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Published: December 28th 2009
Oh my god, where do I start??! ... Maybe at the airport, I guess.
Got a lift with Mam & Liam & met Ellie at Manchester Airport. We were checking in when I noticed someone was stood behind us, it was Ant, he'd driven home from Plymouth a few days early to see me off at the airport. It had taken him 8 hours - Mam and Ellie had known all about it and had been keeping him posted on the traffick reports. Bless, it was the best surprise ever!
We all said our goodbyes and Ellie and I got chatting to some guy in the queue about the Full Moon party for new year. We were so engrossed we hadn't noticed them calling our flight and ended up speeding through security and running for our flight with minutes to go. We made it and were soon on the flight (with free red wine) to Heathrow. A little tipsy we navagated our way from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 to board the plane to Bangkok. Wandering down the corridor to our gate, Ellie noticed the board said Gate closing, so once again we legged it to join all the passengers: we
were the last ones to board and our throats stang from breathing so heavily. Nearly passed out from heat and embarisment when the couple I sat next to interigated me about why me & Ellie weren't sitting together (not our choice, the flight was simply too busy, but they made me feel like a drugs mule).
The journey was great, slept loads and watched 'Up'; '500 days of Summer' and something like 'It's all about Steve' but missed the end. Called by Ellie's seat to say hello but she was fast asleep with red wine stains on her bottom lip, evidently taking advantage of the free alcohol - good girl.
Soon we'd landed... but Ellie's luggage hadn't. No worries though - I have enough beach dresses in my Backpack to clothe an army of Thai brides. So we arranged for her luggage to be delivered to one of our hotels over the next few days & made our way to the taxi rank. We're staying at an amazing hotel, had cold drinks on arrival & they'd origamee'd a towel in to an Elephant and put it on Ellie's bed, what more can you want?
Quick change then walked in
to the centre. Managed to find the nearest Skytrain Station, calculate our route, get change for our notes and buy tickets (to Siam Square) from the machine. This sounds trivial but it's amazing how you take this kind of thing forgranted & being able to carry out a simple task like this gives you so much self-confidence. We were buzzing.
Siam Square was beautiful, all lit up in Xmas lights with loads of buskers playing Thai music with unusual instruments. Ellie & I wandered round for ages with massive grins on our faces, hardly saying a word, but taking it all in. Ended up in our first TukTuk - they fly along the manic streets, it's magical, they're probably really unsafe (and at home I scream when Ant drives like that) but you feel invincible - the wind is so strong and you whizz past bright lights & shiny taxis. Had a lovely meal at a Thai restaurant, the food was fab!
When we left we got blagged in to another TukTuk, but this time he made us agree to go to a Tailors (who pay him petrol money to get customers in) and to pretend to show an
interest in the clothes. Before we knew it we were speeding down some streets & my heart was in my throat as I'd convinced myself we were being kidnapped and sold to the sex trade.
Arrived at a Tailors (not a sex shop - big relief) and made it out again (even bigger relief) and were now en route to a PingPong show with the same dodgy TukTuk driver. Imagination started running wild again when we arrived in some back ally / residential area that looked like a deadend. Ellie whispered "when I say run, you run" but I could see motorbikes lining up along the streets so all I could think was no matter how fast we run, they'd get us!
Once again we were being paranoid (think I need medication) and we made it on to a main road with lots of lights and people around. He tried to drop us off at some sort of Warehouse surrounded by TukTuk drivers, but Ellie stuck to her guns refusing to go in and we managed to walk away calmly to the safety of a bar selling lovely Blue Hawaii cocktails.
After a long chat about the Underworld TukTuk
mafia we agreed not to get in that kind of situation again. Full of confidence we set off by foot to Patpong in search of a PingPong show. A guy on the street offered us a good deal so off we went through the markets & up some stairs to a room full of blaring music, fat naked Thai women and beautiful skinny Ladyboys. The women opened beer bottles, fired Pingpong balls, honked horns and pulled garlands of flowers from the strangest places, it really was an eye-opener! A very strange experience but we clapped along and laughed so much... until (yes you guessed it, we'd spoken too soon) a massive Thai woman walked over and slatted a receipt at us demanding 2,900THB (about 30quid each!). There was no messing about, we handed the money over and shot out of the door just as a few other groups of people were being hussled out dumbstruck and just as confused as us.
Ripped off again, but at the end of the day we made it out safely and it was a once in a lifetime experience, we've learned our lesson not to trust people, even if you agree a figure
beforehand. We settled in a lovely bar called the Mango Tree and sat by a Waterfall drinking Mai Thai cocktails to analyse the day we'd had. A lot of the scary things we've experienced is down to the poor Thai people carrying out these scams in order to survive. We've had an amazing day, and have learnt so much, but we're hoping when we meet the boys (Tom & Coatsy) tomorrow we won't be victimised so much.
And Ellie's comment of the day?? "They've even got a shanny fower"
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