3D experience cut short

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February 7th 2019
Published: February 8th 2019
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Ubon Ratchathani to Bangkok

We are taking the night train back to Bangkok this evening so we have a lazy morning planned and then we will visit an art gallery after check out. It’s typical that a free late checkout has been offered today but we want to allow enough time for our gallery visit so we will leave at noon as planned.

We meander down for breakfast at 8am. It’s a Spartan affair but they are very obliging and cook us fresh eggs when they see us turning our nose up at the cold ones on offer. We take a rain check on the sausages - who knows how long they have been there...it does appear that we are the only occupants of this hotel!

Now we return to pack up and have a morning of lounging whilst we can still enjoy the comfort of our room. It’s predicted to be 37 degrees again today.

We check out and choose a couple of bikes from the hotel’s free bike loan offering. They are ancient looking things with leather saddles but the brakes work and the tyres appear good.

First we visit the post office to buy some stamps. It’s just on the corner but not immediately obvious that we need to climb some stairs on the outside of the building. Once upstairs we find the counter - it’s really just an office desk at the side of a huge room. After some discussion it is decided that we need 3 stamps for each postcard. These are produced from the desk drawer. I just don’t think they deal with many postcard sending customers here.

Now we need to post the cards. There is a big red letter box outside on the balcony of the building. But I cannot seem to get my cards inside. It would appear the hole is sealed up. We decide that this box must just be for ornament! There is another box in the street. It’s a fiddle to fit the cards in this box as well but eventually we suss out the technique. It has a hidden flap that needs to be lifted!

Now we cycle up to the 3D art gallery and park our bikes. I have been really looking forward to seeing this place. All the artwork is in 3D so that you can take photographs of yourself within the artwork.

We have just finished locking the bikes when a lady appears - she is telling us that the gallery is closed. What time will it open, I ask? Come back Saturday, she replies! Disaster, that will be impossible as we will be on a flight to New Zealand. What a disappointment.

The lady indicates that we should at least take photos with a couple of pieces outside. In fact she insists, showing us exactly where we should stand and taking the photos for us.

Well, it’s too late to get our room back now but we can go for a bit of a cycle around town. It’s very flat here and the roads are flat and cyclist friendly - just a shame it’s so very hot.

I decide that I will take my chances with a haircut. We find a salon and I try to indicate that I would like a cut - I have no Thai SIM card so google translate is not working. I have to rely on sign language. The lady waves me inside the shop and out come the scissors - no turning back now! Ian is spectating from the back. For some reason the hairdresser is taking photos of the cut as she proceeds. I am a little nervous to say the least.

My haircut takes at least an hour. I cannot see without my glasses so I am just praying it will be OK. Ian is spectating from behind...he states it looks fine.

Just when I think the cut is finished, the lady indicates that I should wait. She returns with a scalpel and blade and says something which I take to mean: sit very, very still! I do so regardless. Now with, the back of my neck finished, she wants more photos - full on with Ian this time. I just don’t think they ever see any foreigners here!

I pay for my hair cut. It’s 150 Baht (under £4) - I give her 200 and she is delighted. They obviously don’t tip here either.

Now we cycle on and find a local market. It’s full of hustle and bustle - one side selling goods and the other food. We are getting plenty of stares from the locals. I buy a cloth bag. The food looks good but it’s seriously too hot to consider eating.

We cycle back to the hotel. It’s a long wait till our train but they do have a very efficient air con unit in the lounge area.

Time passes reasonably quickly as I have a few films to watch on my iPad and Ian is happy playing iPad games.

It’s 5pm and we go out in search of food. Unfortunately all of the lunchtime places have closed and the evening ones are yet to open. We decide just to buy some junk food from the 7-11 shop and make do. We manage to find a small loaf of sliced white bread and a pack of some kind of luncheon meat - we can’t be any more specific than that. We also stock up on yoghurts and Swiss roll.

It’s a little early for the train but we decide to go to the station anyway. The hotel calls us a taxi and we are on our way to the railway station. I check in with Tourist Information - platform 1 I am told and please can the young lady take a selfie with me to show her friends! Errr, OK.

The platform is neatly labelled with carriage numbers so we know exactly where to sit - right at the front of the train. They only have one first class carriage and I managed to secure the penultimate compartment. To be honest, the second class berths we had coming we’re fine but they did leave the lights on all night and the curtains did not block the light. Now at least we have our own compartment so can switch the light off and close the door.

We sit on the platform and munch our huge sandwiches - the bread has been cut so thickly that they are like doorstops. Whilst we are munching a street person comes raiding through the bins on the platform. We give him the remainder of our meat and sliced loaf which he accepts gratefully.

Now our train has rolled in. We climb aboard and settle ourselves in. The guy comes to make up our beds - the same crisp white sheets and warm blankets that we were given last time. He leaves, reminding us that the train will arrive at 5am tomorrow. I guess we had better set an alarm.

I must say it’s all pretty comfy - though I have nabbed the bottom (slightly wider) bunk again whilst Ian has been despatched up top.

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