GOD! … IDIOT! Well I can’t quite remember what I wrote in my last blog thingy but basically I got the day I was leaving sri lanka wrong so had to spend another day in Ja Ela, which is no bad thing but I was expecting & ready to go. Luckily Natalie had come over from Kegalle because she needed to change some traveler’s cheques, so I spent the day in Colombo with her. More trips to the shops, more dvds and a few more ciders … to calm the nerves like.
The flight to Thailand was painless, the delay on the flight excruciating! My overpriced taxi driver made sure I knew all the good strip clubs to go to in my local area … cheers mate! I made it to my hostel at about 10am and after a quick power nap went out exploring. I’ve been using public transport a bit out here, the sky train is cheap and easy, and is even air conditioned! First stop was a place called Siam Sq, I’d read that in the evenings break dance groups practiced their routines in the area but the night I went there was a big concert. I went around some of the huge (9 floors) shopping centre’s, which by now were all playing xmas music, cant say I’ve missed those 6 songs we hear endlessly each year. I found myself a cheap pair of converse, 10 quid, but everything else was seemingly very expensive. I then found the hard rock café, and it just happened to be happy hour so I indulged, and then went back to the concert in Siam Sq … that was s*** so I went to find a bar called Rock bar. Found it …. Drinking on your own is not great at the best of times, but drinking on your own whilst you’re the only one in the bar is pretty much as low as it can get … a swift exit was made. Back to the hard rock where by now there was also a band but, with other people watching. They were ok, did a hilariously bad cover of I bet you look good on the dance floor but generally speaking they were ok. I met some random Dutch guy who saw it his duty to enlighten me on bars where women will talk to you for free … he’d been paying?! I staggered home half cut, day 1 done and dusted.
Day 2, lazy day. Took it easy and just sat around during the day. Met Joe from Wales and sat and watched the footy with him. By about 11pm we got itchy feet and went out the watch the Pompy game (Joe was a pompy fan) at the Ratchada Night Bazaar. We were taken to some all singing all dancing market place that had giant screens, and giant beer dispensers that sat nicely on your table … we invested. Ours WAS sitting nicely on our table until Portsmouth equalized and that that point Joe saw it fit to clear all that was on our table off it in one fell swoop. After the game we got a tuk tuk to the Khao Sarn rd, which apparently is the place to go out in Bangkok. Cant say I was massively impressed, looked a lot like some Greek resort on a quiet night, lots of England footy shirts, and to rub it in not one club. We ended the night in Burger King where to finish the night off in spectacular style I stacked it down the stairs to everyone else amusement. I now wish I’d have given it the gymnasts finish, toes pointed, bow to the judges – sure I would have got a 10. The next morning I awoke, seemingly having acquired a new bag the night before, and obviously having also lost the ability to undress myself. I didn’t think we’d drunk that mush, the dribble on my pillow told me different.
On the Sunday I spent the day sight seeing. Out here at the moment all the Thai people are celebrating the Kings birthday, the longest serving king anywhere ever apparently. So anyway Sunday was a Buddhist holiday and so the government had sponsored all the tuk tuk so they were dead cheap. I got taken to three Buddhist monuments for just 20 Baht, shame only two were open. It was actually some nice random local on the street who told me about this and even flagged down a tuk tuk for me! I saw the 45 ft gold, made a wish at the feet of the lucky Buddha and then went to one more that was shut. I then partook in a rather dull and overpriced boat trip around the Bangkok canals area before heading to the Khao Sarn rd day market. It was much better during the day, more colour and people. The usual knocked off dvds and t-shirts on sale, the smells were amazing too. Its obviously influenced heavily by British culture though, I saw one stall that sold and I quote ‘F**king good’ orange juice, no other country other than England could view orange juice in that way. After the market I got a cab (cheap cabs out here, and air conditioned!) and the sky train to Lumphini park were I watched mass aerobics lessons and all sorts of other sports being practiced. The park was huge and really quite peaceful, especially was the sun was just setting. I had hoped to see the boxing that night but being a holiday it wasn’t on. In the end I ended up at Pat Pong night market which is situated right in the middle of Bangkok’s red light district … an experience. Back at the hostel I met some lad from Ipswich who I sat and chatted to for the rest of the night whilst watching everton vs west ham.
On Monday I went to the Grand Palace which was heaving due to the Kings Birthday. This place was blinging, never seen s much gold, gems, joules etc. It was massive too, think you’d have to go to appreciate the value of this place. Took a good 2 hours to walk around, and it were roasting on Monday too, sweaty sweaty (if I appear to repeat singular words twice yes it is a little strange but its something I picked up in my last week in sri lanka, suppose they do it just to clarify – problems problems!). In the evening after going to several wrong places I eventually found some Thai boxing. It as quite expensive but went on for ages. There were 12 matches, each consisting of 5 rounds. I stayed till match 7 which was the main event and definitely the most exciting match. I’d been told beforehand that it’s quite brutal, expect blood, but I didn’t even see a knock out. The was a lot of hugging combined with some knees to the kidneys, the crowd got well into it though and there was mass betting going on which, I’ve since been told is illegal. The funniest part was the wee band playing just next to the ring, apparently the music is supposed to encourage the fighters … surely someone else punching you is encouragement enough to punch back.
Yesterday I took a trip to Thailand’s famous floating market, the one made famous in the bond film. The markets a lot smaller than I anticipated but still awesome, fairly cheap trip too. It’s just a shame that it’s not quite a authentic as it imagined it once was, there’s a lot of tat on sale, who wants a big, framed, dead spider?? We had lunch on some floating restaurant – sweet & sour chicken, nice! – Conversation was a bit limited though, I was with two Chinese, two French and two German, all in pairs and none of whom spoke English. In the afternoon I went to the rose garden and saw, well roses, as well as an elephant show and a show that depicts typical Thai life. It showed a mock wedding ceremony, prayer to the god for water, some more boxing and some other martial arts. Good stuff! I got dropped back at the Khao Sarn road and invested in a Subway, my first in 3 months, god it was good, and then it was back to the hostel, where I got chatting to a nice but hazardously drunk lady who had also worked in sri lanka, she bent my ear for a good hour about unawatuna and told me I should NEVER go work in Korea!
…And so that’s brings me to today. Bit rushed this so expect mistakes and a complete lack of any detail, but I’ve gotta check out in 10 minutes and this computers are pretty slow. I’m convinced they’re powered by hamsters on wheels rather than electricity. I tried giving them red bull but these things still aren’t running fast enough to upload any of my pics, and I’ve got loads, so you’ll just have to wait (I’ve got another priceless comedy sign).
I have to pay to leave Thailand which I find a bit odd, but I’m leaving non the less, all in all a pretty god week.
So off to Oz, T-minus 7 hours and counting ….