A call from Obama’s Desk

April, 2016.

It was time for the Bangkok chess challenge.

A short flight later I checked into the Yindee hostel, Bangkok. I highly recommend it for the budget traveler. I got to meet some amazing people in the 9 days that I stayed there.

One of the positions that arose in one of my games was the following. What do you think White should play?

We were in the middle of the Songkran festival, which is basically the Thai version of holi, though it is celebrated for 3 whole days. We used to take a walk from the playing venue to our hostel and would get to celebrate it with random people in the street.

After the tournament was over, my best friend from college joined me in exploring Bangkok for a couple of days.

We started by visiting the Wat Pho and Wat Arun temples. Wat Pho is also known as the temple of the reclining Buddha, and is famous for a 150 feet long, gold plated statue of the Buddha. Though some people complain about not being able to see it clearly, thanks to the rush sometimes.

We did let our inner child loose for a while, by visiting the Dinosaur Planet and Laser Games. While the former can only be recommended for kids, the latter was a fun experience, with me and my friend on opposite teams, playing a real life version of counter strike.

Sorry kid, today you’ll have to wait. 

After grabbing something to eat, we decided to visit the Terminal 21 Megamall. It’s a one floor-one theme mall, with each floor based on locations like the Caribbean, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood. It’s definitely a must see and a great place to shop.

The next stop was the famous, Madame Tussauds. real life wax versions of every one from Mahatma Gandhi to Vladimir Putin, from Michael Jackson to Beyonce, from Mark Zuckerberg to Einstein.

Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of their superheroes, so that sometimes lead to a line for taking pictures. My friend was a MJ-fan. So I spent 15 minutes taking pictures while he smothered MJ with different poses.

Yes, Mr. Obama was happy with my visit.

Brad, not so much.

After a tiring day, we finally reached our hotel, and just as we were about to enter we saw a massage parlour next to the hotel. We decided to try it out and went for a traditional Thai massage. It was one of the best decisions of my life! After one hour of what can only be called a treat for the body and the soul, we were so refreshed that we barely felt that we had been walking since 8 am. Since then whenever I get to travel abroad I make sure to go for a Thai massage, it’s so relaxing.

And then we looked forward for day two. 🙂

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