Well we have now been here a day, a whole day and right now I know it all – well far from it but I do have a few observations I would like to make.
Firstly, the airport system, like I am finding a lot of Bangkok is a system in transition, we arrived in Bangkok somewhat worse for wear suffering not only from the long flight but also the fact that we are both crap at taking advantage of such times as being ‘sleepy times’. At our arrival we found that all the passport control desks were ‘under maintenance’ meaning that we had to join an assembled throng long before we could even hit the giddy heights of joining the queue – we were under enough pressure as we had no onward travel arrangements in black and white – so the system failures could have been either be the making or breaking of us.
Next, well as you can guess no one batted an eyelid but exciting eh? Onto the underground – these are managed impeccably, everyone knows their place to wait,slightly to the left and right of where the doors will open, doors open passengers alight and you get on. Okay there are spotty looking cadets ensuring the status quo is maintained but after the rugby scrum that is underground travel in the City of London, this was a godsend – Boris take note.
Our accommodation, well we found it eventually and by this time we were somewhat frazzled but we were ‘following’ the owners instructions and even a local who we asked directions of asserted that Thais take maps and re-invent them so perhaps we can be cut a little slack here – it is the same people who arrange the maps as it is who do the photographs for the food menus! The room is nice and to be ours for the next five nights and the place is all round backpacker good – not hotel good but nice if you know what I mean. Only point I must mention being the huge – not sure about average cockroaches sizes, but it looked huge to us – dead cockroach ‘guarding’ the valuables lockers via being upside down and looking scary!
Had a kip to try and reverse those feelings of fatigue mentioned earlier and ventured out. We decided just to get our bearings and take a straight forward trip to Chinatown as it was at the end of the underground route we had already mastered. Chinatown is even more complex than the rest of the city, so we not really got lost but not really found our way either – note to diary, get a map.
However the trip was not without incident either Chinatown is a maze of streets and alleyways with people and smells to match, for a while every other shop appeared to be a goldsmiths with huge numbers of staff giving you the feeling that all you had to do was place one toe over the shop threshold and you would be theirs! Saw a big fat man with a tiny penis watering a tree as we wandered by – not a sight you see every day even in good all Grimsby – this man was no tramp, appeared to have all the trappings of being relatively well-to-do but was just caught short whilst not wearing his bigger street-peeing penis!
As I said Chinatown is awash with bright colours and a great variety of foods of all types the ubiquitous chicken feet seller was their amongst the rest – I have a actually tried chicken’s feet and really did not see the point but as they say in China you can never have too many. Well with all these very many options to choose from what did we pick – no not chips but it was not too adventurous either, nice couple of pork Thai dishes noodles and a wonton soup which were both very filling and tasty – will leave the deep fried dung beetle for later – and a couple of Chang beers.
On the way back saw a sight which was both endearing and slightly odd – backstreet Zumba classes and the best people to watch were in fact two guys one who looked to be dead but who was actually taking part and the other a man of similar stature who was actually sat doing ‘Chair Zumba’ – keep it up you guys.
Well getting back to base was far less adventurous but we bought a couple more Chang and sat plotting tomorrow’s outing. Things have gone somewhat awry as we had an early night to try and put our bodies back into sync and we just keep waking up. I think I have started writing this though in answer to the feelings of guilt I now have about having a ‘Tom Tit’ tonight and doing it ‘English-style’ ie placing the toilet paper down the bog leaving me now in a quandary as to the damage I might have done the Bangkok sewerage system, or even worse caused blockages here meaning my shame would be for all to see as investigations would surely find my poo-stained papers as being the root of all evil! Must try harder as it will be easier on their plumbing and my sleep too.