We’re airborne on the short hop to BKK the central hub for most destinations in Asia. If you’ve never been you just have to give it a go, I won’t expand on that here as enough has been said in previous posts, if you’ve not them, they’re at the beginning, three months back. Heading back we are, this for the third time I think, please correct me if I’m wrong (I’ll correct myself it’s the fourth, with the KP having done one more than me). Like one of the bastard ants that were such a pain for much of the trip – I’m on a mission. Bernie my Filipino friend, the fellow pentaxian (yeah it’s silly, but i like it) I mentioned previously got back to me with the info I needed, the K3 is supposedly the best camera in it’s class, giving a big middle finger to the popular brands that parade the streets, you’ve all seen them, big camera’s usually the brand that begins with a C or S, function set to Auto. Hey but I’m not knocking the japanese here they were about 15 or 20 years ahead of the game, now they just have bigger lenses, respect. The not so big lens I’m after also gets the Filipino thumbs up. So in for a penny in for a pound, with the KP having bought it (she just don’t want me keeping on) I have the all clear to make a serious outlay on a new toy. Yippee, Xmas has come late but Santa’s deliveries have finished already this year, which means I need to get my ass into the middle of one of the maddest cities on earth and back to the airport in four hours. Prior to the sky train I would need wings, but now, it’s maybe possibly possible, like. Every minute is gonna count tho’ and to aid me in my task a supplier has been sought and confirmed my needs are in stock, so lets go!
We’re off the plane and I leave the KP at the sign which directs her towards transfers, it’s not her sexy legs that would hinder my path, but her need for a visa upon entry. Myself with the most versatile passport in the world (if you don’t believe me check here passports), but one that could easily result in you being taken hostage in many countries, so maybe it’s not such a good one to posses after all. Now the Kazakh passport is a bit of a problem for different reasons, it’s not so widely welcome and being a citizen restricts your movements severely. It’s a shame as it’s one of the coolest looking ones out there.
OK it’s 13:00 and even with my fancy UK document I still need to pass immigration and get my 30 day stamp. Bollocks it’s heaving, so I use my skills acquired in Russian airports and down the city (the football) on a busy day and get as far forward in the queue as possible. Fair play to the Thai’s tho’ they got it sorted at the airport, the queues are orderly and rapid moving due to the amount of desks open. No baggage to collect I’m quickly through customs, taking care not to be to quick with my movements which would make me a target for an internal cavity search.
13:26 making good time I’m at the airport link train and four minutes later we’re away on the half hour journey to the centre, perfect. Time to relax for a moment and let the train take the strain. I remind myself of the task in hand making a note of the minutes spent so I know when to bail if things go tits up. I can’t help thinking what I’d be doing with four hours in Bangkok before I’d met the KP. A soapy massage I should imagine, one of life’s joys. Following the first time on the maiden trip, me and my mate couldn’t talk for 45 mins, just smiling into the mirror behind the bar, a must try experience for any open minded adult, man or woman 100% guaranteed.
14:00 Ticket already purchased from the machine, I’m anxiously waiting on the platform of the skytrain, the BTS. By usual standards it’s quite a wait but by 14:08 the train is speeding towards it’s first stop.
14:27 We arrive at the stop Phra Kanong, it’s one before On nut where I stayed at the very start of the trip. The guy at the shop has informed me it’s almost a klick away from the station. I’m on the look out for a moto-taxi and it’s important to take the correct exit, which one out of the six? A wrong move could cost you thirty minutes, the map doesn’t help me so let’s head towards On Nut through exit 1. Not a moto to be seen but a short walk just up the road, a solitary driver is waiting, it’s 14:31 he knows the street address and away we go, speeding through the traffic on a mission.
14:35 At the shop and very nice it is to. Lots of quality kit on display. They confirm what I want and are away to get it all. The professional cameras on display look totally crazy, whilst the clock is ticking. A quick check everything is there, payment made and we’re away. That’s not before leaving them the K7 for repair as it’s a technical centre, twenty quid for them to check it out and give an estimate. It’s a cracking camera (it means better than good, not that the screen is cracked) and I’ll be able to sell it then to reduce the damage of the outlay.
14:58 Heading back to the station with goods in hand, I feel a bit like James Bond heading the wrong way up a very busy street, dashing through the traffic. Here’s a quick video, it seemed faster at the time I can tell you.
15:03 After a quick stroll I’m back the the BTS station the wait not long to be speeding towards the airport link. It’s a moment to relax I can’t believe how sweet it’s gone. It’s couldn’t have been planned better, even if I actually was James Bond.
15:27 Off the train and through the barrier as quickly as possible to power towards the train, the one that will be my last for the day. Delayed in purchasing a ticket by two individuals, who are obviously not on a mission! I climb the steps as fast as the ankle can go. Then it’s a delight to see the screen display 1 min, the duration until the train will arrive for boarding, 007 would be impressed for sure :-).
16:00 Arrive at the airport a clear one hour before boarding, what a result. We should even get some time in the lounge with their lush red wine and tasty nosh. Depends how I get thru security, but with boarding pass already in my possession it should be cool.
16:20 All continues to be cool and she’s there waiting at the gate, unfortunate not to gain entry to the lounge earlier, we quickly head there. I’m starving and thirsty.
16:30 Settled in the lounge relived to have executed the plan without any hiccups. The nibbles and wine are great, a suitable reward for the effort.
16:48 Camera is very smooth and takes a nice shot, the lens seems especially crisp, it’s gonna be interesting getting to grips with it.
17:10 We’re off to the gate only discovering the flight’s delayed once we arrive there. It ends up being more than an hour delay but then we’re in the air heading towards Cambodia’s most popular tourist destination.