April 6th 1984

posted in: The way back | 0

Arrived back in Bangkok feeling very weary indeed, + I was none too pleased when our Thai neighbour woke me 15 mins before we pulled into the station.  I’ve no idea why, but I imagine he thought he was doing me a favour – he had a big pleasant smile.  We stumbled out of the station, + after a few minutes, necessary to re-orient ourselves, we found a 35 bus stop, + from there were soon back in Kaosarn Rd.  We woke Mr Pao Boon to let us in – he didn’t, of course, have a word of complaint.  Our previous penthouse apartment was unavailable, unfortunately, but there was a room, + that’s the important thing.  We were both feeling pretty bushed, but held off from going to bed until we had finished our business – most notably getting our air tickets.  Killed some time until the travel agents’ office opened with some breakfast – not very special.  Were hoping there would be no problems regarding our tickets, but, of course, there was.  We had expected to be able to pay for them with US dollars, but it turned out it was necessary to pay in baht.  Which would normally have caused no problem, but today was a bank holiday.  One of us would have to go down to Siam Sq, where the Bangkok Bank was operating an exchange service.  I wasn’t happy, but offered to go down to change the money, while Val tackled the washing.  I knew which bus to catch, so it didn’t really take long, but it was still a pain.  Returned + handed over the danegeldt – did I mention it before?  US$95 each – + we were booked + conformed to Hong Kong, flying out Wednesday am.  Not that I yet had the tickets, but they were promised for Monday, + I couldn’t really believe that the travel agents would take the money + run, not for a measly 200 bucks anyway.

I was finally able to take a nap, + most welcome it was too.  Val woke me during the afternoon, + we went down to the Tourist Information office to find out about the various trips we’ve got planned for our last few days in Bangkok.  And then sought out, + found, a used bookshop.  Unfortunately, they didn’t exchange books at all, but I was able to get a copy of the latest edition of Time for just B3, as opposed to the normal 40.  We ate our dinner, as usual, at one of the Kaosan eating-houses.  Their menus are pretty unexciting, but it’s just too much of a pain to get to anywhere else.  Finished off with a cup of coffee at a small restaurant that we had considered for breakfast.  I had felt really bad, actually, because the man running the place had tried so hard to please, + we had, semi-unintentionally, cut him off.  I feel very bad when I feel that someone is trying yet I’m not doing my share.  The old feller was pitifully grateful when we went in in the evening to have one cup of coffee.  It was, admittedly, an expensive cup of coffee, but it was also bloody good, the best on the street.  And they had today’s paper.

Returned to our room, where we busied ourselves with sorting out some of our paperwork + writing a few postcards.  After quite a bit of that, I suddenly became very hungry again, so went out to grab a sandwich + an ice-cream.  Overheard one pom talking to a couple of others about China + about the Hong Kong smuggling trips.  Don’t know whether I’m more, or less, relieved to hear conformation of what Klaus told us.  Good to hear of another person who’s managed it quite successfully, but trust it isn’t such common knowledge that the competition is too great.  I was eating in just about the only café still open (which is, admittedly, one of the filthiest as well) when I happened to look round + see the most enormous rat I have ever seen, up on the sink scavenging some food.  That place was instantly christened Ronny the Rat’s.

And back to Bangkok, back to the home from home that is Mr Pao Boon’s. And then business; I had assumed that we already had our tickets, but clearly not, and though it did cause something of a chore, it’s not as though I had anything better to do with my time… except sleep, of course.

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