Friday, 12 August 2005

Back to Bangkok

Well, I'm back on the train again. I was up at 8:20am this morning to pack my stuff and get a shower (which was nice for once -- today has been fairly cool (if you count 35C+ as cool) which meant that I didn't start to sweat the very second I switched the shower off). I had to collect my joint ticket (boat, bus and train) from a place right at the other end of the beach (a good three minute walk ;). There was some really great rain as I was walking along so I got totally drenched -- this was pretty much the first time I'd been anywhere without my camera... I could have really done with it as the sky was dark and the water a little choppy but what would have really made the photo was the palm trees. Come to think of it, I think they were the first palm trees I ever really saw... maybe one or two in Spain quite a few years ago.

The boat journey was horrible... the first 20 minutes were pretty rough and I was beginning to feel a little queasy (but only just -- 20 minutes longer and I think I would be running upstairs to find a railing to hang on to!) but we docked at Koh Samui to pick up more passengers and from there onwards the sea calmed down quite a bit. It still wasn't a great trip due to the over-abuse (if there is such a thing) of the air conditioning... I swear the place was about 15C and everybody is sat about in shorts and t-shirts. I got to watch After the Sunset again though as well as the first 30 minutes of National Treasure, which has left me wanting more.

The bus was pretty uneventful as is this train journey. There are a few foreigners a little further down (right at the end of the carriage by the toilet door -- poor guys) and across from me are at least three people sharing one bunk (okay, so it's a mother and two small children, but still!). I keep making faces with the younger of the two boys, who seems to enjoy it -- mostly a who-can-stick-their-tongue-out-for-longest competition... but then I went and introduced eye-crossing which totally confounded him!

I'm looking forward to arriving in Bangkok again. I didn't really enjoy it so much last time but I feel in a better state of mind now, however weird that sounds. I'm toying with the idea of heading to Koh San road (or whatever it's called), which is the main backpacker place in Bangkok... the rooms might work out a bit cheaper and there is definitely a lot to do, but it has no nearby Sky Train or Metro. Since I'm only in Bangkok for one night I'm tempted to head straight back to my last hotel, check in and send my laundry across the road straight away, before heading straight to Burger King (I've actually not really eaten anything all day... unless you count about four Pringles (crisps, not tubes of) and what the 7-11 girls called a "hot dog") followed by the Grand Palace and a few other things in that area. For the amount of time I spent in Bangkok last time (three days?) I only really managed two main attractions -- Wat Pho and the Golden Buddha. I should be able to bump that up by at least two more, three if I manage to catch the Muay Thai as I hope (which I really am looking forward too, even if it is an outrageous 1000 baht (about GBP14 ;).

I had about an hour to kill while waiting for the train so I had a quick look around the city and enjoyed myself. People here are *very* friendly... maybe more so than the Chinese. What's good for me is that seem to really like foreigners where maybe the Chinese are friendly towards foreigners but might be happier without them. I got one or two photos but nothing spectacular... I've missed seeing things on Koh Phanghan but I hope to sort that soon at Ayuthaya (or whatever the hell it is), as well as in Laos (or Lao, as it seems to be called here).

Well, it's getting on towards 10pm here and my train arrives around six. I didn't sleep too well last night (not sure, really... I had some weird feeling like I was still on the beach or still reading my book... it was a bit bizarre really -- I don't know how marajuana works but I didn't think you could get affected by being near people smoking it... maybe I was wrong and that was the cause? I really have no idea... more likely I just wasn't sleeping well because of the heat. Ah, yes, heat... I'm looking forward to a decent air conditioned room and a shower with cold AND hot water this/tomorrow evening. Not to mention that with air con you often have fewer mosquitos -- they turned out to be a problem the last two days with my hand quite literally balooning and my elbow is a good deal wider than normal.

But anyway. Now, I'm off to sleep... if I can manage it with the strip light riht above my bed.

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