Bangkok can be a little scary to even an experienced traveller on the best of circumstances - but on the worst... Well, you'll see.
After a truly awful flight from Istanbul to Bangkok I took the train to the station nearest my Guesthouse completely enjoying the air-conditioning as anyone would. I dropped my bags off and got the gross 'plane' feeling off with a nice shower, a necessary step before I, along with a few other people from the hostel I'd just met, decided to get food. So I grabbed my essentials and on the way I went to withdraw money from the bank, easy enough to do. Only it was all in Thai so after I got the equivalent of $30CAD out I didn't know what it had said and was distracted by all the sights and sounds, leading me to forget my bank card in the ATM outside of a 7/11.
Truth told, I didn't realize until I had gotten back to the hostel and was looking through my wallet. I panicked because I thought perhaps it had dropped in a sewer grate or maybe at a food stand but then after some very stressful moments I realized I never had taken it out. There was a whole lot more panicking - maybe a little bit of stress crying as I went through the worst possible scenarios in my head because I'm a worrier. After all of that WesternUnion told me it would be only two days until they could see if my card was in the machine and usable.
I explained this to my gracious host and she told me that I could pay for my nights once everything was settled - a kindness I'll never forget. Then came the issue of food and water. I had a bottle left over but would be sure to need another before the day's end. My expectation was that I would have to stay in my room and stay cool while I waited for two days to pass but once again I was surprised. While travelling in Europe I knew that this would what I would be stuck doing but the SEA backpacker is of an entirely different breed of people. It's like the surroundings make them nicer or maybe more generous people backpack South East Asia. It's hard to say. All I knew was that the people I had met at the hostel were just that when they got food, water and even brought me along to the temples with them. We walked through monk housing as we took everything in and I had the closest thing I'd ever had to a religious experience there and then when I realized how the world was never as scary as anyone ever claimed and that you can live off of the giving spirits of other people if you are one yourself.
This made 42 hours in Bangkok without money the best time spent I'd had since I began travelling so many months earlier.