Delayed my departure to the land of a thousand smiles to get in the two Welsh footie home games. A very creditable 4 points out of 6, and a show of spirit that’s been lacking in recent times. Onwards n Upwards, the Belgian away game in November will be one that I will miss. Need ensure we are somewhere with fast internet to catch it on the Box (the mac not the tele). Hopefully we can get a point, who knows, if Bale & Ramsey both play we could nick all three!!
Bangkok – I’m a little nervous if I’m honest. Not of the city, I’ve been travelling to Thailand since ’99. The reason of the nerves is that my very significant other, will not arrive until 6 days after me! Is it possible to keep the welsh sausage hidden away in this jungle of temptation?? I’m confident, but a little concerned to be honest – As the song goes “One night in Bangkok can make a hard man humble”. Yeah you not kidding Mikey T – It most certainly can – I need to survive 6 !!!
I got my pack a very nice 70 litre by Vango, bargain also at £75 from a reputable dealer. Was looking at the Osprey packs but they pushing 200 quid & I’m on a budget! I’m expecting that we’ll travel for 3 months but it could be 4 or 5. The budget is also the reason I’ve shunned the train, getting the National Express bus to Heathrow I am. Mighty fine it is too. Tho’ If I’m honest I do miss the obligatory can or two of Bow, that seems to have been compulsory whilst travelling to Paddington on the train for the past decade or so.
Whilst waiting for the Emirates flight to Dubai, (there’s the budget again! I’m stopping off people, not direct, sheer madness 🙂 !!) In the lounge, enjoying a few lovely complimentary Rioja’s. My mind drifts back to the very first time we landed in Bangkok. It was October ’99, a group of 6, a mixed bunch to be honest, some meeting for the first time, others friends from infants school onwards. We all had one thing in common tho’ – We all came from the same South Welsh Valley, what could go wrong – Fuck we were excited!!! We did all the usual, Golden Palace, River Kwai bridge, boat up the river, Rose blow job bar, amphetamine from the chemist, Pat pong ping pong show’s & blow jobs off lady boys. The usual run of the mill stuff first time visitors should do in this enthralling city of Angels. We had fun that’s for sure, some more then others 😉 Bangkok was followed by time at the local sea-side resort, Pattaya. Purpose built during the Vietnam war for the soldier’s R&R. They did a mighty fine job for the Yanks, they did. In my opinion it’s the biggest brothel in the world, destroyed now by the Russian family tourists with their 6 & 8 year old kids being exposed to visuals they shouldn’t be, & the groups of Ruskie boys on tour, drinking cans outside 7-11’s. Sharing drinks in the go-go’s, not to mention the hoards of Russian brass. Yes folks Pattaya is Dead! The memories tho’ will last forever, safely locked away in the memory bank where they shall safely stay, for now at least!
I arrive safe n sound, for maybe the 28th time during my colourful shot at life, I’ve landed in Bangkok. Heading for the first time ever, to the express train link. It’s meant to be convenient & fast. I’m liking the idea as it’s safer than the roads. Over 30,000 people get killed each year on Thai roads. Compared to less than 3,000 in the UK. It’s always best to give yourself the best chance of avoiding becoming a statistic, which also involves having eyes in the back of your head and ass when in Asia. Those of you who’ve been, I know you will understand! Whilst enjoying the 45baht (helping the budget just by being more safe look – this shit is easy) journey to the city centre. My ears are still ringing due to my location on the first flight being within a 3 metre radius of 6 screaming kids. I’m definitely becoming more tolerant with age! Only on one occasion did I tell the middle eastern mother behind me to ‘darling – please control your children’. What are these people thinking? Us Brits (Yes I am Welsh first, but patriotism seems to upset too many people nowadays) can get criticised of a lot & rightly so. One thing we don’t lack tho’ is the common sense that 3 children screaming, shouting, kicking, and punching for 7 hours non-stop, might not be appreciated by your fellow passengers. Other than that Emirates are top, and the lounge in Dubai made the 4 hour stop off, a most enjoyable experience, bloody Mary’s are always better when they are free.
I’ve gone budget with the hotel also! No, not a hostel – are u kidding me? – I’m close to 40. A 3 star on sukhumvit, soi 85, that means it’s away from the action, so not familiar to me. The backpack and the sky train tho’ make it a doddle. If you are not able to navigate Bangkok these days, you need to be a ‘bit tup’. Tho’ I understand highly possible, as smart phones are making people stupid. The BTS is a God send to the city, building it they were, when we first came. At the time I was thinking it would be great to be involved in the design, the weekends would be have immense. Thankfully I wasn’t, I’m sure I would have ended up in a box by now. It’s a stark reminder tho’!
I have a quiet word with me – Eyes wide open kid, need to be back at the airport in one piece in 6 days time, disease free. The Kazak princess will soon be on her way.