With Frank outside the Siam Paragon Mall
Frank has been serving here in Thailand for the past 2 years, and this is the first time I've seen him since 2008. It was so good to hug him and to get to introduce him and Rusty! They got along great (I knew they would, they are both "manly men"! ;) and we had a WONDERFUL day together!
Rusty & me in Bangkok - our first picture in Thailand! The lanterns are decorations for the Chinese New Year.
In case you didn't know, Bangkok is a MAJOR city (think New York City). There are other areas around the city that are more rural, there are slums, there is the country, there are beaches and tourist areas, and there are even villages in Northern Thailand that are very third world (no running water, etc). But Bangkok is a hub of people, traffic, and things to do! It even has a subway AND a sky train!
This picture doesn't do it justice - there is a lot more to see and the skyline is much more impressive,
but this was the best shot I could get from the center of the city!
We ate lunch together in the most incredible mall I have EVER seen! It's a Western Mall here (meaning, full of American things) and friends, let me tell you - it put the Galleria AND the Mall of Georgia to shame! It's 8 floors tall, has 3 Starbucks, a movie theater, the largest aquarium in SE Asia (on the bottom floor), a car dealership full of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, etc, and the most posh stores we have in the US (as in, a bunch of things we can't afford!)
Siam Paragon Mall
Again - this does NOT do the mall justice!
I couldn't get far enough away to get the whole thing in a picture,
but this at least gives you an idea of how tall it was.
(*note - there were 3 more floors underground)
These HUGE bunny rabbits are EVERYWHERE in the city right now,
and they are all dressed in traditional Chinese clothes. I think they're up because
the Chinese New Year is being celebrated soon, and 2011 is the year of the rabbit!
(I had a hunch that was the reason and some googling proved me right! ;)
After Rusty and Frank showed me around that mall, Frank was our guide to some other sights. We went to 4 malls all within a few blocks of each other - some almost as big as the one we'd just come from! It was INCREDIBLE!!! There were beautiful (cheap) things for sale everywhere. Talk about sensory overload! I definitely could shop till I dropped here!
This is the view inside one of the asian malls
(down the road from Siam Paragon - the western mall)
and boy are they different! I personally was a fan of the asian mall -
it was full of beautiful things I could actually afford!
It was HUGE - I could seriously get lost there!
I really wanted to go to this store!!! ;)
Throughout the day, Frank was answering questions for us, giving us some cultural explanations/advice, and teaching us bits of the language. Since he's been here for 2 years, he speaks VERY good Thai, which was very impressive to us! He also has a great understanding of their culture, what works and doesn't work here (when it comes to ministry), and other good advice for living here. It was SO helpful to be able to ask him questions and begin to get a grasp of Thai culture. He also helped us find a good Thai for Beginner's book that he started learning the language from, so that will be a big help to us!
It was fun to have him translate things around him too. Since we were all very obviously "foreigners", people assumed none of us could speak Thai. It was fun to hear what was going on around us that we couldn't hear ourselves!
By the end of the night we were worn out, but we'd had SUCH a great day! Frank even taught us enough Thai so that we could order dinner ourselves - it was such a good feeling! We both ate Kow Pad Gai (fried rice with chicken) Kai Sai (with egg). It was delicious, but I think we'd better learn some more Thai soon, or we are going to get sick of that meal! haha!