What a terrific day we had today!
We slept in a little and we were done with our breakfast by 10:00. It was registration day at the World Scholar’s Cup so we made our way over to the Convention Centre on foot, of course.
At the Convention Centre we received a small taste of what the WSC will be like as from Monday. Registration opened at 12:00 and numerous students from all over the world were ready and waiting at the entrance when it opened. We noted students from Vietnam, China, Norway and India. It wasn’t long before we found a few girls from a school in Bloemfontein, who were very happy to hear some familiar accents after battling their way to the Convention Centre without any adult help or supervision.
We were given drinks and cookies as we waited to sign the register to confirm our attendance. Daniel, Burch and Sara (the main organisers of the event) slipped into the Convention Centre, a little under the radar. Gav had his eyes peeled though and spotted Sara straight away.
We greeted the three of them and passed on the South African ‘goodies’ including malva puddings, fizzers, Peppermint Crisp bars, biltong and a matching BESA WSC jacket for each of them. Needless to say they were highly appreciative and very grateful. We would have loved to attend the registration wearing our jacket but temperatures were far too warm for that to be an option.
Registration and formalities out of the way, we headed downstairs to the adjoining shopping mall called Central World – 9 floors of shopping! Gavin, Calem, Sergio and Josh indulged in some local Thai cuisine for lunch. Each of them commented on how great the food tasted (and also that they’ll be visiting the restaurant again before we leave to go home). We all wandered around the mall for a couple of hours and then made our way back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.
We really wanted to experience a night market during the evening so at 18:15 we headed out toward a local night market. Gavin was in charge of navigation for the excursion and began by expertly leading us ‘accidently-on-purpose’ past a currency exchange store where a few of the ‘herd’ needed to change some U.S. Dollars into Thai Baht. Thanks Gav!
About 20 minutes into our journey we felt a few drops of rain, which we welcomed due to the excessive heat. Another few minutes passed and the rain had not worsened, so we persevered. We had been told that it’s monsoon season but thought to ourselves, how bad could it be? The rain clouds waited just long enough for us to no longer be under cover before bursting above us. We got a little wet…alright, maybe a lot wet. We bolted for the nearest source of sanctuary from the rain above but still found a brief moment for a rainy group photo. It was a truly unexpected experience that will live long in our memories.
We waited a few minutes and then made our way back to the hotel, wet but not dispirited. We grabbed dinner on the route home, found another market to explore and then made our way to our rooms for a much needed shower.
We have a very early start tomorrow as we are heading to a floating market to experience a truly unique Thai-type market. It should be fantastic!