Sunday, 2 January 2011

Jobs Day

Sunday 2nd January 2011

MP3 track of the day: Hotel room service - Pitbull

Weather: hot and sunny

I had a nice lie-in until around 7am (having gone to bed around 8:45pm that's over ten hours asleep) when I couldn't sleep another minute. Getting up I spend most of the morning on the PC updating my blog, reading emails / messages and listening to a podcast a friend of mine recommended as it talked about Laos, my next destination. Reading through my messages I got one from Stef saying that she was currently heading up to Bangkok and would like to meet up; I replied and I've decided to stay in Bangkok a seventh night so that, hopefully, we can hook up tomorrow.

It took me until midday when I finally finished all my internet stuff; I extended my stay here at my guesthouse for a further night and headed out to the train station to purchase my rail ticket for Tuesday the 4th January. Having been in the railway station before I knew exactly where to go and, once at the ticket office, a young lady popped up to help me to translate what I wanted. All was remarkably simple and, dare I say it, a pleasant purchasing experience where I didn't feel ripped off … maybe I should have gone by train more often.

Once I had purchased my 2nd class, with air-conditioning, rail ticket (I've traveled on those hard wooden seats within third class when I traveled along the 'death railway'; fine for an hour or so but not twelve … so I upgraded for a little luxury) I booked my accommodation. I'm staying a little out of town at a place called 'Spicythai guesthouse'. The ratings are good and it's been recommended to me for it's 'backpacker scene'; it's supposed to be full of backpackers so it's a good place to meet, hopefully, people going my way. At £6 (300 baht) per night it's a little more expensive than I would have liked but I think it'll be worth it.

Earlier in the day I had text Mike to see what he was up to; a Thai massage was the reply and I asked him to text me when he was done so that we could meet up. This must have been the longest Thai massage on earth as hours had passed with no communication; I therefore decided to have lunch and then go out on my own. I went to the restaurant at my guesthouse only to find the kitchen closed (what is it with this restaurant, it's never open!) for today and tomorrows lunch. I decided that I would get lunch on the way to the district of Siam.

The district of Siam is quite close to where I'm staying and its the only district of Bangkok that I haven't seen. Siam is Bangkok's shopping heartland with loads of shopping centers; being pretty hot today I dived into the first shopping center I found purchasing a large drink. As I went up the escalators I noticed that the shopping center had the usual western designed retail units however it also had a lot of smaller stalls; the walkways within the center weren't spacious at all but instead quite cramped. I found the cinema and had a look to see what films where on … 'Gulliver's travels' was a film that I fancied seeing, but not today. I headed back to my hostel for a quiet evening, maybe even a film in the DvD room.

I got back to my guesthouse a lot earlier than planned and, with no answer from 'massaging Mike' I inquired about the key to the DvD room so that I could watch a film. The guy behind the counter had a look around but the key was already out, therefore somebody must have been in the room already. I decided to walk into the DvD room to watch whatever this mystery person was watching, however the room was empty and locked. It then dawned on me that someone had borrowed the key, gone out for the day, and not returned it stopping others from using this facility … completely selfish.

Finally a message from Mike staying that at 8pm he was meeting the beautiful two Finnish girls for there last night on holiday and would I like to join … yep! Being only 5pm I had plenty of time to have a quick look at my emails, get a shower and walk up to the 'twin towers hotel', which was where the two Finns where staying. I arrived ten minutes late due to problems actually finding the place however, once there, it became very apparent that this wasn't any backpackers lodge. The hotel was huge with glass doors and lovely red-patterned carpet on the floor … oh and a bloke in a jacket and tall hat; I felt suitably out of place and very under-dressed.

Mike was waiting in the overly-large foray reading a paper. I walked up to him surprised to see no beautiful blond girls; Mike explained that they had gone to the nearest shopping center for some last minute shopping and that we would meet them there. Shopping at 8pm, I replied; Mike just shrugged his shoulders. The shopping center was only a ten minute walk away and so, as we walked, Mike told me about his massage which was a little too hard and not very good. Once at the shopping center I took a photo of a 'pimped-up' limo tuk-tuk … pretty cool. We then waited around for twenty minutes or so for the girls to eventually appear, one small shopping bag each. We then proceeded to find somewhere to eat.

One hour and a half later, all starving, we still hadn't found anywhere to eat. Like I said before, eating a meal in Bangkok is really difficult as trying to find somewhere to eat is impossible. We even left the area that we where in, took the sky train, and looked around another part of the city for a restaurant (we did find a Japanese restaurant which looked great, however the girls weren't interested). And so it came to be that Mike and I took two beautiful Finnish girls, for their last meal here in Bangkok, to Subway … and I tell you what, it was the most expensive meal that I've purchased in Thailand so far.

Once I had let my 12” 'steak and cheese' digest a little we all went to a pool club which the girls had been to the previous evening. It was a very relaxing place where we had a few games plus had a quite drink where the girls tried to teach Mike and I Finnish … I don't remember much of it.

Finally it was around 1:30am and, due to the girls flight leaving at 9am, we decided to take a taxi back to their hotel where we said goodbye and I finally carried on with the taxi to my guesthouse. The driver wanted to count the trip as two separate journeys (as it's late at night, each journey the taxi makes has a 35 baht additional charge); I tried to argue that it was one trip with a drop-off, however he wasn't having any of it. Fortunately it didn't take long to arrive in the area of town that I was staying in. I asked the driver to drop me off so that I would walk the rest of the way. Looking in my wallet I was horrified to find that I had no change at all; the journey was 100 baht and all I had was 87 in change and a 1,000 baht note. As the driver had no change he accepted the 87 baht which made me feel a little better for being charged twice for a late night cab.

I arrived at my guesthouse totally shatter and went to sleep … it had been a good evening!

Toodle Pip!

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