Leaving the Kok

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
1
283
583
Trip End Ongoing


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Friday, June 9, 2006

Having survived the last bit of fun in Laos, and having made it safely to Bangkok, we grabbed a cab and went straight to Khaosan Road. First stop was the travel agent. Our mate Dave, had pointed this really cheap one out to us, so we went in. For 150 pounds, you can get a one way flight back to London, but these were all full. Our next choice were the ones for 214 pounds, and as there were seats available, we booked it for Monday. A very sad day for us both. We moved on up to Dave's dive shop, Buddha View, and melted into our usual seats. To commiserate our leaving, Dave told us he was going to an English fish and chips restaurant called Oh My Cod !!! With a Geordie couple, Anton and Michelle, and a guy from Sweden, Fred, as we were heading back, we should come along and get into the English food. We accepted, and once closed, off we went. The beers started flowing way before the food came out. I think I was half cut by the time the came. After to many beers and much food, we made our way to the Boom Boom Room, as Dave said they had good cocktails. We hit the Long Island Ice Teas, and after a couple, Dave's wife took him home. Anton, Fred and myself, kept the Teas going, whilst the girls were drinking One Night In Bangkok. After way to many, we were kicked out, and we moved onto another bar, where we had a few more before we called it time for the night.

It was hard to get up in the morning, but I had a date with the Australian Consulate. I was worried that the consulate would be closed as the Thais were now celebrating the King's 60th year in office, so when I rang, and they answered, I immediately went straight there. I picked up my new passport, which now made it 100% sure that I was on my way back to London. By the time I made it back, Lucy was planted on Dave's couch. Hungover of course !!! It kind of killed the day !!! As the night rolled on, and dinner came upon us, we went to a little restaurant that we had been to once before. The food was good and the portions were huge. Well, that was previously. So we ordered similar dishes to last time. The dishes came out, and they were half full. This had happened once to us in India, so we thought we would do the same and ask for more food. We asked three different people, before we stood up and started to walk out. Another man came up and asked us the problem, we told him, and he asked if we wanted to pay for the food. We laughed at him and walked out !!! As we sat having dinner at another restaurant, a huge fireworks display took place. There had been a mass meeting of Thais in the local park, once again for the celebrations, hence the fireworks. Once they were finished, all these people hit the streets, and they were all wearing yellow shirts, as this is the King's colour. We have never seen Khaosan Road so packed with people.

Lucy wanted to go to Chatachac markets as she still had shopping to do, and as this is the largest markets in Bangkok, we made our way out there. And this place has everything. In we went and immediately got lost. Somehow, we managed to find pet alley. There are cats, dogs, snakes, squirrels, scorpions and spiders. It was fun to walk around there for a while but we were here to buy other things. Once we had seen all and made our purchases, we made our way back to the Skytrain station. Now, on every station, just like in most Western countries, there is a yellow line, that you are meant to stand behind. If this was Australia or the UK, you would think fuck that, I will stand where ever I want, but this is Thailand, so I was standing there, minding my own business, when these whistles start blowing. Then another Westerner starts flapping his arms around like a headless chook, and is getting quite angry because I am standing over the yellow line !!! So I get behind the line, then Lucy decided to push her luck, and puts her toes over the line. The whistles start again, the headless flapping chook man starts gesticulating to get behind the line. So I start waving back, and showing that I am behind the line, and he is getting angry, and I am laughing at him and whistles are blowing, and this is going on for over two minutes, and then Lucy gets a tap on her shoulder and is asked to place her toes back behind the line just as the train arrives !!! And then we moved on over to the Victory Monument. It's a huge phallic symbol in the middle of a round-a-bout with the sky train running beside it. Don't know what it is meant to represent, but I suppose with the name being Victory, and it being a monument, it most probably has something to do with winning something or other.

The last day in Bangkok and basically the last day of this little trip, Lucy wanted to go back to the markets. I had no motivation what so ever. In fact, in all the times that we have been to the Kok, we had never been to see Wat Arun, and as I don't know when we will be back, it was decided, that we would both see this before Lucy would go to the markets. To get there, we caught a couple of ferries, and in no time we were there. We have actually been on the river before, and seen it from afar. It looks like it is built in the style of Angkor, but once up close, it is built more in the style of Gaudi, with broken Chinese porcelain being used as temple ornamentation. It's pretty good to walk around, so we took the touristy type of photos that we are known for, before we moved onto the Ordination Hall. It's a nice building with a Niramitr Buddha image built in to it. The paintings on the ceiling were pretty good as well. Next door is a huge veranda containing loads of seated Buddhas, and in the centre is the Chapel. There is meant to be a nice gold Buddha image in there, but as the doors were shut, we couldn't see this. As we had now finished the tour, and as it was getting hotter Lucy decided that she didn't want to go to the markets. She went back to the guesthouse as she needed something, and I went to Dave's shop. As I arrived at the door, a voice bellowed out, "would you fucking stop following me". I looked up, and couldn't believe my eyes. There was Colin, standing in front of me !!! He came in and met Dave, as he had been reading the stories and felt like he knew some of the people. I think he had a secret hankering to meet Welf, but as he was now back in Aus, he had to make do with Colin. We asked him where George was, but she was in her room as she was feeling pretty sick. Lucy arrived, and we decided that if George was up to it, we would meet up later. A couple of hours later, they both showed up. We said our goodbyes to Dave, and I must really thank him for all the advice he gave us and I think he needs to thank Lucy and myself as well, as it is low season at present and without us sitting in his shop, I think he would have slit his wrists as he was pretty bored most of the days !!!

The four of us went out for the last supper. Me, doing my best Jesus impersonation, and Lucy doing a Mary M !!!!! It was really good to spend the last evening with people we had met on our trip. We spoke about the past and the future, and the beers were flowing for the three of us. As it was now pretty late, we took George back and said our goodbyes, and then took Colin out for more beers. We were going to have an early night, but we now had the taste. They were flowing nicely, but realising the error of our ways, we walked Colin back, because we were worried that he might get attacked by the ladyboys !!! And then we said our last goodbye.

It was hard getting up early, but we managed it. And then we were at the airport. And then it happened, the end of this little journey was upon us.

It had been a great time in the last year travelling around. We had not achieved everything that we wanted to do, but sometimes getting sick can change things. If I had not caught Hepatitis E in India, we would still be in India now. We had so many plans, but these will be saved until the next trip, which, by chance, we have now started planning for. But there is no need to worry, as we are now going back to the UK, there is the Oktoberfest coming up, and also Australia will be coming over for rugby trips, so some more drunken abusive stories will be coming your way !!!
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