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Bankok 2000 |
Th. -Fr. |
Tuesday 12th June
I'd really meant to go to the tourist police the previous day but had been way laid by this and that. After brekkies I set out to get the job done. After all, I only had another day to do it. On the way to the station I passed the canal bus stop and decided to pick up some VCD's on the way back from a VCD vendor there.
The procedure at the tourist police took all told an hour after which I sauntered back to K.S. picking up a couple of VCD's and ordering 'Deuce Brigalow' to be picked up the next day. And so, back to Kaoh Sarn.
On the way I stopped into an internet cafe for a few hours. Only B25 p/h - pretty good. After I'd tapped away for an hour or so I moved onto finding a developing shop for my photos. I found one just around the corner from K.S. and I wa so surprised when I walked in. There on the counter under the glass was a photo from the Korean Expo in Kyoungju, 1998. I was also working there at that time so I was so surprised to see the photo. Aparently one of the shop's customers was working there too. This was a really nice co-incidence as the shop owner gave me a 15% discount on my photos. Coo-el!
Have you not noticed how short the days are in Bangkok? By now it was already early evening and I heade for the guest house to pick up the films to take in (I didn't have them on me at the time.) Next, what to do, what to do? I took in a meal and a movie ( can anyone see some sort of pattern emerging?
Wednesday 13th June
Did internet at the Grand. Remembered that Steve Groh, whom I'd met in Taipei, was now back in Bangkok so I'd e-mailed him and he'd replied with his tel. no. so I gave him a call and we arranged to meet in the evening at the Grand. So until the evening I was pretty free so I did more internet, picked up my films, went to pick up the VCD but they were out of it so I bought another instead, yada yada yada, blah blah blah....
In the afternoon, more internet... basically I was just waiting to move on to Dubai. I'd been here two weeks already and was anxious to get going. So, the Evening came and I met Steve at the Grand. He's a busy guy so I felt quite bad that he came across town and I'd forgotten to add that I was due to fly tonight. Steve is quite a hero in Thailand, especially to the young kids he works with. He runs a circus training school for homeless and underpriviliged kids in Thailand. He gave me a copy of 'Metro' a local English language magazine. Inside was an article of Steve's work with the children. In the states he worked as a stunt man before moving to Thailand about 8 years ago. Then he moved to Taiwan a couple of years ago (where we met) and now he's moved back to Thailand with his Taiwanese girlfriend, Kay. It's good to see people doing well out of helping other people.
We had a beer together in the Grand before moving elsewhere and having dinner. It was nice to catch up with Steve although unfortunately we didn't get to know each other too well in Taiwan before he moved back to Thailand.
One funny story is that I'd been cycling down Hsin-hai Rd. in Taipei one day, and due to my regular bike having a flat tyre, I was riding my 'spare' bike. This was a non descript 'old=man' style of bicycle, just black with two wheels and a springy seat. Steve was outside a restaurant and I cycled past and stopped to say hi. We'd chatted a while and then Steve mentioned he may be returning to Thailand to open a business, and on eyeing my bike up he added that if he did move back then I could have his motorcycle as long as I didn't sell it on - but in the same manner I gave it to someone else. You would not believe the motorcycle in question. It was a beautiful 40's maybe 50's style bike. A total dream bike.
So when I got Steve's e-mail telling me that he was leaving Taiwan and the bike was mine I was so pissed off! Why? Because I was in Viet Nam, travelling, and for some reason I hadn't checked my mail for a while so it'd been a week or so since checking my mail. No bike - someone else, of course, was only too eager to take care of it for him.
After dinner, it was just about time for me to go catch the airport bus. I thanked Steve for taking the time to come out and wished him all the best. He waited while I picked up my pack and we said goodbye as I boarded the airport bus.
Sitting next to me on the airport but was a Korean girl, Sunny, and I struggled to remember the Korean I hadn't spoken regularly for the past two years. I really need a refresher course. What a nice girl she was, on our parting at the airport she gave me her e-mail and decorative Korean bookmark.
On reaching the airport it was already 10 and I still had to find the emirates office and track down my tickets (Did I mention that I'd left them in Taipei at the check in office - Doh!!!) luckily I'd been met at BKK and informed that I'd been forgetful.
On enering the Emirates office I gave the secret handshake, and told her the password (okay, no secret handshake but I had been give a code to retrieve my flight tickets.) So Voila, or as the French say 'Zer eet ees!' and I had my tickets back. One small snag. After checking my tickets I found that... well, I'd been told to come to pick up my tickets 'the day before flying' seeing as I was flying at 1:00 in the morning - but no, not I! What did I do? I turned up a whole 26 hours before I was due to fly.
Hey, I hadn't seen my ticket since Taipei! I was relying purely on memory on my departure date after being in Thailand two weeks.
Now I had a slight dilemna. I could go back to Bangkok and after meeting Steve again would have been a good idea - but I was kind of treading water and eager to get on to Dubai and then back to the UK. So I asked if the flight could be advanced. Well, I would come back to Thailand, that much was certain.
An hour or two later, after subtracting B500 for airport tax and spending the remnants of my Thai money at KFC (You want 'chic-ken') I was on the plane, winging my way to Dubai.
Onto Dubai - coming soon.
Th. -Fr. |
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