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Thailand: Bangkok

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I'm sure you'll be enthralled to hear that our journey from India to Thailand was full of interesting if not mildly distressing goings-on. Our first flight was from Goa to Mumbai, and as we waited in the queue for our hold baggage to be scanned before checking-in, we noticed a bit of a commotion. The queue stopped dead and a number of airport security staff had appeared at the other side of scanner. After a bit of scrambling for a viewpoint Lauren noticed an Indian man at the front of the queue lifting a revolver out of his bag, followed by a magazine and some bullets. He then pulled out a load of paperwork.

We weren't sure whether to be scared or amused but eventually we all got moving again and later saw the same man on our plane. Evidently the Goan security officials were satisfied he wasn't going to cause a scene with his fully-functional deadly weapon.

Our second fight was Mumbai to Bangkok, and as we were waiting in the long queue at immigration (very poorly organised), a little boy in front of us (approx. 3 years old) started pissing on a lady's suitcase. After a few seconds of public urination the boy began crying and his grandmother shouted and grabbed him away to the corner. The lady didn't seem too concerned with there being piss on her bag - she just smiled and carried on.

As I went through security at Mumbai (there are always separate enclosed booths for men and women), one of the security women looked at me and started laughing her head off and telling her colleagues something in Hindi about me. She then let me in on the joke telling me that I looked just like the Hindu God Krishna. Said God has blue skin, plays a golden piccolo and is a man. I must have a godly presence about me.

Considering it was now the early hours of the morning and we hadn't slept a wink, we had started to feel like we were in a weird dream. And to substantiate this feeling there was even more craziness. On our second flight to Bangkok, as we were making our descent, a man a few rows up and to the right of us started having a fit. Naturally the flight attendants had to unbuckle themselves and run over to help him. Worryingly, the staff were very obviously freaking out (not great practice) and they didn't seem to be properly first-aid trained either as as they started throwing water on the guy, slapping him on the head, shaking his arms and shouting at him. Now I'm no expert, but I do know that you shouldn't really 'interrupt' a fit, you should just remove any nearby danger, put the person in the recovery position if possible (not possible in this instance) and keep an eye on them to ensure they don't choke or bite down on their tongue. After what felt like a long time (but in reality probably only 2 minutes), the man did come round, to everyone's relief.

Lauren had never seen a fit before and witnessing it while in a state of exhaustion (and being a nervous flyer anyway) made her quite emotional. It also isn't very reassuring when flight attendants are panicking.

Thankful that we arrived in one piece (just about), we got our bags and walked to the Skytrain (BTS) station. I had written down detailed instructions on how to get to our hostel and was confident we would make it with no problems. We got to the correct train stop without any issues, but on the walk from the station to the hostel we got lost. While carrying 20 kilos each. Tired, hungry, emotional and in the capital city of a new country we just wanted to curl up on the pavement and spontaneously combust (which could have been possible in the heat and humidity).

After 20 minutes of walking and stopping and asking and walking and stopping and checking and swearing, Lauren resigned to switching her roaming internet on in order for us to sat-nav ourselves to the bastard fucking bastard hostel. It turns out we had been on the right road but at the wrong end. We made it eventually and what mended our broken spirits was Lil being there in reception to welcome us.

Unfortunately we were far too early to check-in, so we did our best to freshen up in the hostel's downstairs loo, met Becky, Kate and Crimmy and toddled off to breakfast. The food was pretty shit and pretty expensive compared to India, but we were so dazed that it didn't matter. We had some beers and caught up on each other's lives and travels - it was so nice to see some familiar faces. Half way through breakfast Lauren had to go and nap in Lil's dorm room.
After a couple of hours we said goodbye to Becky, Kate and Crimmy and after a short rest, Lil, Lauren and two of Lil's friends went over to China Town. We'd actually arrived on Chinese New Year (year of the monkey) and so there was apparently a lot of fun to be had. There was meant to be a parade through the streets but after a lot of waiting (and eating) it never materialised which left us all a little deflated. We did however see the Thai princess being driven through the crowds (yay... ahem).

