Sawasdee ka!

Well, I’m here, and I’m eating Meiji panda biscuits, so it can’t be all bad.

I am so tired though that I have an expression of permanent cheesed-off-ness etched onto my features. And actually, if truth be told, it’s not so far off the mark.

My flight from Glasgow to Dubai was ok, not too busy, so I got to spread out, watch some movies, eat some lovely curry thing and scowl at the man across the aisle who was reading out loud to himself, alternately from the bible and a medical text book. Then he started playing a DS and so I didn’t feel I could get mine out as it were, in case he tried to strike up a conversation. Bah.

Dubai airport was not as scary this time either, I got to the gate with no hassle and when the time came, hopped on the plane – with 95% of eastern Asia. The plane was dropping us off (not literally) at Bangkok and then going on to Hong Kong, so it was packed to the gunnels. The woman sat next to me had the same idea as me – to sleep for most of the journey, however, she also was in possession of the pointiest elbows this side of Shanghai and therefore I did not sleep much.

Which led me to wandering around, dazed and confused, in the new enormo-airport at Bangkok, waiting for an entire ice age for my bag and then missing the person who was supposed to be picking me up. I followed their instructions to the letter, however, they probably got fed up waiting and thus I had to negotiate with many scary people to get a ride into town.

After beating them down from some astronomical prices, I was safely ensconsed in a hideously over-priced taxi and heading to Oakwood, which is as lovely as ever (after I had shown the driver where to go on my map). I unpacked a bit, had a shower and ate some Arabic crisps and then tried to snooze for a bit before my date with Ammie, however, I was somehow TOO tired to sleep.

At Oakwood they have an ingenious system of taxi procuring – you tell the nice man at the hotel where you want to go, he whistles and shouts at taxis until one stops and then he tells the driver where you want to go. They also seem to write down the taxi number you get into, I’d like to think, in case you get ripped off.

Well, my friends, I have been ripped off (or almost ripped off) no less than 3 times today. I told myself I would be tough and not let it happen, but frankly I was too tired to argue over what is essentially about 45p at the end of the day. My top taxi tip is always make them use the meter – and if they refuse, just get out. I didn’t have the energy to get out and ended up paying 50% more than I should have to get home this evening (but it was still less than £1.50 to go the distance of say Glasgow City Centre to Milngavie or so and it was CHUCKING it down).

So, anyway, I met up with Ammie after some false starts over which set of fountains and which picture of the king we were supposed to meet by. We had a wander around the shopping centre Paragon which was being built the last time I was here and then had some food. The Thai way of food courts really floats my boat, I must say. Here’s how tonight’s dinner worked:

  • Approach nice smiling lady, who gives you a credit swipey card thing and takes you to a table
  • Puts reserved sign on your numbered table (your card and table have same numbers on)
  • You wander round and pick what you want from a choice of about a dozen different cuisines – Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Thai, etc
  • Once you’ve ordered your dish, your card is swiped and you toddle off and get a drink and then go back and sit down
  • The waiter brings your dish once it’s ready to you
  • And then when you’ve finished, you take your card to the cashier, who tells you how much you owe and you settle up

What a bonzer idea! It means you can go and have a look and a smell and that you’re not having to stick to one type of food, or if you’re a trougher (I did not trough this time!), you can try a few different things. I am most enamoured. I know you’re wondering – I had fried duck and rice, it was lovely.

I am bleedin knackered and looking forwards to bed. I have to be up at 5.30am tomorrow morning (BKK time) as Ammie is taking Jamie and I to the floating market. Our trip starts at 6.45am and I have to make my way across town (hopefully in a metered taxi!) to meet them beforehand.
So now, I am off to bed under a big duvet – the air conditioning is up full. It’s raining! Thunder and lightning and the hotel staff have towels out the front so we don’t fall over – bless em.

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