This year i got to present my thesis at the Asian Conference for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) in Bangkok on 4th to 6th July. Luckily, i got UKM as a sponsor for the whole thing and probably it was my only big achievement for this year..Alhamdulillah..
So, i decided to do all the Conference bookings and payments since as early as January. But then in May, our maid decided to go home for a one month holiday. It was a bit risky thing to let her go. So, instead of booking A flight ticket for me, we decided to bring the whole family so that my hubby wont be left alone with the kids. It was a ‘tough’ decision. Working and a holiday, i wasn’t so sure either..
We were busy. So many things to do. With the Bangi new home and Ampang house to sell, to chase the treasury (pinjaman perumahan), a busy lawyer, my final exam, kids school to send and fetch, baby sitting, STC to run, ceramahs, oncalls, shifts, it was very hectic. We only got time to find the hotel at the last 3 days prior to the departure. We found http://www.booking.com. Alhamdulillah, we decided to get one of the budget hotels at Sukhumvit 8. Never been in Thailand…a wrong decision could end up in a disaster.
The presidential suite at Royal Asia Lodge, is a 2 bedded suite, with a lounge, a kitchen and 2 bathrooms. Very simple and yet confortable for all 6 of us. Staffs were pleasant and friendly to our kids (except the Receptionist who were easily annoyed by the visitors’ queries). Breakfast was ok, but i wish there were more vegetarian choices. The laundry service was free.. err, I think..because we weren’t charged for any of it. We sent 2 big bundles down to the laundry twice and they were sent back to our room nicely cleaned and folded. And the 24 hours free Tuk tuk service was superb. Just press the bell at the designated wall, and the Tuk tuk will send and fetch you from and to the main road. It surprises me that no one actually vandalise the system and service. The bell is just located next to some massage parlor. Kalau kat Malaysia, abih dah budak2 dok tekan!
On the 2nd to 4th day in Bangkok, i was at the Conference, while darling hubby had to entertain the kids himself. With a stroller, hubby brought them all using the BTS (LRT) to the Sea World and lunches. Salute to my macho hubby who is not too skinny to lift the heavy stroller up and down the BTS station..as you can see, not all stations are equipped with escalators and lifts. I managed to present my thesis at the conference with lots of guidance from my hubby too. He patiently listened to my presentation and commented on my performance as a public audience. He also patiently let me using the laptop till midnight while he himself has so many assignments to do. I had to use his laptop since my adaptor is not a 2 pin adaptor like his since in Thailand they are using the 2 pin plug. Sheesh..if only i knew..
The Conference itself was a great one. The food, the venue, the discussed topics, the people, the company..everything was great. The best about it was the walking distance along the sky walk from BTS station to the venue. Love the connection between the stations. Wish Malaysia had similar LRT connections. And finally, i had to meet so many friends and people. I had to meet the fatherly Prof Colin Robertson, but unfortunately just for a few short occasions. I was told he was seaching for me during the Conference Dinner, but unfortunately fate didn’t meet us together. InshaAllah, good friendship always lasts..
So, after the 3 days conference ended, we went to bring the kids for a sight seeing. This time, we booked a Muslim Cab driver, Bang Yana who is a Melayu Pattani originated from South Thailand. He is the cousin of Tasneem Sayorwan, a sister whom we know from facebook. We havent met her in person, but because of ukhuwwah in Islam, we feel very close to her. Instead of bringing the kids to the Floating Market or to the night cruise, we went to the Dream World theme park. We had so much fun. There were haunted house, 4-D movie, roller coaster, water cruise -Grand Canyon, the halal KFC, and so much more. It was a wonderful time, especially for the kids.
Not forgetting the shopping at the MBK Mall. People said the Chatuchak Market was a better place for souveniers but for us it is probably too crowded for small kids. So we ended up buying souveniers, key chains, a windbreaker jacket, black Raihan suit for hubby (only forRM140!), handbag, RM20 sandal for me (my 2 inches high Clarks conference shoes was killing me!), Thailand T shirts for everybody, a pair of beggy jeans for me, Thailand purses and perfumes (a 100ml Issey Miyake for RM70!). I wanted to find jeans for the kids but unfortunately only saw ones for adult. Personally i dont mind buying nice stuffs even though they are cheap. I remembered back in April when my friends and i brought Prof Colin shopping at the Petaling Streets and he bought many fake items for bargain prices. Even the Scottish Emergency Medicine Consultant shops for imitations!
At MBK Mall, we got to celebrate Yop’s birthday at one of the halal food shop (you can search halal stores using your iphone internet. It is so handy!). No cake for this year but definitely this birthday is going to be one of the most memorable ones. Happy 9th Birthday Yop!
Over all, even though it was hectic in Thailand with kids and hubby were left bored in the hotel while i was at the conference and halal food was not automatically handy plus Muiz was having high grade fever all along, i found Bangkok was very adventurously interesting. Not many couples would bring their young children to travel, unlike us, we took that challenge. Yes, I would love to go to Bangkok again but next time probably for a honeymoon. Would love to go to the Floating Market, Chatuchak Market and do the foot massage again (i had one pitstop at one of the parlor on the way back from the Conference dinner since my Clarks shoes was killing me).
So honey, where is our next adventure?
-Dr Nazhatul Muna aka Ummusaif