We went back to our neck of the woods and Lauren and I tried to stay awake as long as we could; we had street Pad Thai for dinner and walked through a chorus of touts selling 'Ping Pong shows'. By 9pm we threw in the towel and went to bed for what was to be the deepest sleep of our lives.

The next morning, feeling much more human (although still not 100% - could you imagine how shit we'd be if we had young kids!?), Lauren, Lil, Crimmy and I went for breakfast in a place called Bistro 95. There we got randomly acquainted with a Belgian guy called Erick Maloir who was not shy in telling us that he was an executive pastry chef that has travelled around the world, worked for royals and celebrities and now lives in Thailand with his Thai wife and little baby. Clearly enamoured by us travelling white-faced youngsters, he paid for our beers, which was nice.

Lil left soon after to catch her flight back to the UK after 5 weeks in Thailand. Lauren and I reluctantly got back on the BTS to go to Hua Lamphong station to buy our sleeper train tickets from Ayutthaya Chiang Mai in advance (they sell out quickly). We tried a few bits of street food along the way but generally everything is very meaty, which put both of us off and amazingly, despite almost a month in India, it was only now that my belly was starting to feel a little bubbly. Still not caught up on our sleep we went to bed early; I myself was pretty devastated that I hadn't managed to eat any pancakes (my fav food) on Shrove Tuesday for the first time in my life. Woe was me.

The following day we got on one of the Bangkok river boats for a little cruise around the city. We were headed to the Siriraj Hospital Forensic Museum and somehow managed to get on the standard public boat instead of the swish, friendly, English-guided 'tourist boat' that we'd paid for. The boat was cramped, incredibly hot and we had no clue whatsoever which stop was which as we were too low down to see the signs when we stopped at each pier. On top of that there was an angry Thai lady pushing everyone up to the front of the boat. After a few unknown stops we took a wild guess and got off; at the wrong place of course. We waited a while for the next bus which thankfully was the sexy tourist boat. This boat was roomy, air conditioned and had a lovely camp guide giving us historical facts and information about the stops and nearby sights. By this point we were more than happy to be wrapped up in VIP cotton wool.

We made it to the museum and spent a good hour shuffling around all of the truly mental exhibits. I won't ruin it for you all as I'd urge you to visit but put it this way I don't think I'll ever see so many dead babies, murder and suicide injuries and anal prolapses ever again.

All of the gruesome death had really built up our appetites and in an effort to placate my persisting absence-of-pancakes-bad-mood, we found a French crêperie downtown called Breizh where we indulged in some flour, egg and milk deliciousness.

To balance out the food pleasure we had just experienced we then decided to punish ourselves with a Thai massage. Weirdly for this massage they didn't want us naked, instead they gave us some over-starched pyjamas to put on. Our nice masseurs then clambered all over us in an attempt to crunch the Western privilege right out of our over-fed, over-indulged carcasses. And they did pretty good job. Our backs had been feeling pretty fragile from all the bag-carrying and walking and we left the parlour feeling as light as feathers. The hand job went down well too.

For dinner we found a lovely little Japanese vegan restaurant called Bonita Social Club that was round the corner from our hostel. We got chatting to an older couple who were on holiday. Weirdly enough the guy was from Bootle an even though he's a woolyback I still enjoyed conversing with him. His wife was from the Isle of Wight but they both now lived in Southport for some bizarre reason.

The meal was wonderful and it was especially nice for Lauren to be able to pick anything from the menu. After pestering the resident cats for a while we called it a night and got ourselves prepared for the next venture to Myanmar.

Posted by advensha 05:03 Archived in Thailand Tagged thailand bangkok backpacking travelling exhausted gun_on_plane fit_on_plane lost_in_bangkok losing_the_will_to_live

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Keep it coming! X

by fizz

My favourite blog so far!!! Cos i'm in it...!!! Keep up the good work and enjoy enjoy... Xxx x x

by lil

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