the price was mostly comprised of the medications ($50 or so), IV fluid, medical supplies, etc. ...In case you're wondering, I probably just had a case of food poisoning, though the fever I had on Friday led Dr. Iyer and I to get it checked out here in Thailand before hitting rural Cambodia.
In any case, though, I felt a great deal better yesterday, so (as I'm sure you'll read elsewhere here!) quite a few of us hit up the Reclining Buddha yesterday morning. That sight was amazing if only for its sheer size -- it was *enormous*!! We also attempted to go to the Grand Palace, but all of us decided it was somewhat overpriced, so that was out. Next Stephanie, Faith and I hit up the Weekend Market, which is apparently the largest outdoor market in the world - and I wouldn't doubt it, as we were exhausted after a few hours of roaming and probably only covering a tiny fraction of the Market. By the way, as Stephanie pointed out, the "pets" area was seriously depressing -- thousands of animals, including hundreds of purebred puppies (pugs, chow chows, cocker spaniels, pomeranians...), crammed into these tiny, tiny cages and constantly surrounded by people. One of the more disturbing things we saw was this squirrel dressed up in a funny outfit, hat and everything, on top of a cage looking petrified. There was a sign right above him that said "no photo, no video," so I'm not sure if any of us got a shot of him, but I hope so. I really wondered who was breeding these animals, and perhaps more importantly, who was buying them... eek.
In any case, though, we finally sat down to eat, and for the first time in a couple days I managed to eat a decent amount - though I stuck to comfort food this time (lame American!), consisting of spaghetti and tomato basil sauce. Unfortunately, though, that left me feeling a bit off-kilter (I think all the action coupled with more food than I'd eaten in two days was a bit much), and once I got back to the hotel I wasn't exactly feeling up for much of anything. I ended up falling asleep at 7 -- lame! -- and missed out on the Red Light District excursion! That bothers me a lot, as (as I'm sure you've read here) that certainly sounded like an eye-opening experience. Oh well, at least a few others got photos/videos - can't wait to see them!
Anyway, I'll have to write more later, when hopefully I'll have been doing something more exciting than holing up in the hotel room!!