Published: July 18th 2006July 18th 2006
Well hey there kids!
Here we are.. Bangkok... crazy city in every type of way possible.
We arrived late and caught the airport bus downtown to our hostel - Big John's - which is run by a crazy ex-pat who is kind of nice, and kind of nuts at the same time. I've seen him fire 2 thai staff since our arrival just over 24 hours ago. And what a crazy 24 hours it has been!
We checked out downtown bangkok this morning after staying up till very late drinking local beer - not too bad I may add - then decided to take the infamous skytrain which is essentially a massive monorail/train.
The streets around here a weird, they're not openly dity but there is a definite tang in the air as Andrew would say, that in parts can be quite unbearable ad make you want to gag instantly. I guess the most noticeable thing is the lack of greenery. Very grey, but not New York kind of grey, the kind of grey taht you get where building were once white, but are now covered in so much dirt and grime and pollution that they've become grey. mmmmmmm.
After stumbling into a massive shopping centre at Siam Square, where everything was insanely expensive we were talking into taking a tuk tuk around town (via his sponsored silk shops that is) So what started as a mission for Andrew to find some light weight "Thai Fisherman Pants" then ended up in us experiecing the joys of ducking through the Bangkok traffic, visiting a couple of Silk shops, buying 2 suits and 6 shirts betwen us, ending up on a canal boat that toured us down the canals of Bangkok (which i can only describe as Venice on steroids... or maybe crack) then getting charged to enter a snake house that also contained these beautiful tigers and monkeys and amazing eagles in these ridiculous small cages. Very upsetting, very sad. But I did hold a python.
Everthing is up for bargaining, or at least, up for costing something. I can't believe the amount of money we spent today. Just call us suckers.
But wait.... it doesn't stop there! After arriveing back to the wharf where the ferry left, we found another tuk tuk driver that took us to a train station (via another silk shop where if you stay inside for 10 mins the driver gets a petrol voucher and therefor only charges you 10 b ) You should see Andrew work his magic. The guy thought he had a suit sold... but lets face it, we'd already bought 2 that morning.
Now this is where things get really interesting. We're about to head into this underground rail system that will then met up with the sky train, when a thai guy called Mr Nikom invited us to share a beer (at his friends cafe) and remenesce over his time spent in Australia. Loved the place naturally. We shared a few beers and he convinced us to visit his good friends at one of the only 'licenced' travel agents where they would give us a discount on any plans we make.
After getting shepheded into the nearest tuk tuk (friend of the cafe owner - I'm sure your getting the picture has to how things work around here) we arrive at the travel agent and actually end up making some good plans and locking a few things in.
All great, all good, lets head back to the traing station and drop by the hostel before hitting the Ping Pong Red Light District... and night markerts.
"Toot Toot", hot exhaust fumes everywhere, pollution seeping through your lungs and skin when "Yoink" there goes my bag off my lap courtesy of a thief on an motorbike.
Now admittedly this bag contains nearly everything - all cash, all my cards, digital camera - thankfully not our passports which we left with the Travel agent in order to have our Laos visas processed. But I was't truely prepared for the life threatening chase the tuk tuk driver embarked on.
Holy shit. Tuk Tuk driving is risky enough as it is, now try booting along at full speed, driving head long into lanes of oncoming traffic, and running red lights with no more protection than a tooting horn. He even managed to get other motorbike riders to join the cause and boot up ahead where we could not squeeze through fast enough. My god.
Thankfully he gave up after it was quite clear that we had lost them and took us to the Police station instead. After hearing about the amount of corruption within the force, I really wasn't too sure how usefull this visit would be. But if nothing else, we now have dpcumentation for the insurance company. I think the most ironic part of the interview was, after the Major Sergent wrote somthing in Thai on a piece of paper consisting of the items I had lost, he then turned to Andrew and got him to fill put a job application form on his behalf in english!! I guess the police force just doesn't pay like it used to.
Cutting what has now become a very long story short, we are back at Big Johns have cancelled what cards I can at this point until the Aust business hours start - damn Wizard Mastercard - and we have missed the night markets because we're getting drunk here instead. (Except for me, coz I've been trying to cancel cards and write this instead)
So there you go. Hello first 24 hours in Bangkok!
We had planned to go down to the East coast tomorrow, but its looking like we're gonna miss the bus and I don't mind chilling out a bit first.
Love youse all, make sure you post something up on the message board. If you know someone who hasn't received a direct link pass this link on and get them to sign up.
Till next time ....
Nunny and Ricko
PS. Obviously we had heaps of great pics.... but the bastards stole me camera and you won't be able to see them.