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August 3rd 2005
Published: September 6th 2005
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This is the second in a line of transfer days as I am leaving Tashkent and flying back to Bangkok on my route to Dili. Mind you I have no knowledge if I will go there directly or spend some time in Indonesia along the way. First things first, I leave the hotel and successfully flag down my first Lada 1500 and at the obligatory question (Skolka? -How much?) arrange for transfer to the airport for 2000 CYM. I am dropped off in the main street just outside the airport parking space and a number of optimistic drivers try to get my attention, not really knowing where they are hoping to take me as I am entering the terminal building. Check in has just opened and as hand over my ticket to the clerk another staffer is looking over her shoulder.

-Bangkok? Economy? he asks. I nod. Business Class is very comfortable he explains. Great, but I am travelling in economy. It is a six hour flight you know he continues. Very perceptive, I think. Fifty dollars! he gestures to my closed lips. Apparently he thinks they are forming the word skolka. Thanks, but no thanks. I expect to be punished by getting a really lousy seat in the plane but to my big astonishment I have been given a seat in the front cabin anyway. At this point I am starting to get a bit worn down by the constant bargaining of slick hustlers everywhere you go. It feels like being under attack by those pestering desert mosquitoes again. By travelling with a local agent I have been spared much of this exercise myself, but it has always been there behind the curtains.

The flight to Bangkok is uneventful but comfortable and upon arrival I go to the Thai Airways ticketing office to see if they can somehow muster up an onward ticket to Denpasar. You might remember the blog entry where I unsuccessfully tried to hunt one of these elusive tickets down, so when I learn that there is indeed a seat available on tomorrow morning's flight I am extremely relieved and immediately purchase it. I then get a room back at the favourite Karnmanee Palace Hotel again and spend the rest of the evening travelling in time watching some old Schwarzenegger flicks on Star Movies. Oh dear...


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