Thursday, April 9, 2009

Passover in Bangkok

After a 2 hour journey from the airport to my guesthouse (due to an obscene amount of traffic), I arrived in Bangkok to the heart of the travelers area (Khao San Rd). The hustle and bustle of the streets, the cabs outnumbering the people, and the rats scurrying around made me feel right at home as if I were in NYC. I treated myself to a bit of an upscale guesthouse that included air-con (instead of a fan)...pretty nice! After I got settled, I took a stroll over to the Chabad House to sort out my reservation for the Seders. As I walked down the street, I noticed more signs in Hebrew than in Thai and I knew I had to be going in the right direction. The following day I spent wondering around the Banglumphu area exploring and getting prepared for Passover (not to make anyone jealous but my Passover cleaning consisted of emptying my daypack and refilling it...tough I know). Upon arrival at the Chabad House, there was intense security from one end of the street to the other after about 5mins of checking each people I entered the room that was set with long tables to seat about 1000 people. It was incredible. Since I arrived almost on time (and most Israelis show up 1hr after set time), I had my choice of seats. I sat down and was immediately introduced to this guy and his group of friends. They made me feel right at home and were very welcoming to my desperate attempt to speak Hebrew. About 2hrs after the time stated on the ticket, the Rabbi began with an opening Passover story and so it all began. Singing, dancing, storytelling and jokes filled the room all night. I really appreciated the openness of Chabad in a place that is so far from my home (the food needed a little work but that's OK). The week should be interesting...

After making some new friends at the Seder, I decided to travel to the north of Thailand with some of them. We leave tonight on our overnight bus and I'm looking forward to the upcoming adventures.


  1. After all of the times I helped coordinate sederim for Hillel (aka: the-land-where-students-are-not-capable-of-RSVPing-on-time), the thought of 1000 people is unfathomable! Glad it all worked out and hope the subsequent Thailand explorations went well. Looking forward to the pictures (of the travel; I'm imagine the seder experience will have to live in my imagination). Chag Sameach :)

  2. Rumors of less-than-fun things happening in your current part of the world. Hope you're safe and doing well...check in and let us know there's no reason to be concerned (yes, I know I sound like your mother; sister-in-law/friend comes with similar privileges)! Tootles. Love, Jessica

  3. Glad to hear that everything went well (and that Chabad had tight security!).

    How interesting. Passover is a pilgrimage festival; and you are traveling in the East more than anyone that I know, even though it's not the Middle East...

  4. I keep looking at your pictures and just can't believe this is you. A long way from the 16th floor at Lehman.
    Keep taking pictures and filling us in on everything you see and everyone you speak to! Maybe it will keep the thousands of questions I have for you when you return down just a bit. And please keep some of your new recipes in know how I like being your taste tester :)
    Miss you!