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Published: February 10th 2009
All journeys have a start right? So, here's mine.
The greatest thing to the start of my journey was the rain; neither heavy nor light, just constant unsettling rain whilst walking to the Tube station. It gave me that giddy sense of escape, that I was escaping the worst of the British weather. Of course it meant I had to bring along my large waterproof jacket, which I'm sure it'll come in handy on the beaches (to hide my whiteness and prevent a break out of white blindness amongst the locals) and on the hill treks I aim to take on (acting as a towel to soak up all that sweat). Who cares about weight and bulk?
Everyone asks about the flight, and my reply is the following: The 12 hour flight was fine, I got a nice roomy seat, and despite being next to two children, I had my headphones stuck in and didn't get bothered by the occasional wailing. I watched pretty rubbish movies (you get to choose on a console these days) What Just Happened, (probably De Niro's most self-indulgent movie to date), the remake of Planet of the Apes (Mark Walberg really is a
funny actor in this pointless remake), Ghost Town (which I turned off after 20 minutes as the story was pretty much given to you on a plate) oh, and When harry met Sally, which was actually pretty funny and with surprisingly intelligent dialogue). Can someone lend me this movie when i get back please? I didn't get to see how it ended, ta.
So, I'm in the hotel foyer in Bangkok; I'm humid, sticky and simply exhilarated to be in Bangkok. If us Westerners didn't have English as the lingua franca
of the world, this place would be pretty scary. I can buy things, ask for directions, get taxis without any need for Thai. A sorry state of affairs it has to be said, but one which I don't take for granted. I'm picking up various words, but the tones are so different to any language I've encountered before. I feel like a racist trying to sound Asian if I try to pronounce words properly, little bit of nasal going on.
Next, the Thais are all workaholics. Seriously. It seems they don't stop but then they don't stop smiling either. Oh, bollocks, that sounds really dumb, of course
Hot n humid in hotel room
the bloody Thai immigration officer was a miserable looking twat but that's the same everywhere.
Next the Kao San Road, home of backpackers and foreign tourists. The hordes of tanned backpackers in their uniform of shorts, t-shirts & flip flops I 'll be honest made me feel totally alien. The whole of the street was just bars, stalls, parlours, travel shops, arcades and street hawkers battling for your western money. The westerners all living up to the clichés: one guy having his dreadlocks cleaned, others buying Red Bull and hackneyed slogan t-shirts, Pot bellied Brits buying food and being generally quite oblivious to their own behaviour. I wondered to myself if any of what I saw will become at all familiar and whether it is inevitable that I will fall into this world after months of travelling.
Thankfully I'm not staying for very long. It's an early start tomorrow morning for a flight to the mysterious Burma.
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