Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Break up of the Fellowship

Monday 3rd January 2011

MP3 track of the day: So long, farewell - Sound of Music

Weather: Hoooot

I woke up a lot earlier than I thought I would; this was mostly down to the Dutch guests who, deciding to get up early, turned on all the lights within the dorm … every time they enter or exit the dorm they turn the lights on no matter if it's 1am or 6am … annoyed, you bet! I'm glad that this is my last day in Bangkok, I was hoping to meet up with Mike and Stef today as I would be struggling for ideas if not. I am looking forward to leaving tomorrow.

As per usual, a lazy start to the day followed by breakfast and the internet kept me occupied for most of the morning. Stef had emailed me to suggest meeting up at around 7pm for tea (hopefully not Subway again) … sorted! However what was I going to do with the rest of my day? I ummed and arred as I sent a message to Mike to see what he was up to.

Eventually it was lunch time and with no reply from Mike I had a short walk around the area of my hostel. The strength of the sun has been fierce the past couple of days and today was no exception. I was therefore relieved when I turned the corner to find an apartment store with air conditioning. Three floors of clothes followed by a floor full of electronics was in store for me; not needing any clothes I headed straight to the top floor to have a look around the computers, TV's and other electrical goods. About a third of the way around the floor I went past a glass cupboard presenting camera memory cards; I've almost filled another card, mainly with photos from the last five days, and so I inquired into the price of the usual 4GB memory card that I opt for. 250 baht was my answer which, when converted into British Stirling, amounts to five pounds … complete bargain as these cards can cost anything between ten and sixteen pounds. I bought one and left, heading for my guesthouse to make sure the card actually worked.

Once in my dorm I got my camera from my cupboard and tried the memory card, it worked perfectly fine. I then pondered my next move; looking at my bed I noticed that my book only had fifty pages left. Decision made my novel, and a half drunken bottle of water, came downstairs with me to the common room where I read the final pages sitting comfortably on a black sofa.

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, written by Haruki Murakami, is a strange story set in modern-day Tokyo. It's about a guy's life and another life that he leads only within his sub-conscious. Apparently, according to this novel, we all create a separate world for ourselves within our sub-conscious but, as its there, most of us are rarely aware that it even exists. Within this book something goes wrong and the main characters life pattern has been altered so that his sub-conscious world would soon take over his reality. Like I said it's a strange story however it is also very gripping and well written with lots of attention to the smallest of details. I would recommend this novel and I shall be looking for more of Haruki's work as I travel further.

I took my finished book to the 'book exchange' shelf within the guesthouse; I browsed the other titles however nothing took my fancy … besides I already had another novel and so I decided to drop this book off without replacing it. A bit more weight lost. X-men Origins had just started on the TV and so I listened to that as I scanned the internet once more.

Tomorrow, at 8:30am, I will board a train heading to Chang Mai; this left very little time in the morning to purchase breakfast and so my next chore for the day was to head to seven-eleven to purchase said breakfast. As you can imagine this mundane act was completed and I don't think any more explanation is needed.

By now I was running out of things to do. The good thing was that it was 5pm and only two more hours until I meet Stef, Mike and Barbara -Anne. I sat down in the common room, the film 'old dogs' was starting on 'Star Movies' … I have seen this film quite often whilst traveling within South East Asia. I therefore decided to make a move; originally I was going to take the boat up to our meeting point, which should have taken around twenty minutes. This was far too quick and so I decided to walk, it should take me just over an hour to get there meaning I would arrive just after 6pm leaving time to get a drink beforehand … lovely.

The sun was setting so it wasn't too hot to walk; I followed the path I took the first full day that I was in Bangkok. The walk took me past monuments that I had seen before and it was pleasant enough. I arrived on Khoa San Road around 6:20pm; heading to McDonalds, our meeting point, I ordered a drink and quietly past the time.

Mike arrived first and then shortly afterwards Barbara-Anne and Stef; we exchanged hugs before heading out for something to eat (not between Mike and I you understand). We found a lovely street food place five minutes from Khoa San Road which was a much better option than the Subway the previous night (and a lot more cheaper); we chatted about where we had been and what we had seen and done. We then went for drinks at a couple of pubs before wrapping up the night at around midnight. Having traveled overnight Stef and Barbara hadn't slept too well and Stef in particular was pretty tired. I too was totally shattered and so we all said our goodbyes. It was quite sad really; Mike and I had met in Melaka over a month ago and now he was off to India. I had met Stef and Barbara in George town two weeks ago and Stef was flying to the Philippines and Barbara Cambodia. We were all heading our separate ways with little possibility of meeting on the road again however, I do hope to meet up again, maybe after our epic journeys are completed (plus I'm taking Stef to Japan) … and of course theres always Facebook.

I took a taxi back to my guesthouse which, apart from me having to give directions when we became lost (oh and the ride was pretty cheap too) was pretty uneventful. So tomorrow I'm off … and I'm quite glad about it too. I can't believe that I've been in Bangkok a week and I am so ready to move on. Hopefully Chang Mai should be a good place to hang out for a couple of days … oh and hopefully it'll be cooler too.

Toodle Pip

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