Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 43 - Bye bye Indonesia, Hello Thailand

Today I'm flying back to Bangkok.  Not the best destination Thailand has to offer, but I'm definitely glad to be going back. To going back to street stall food, street side cocktails, and spending less than AU$5 a night on accomodation!

So again, I've packed my ever expanding backpack, and I'm embarking on another transit journey. After being away from home for 43 days, somethings do start to get to you. Like packing. Packing everything I own back into my backpack is sometimes the reason I end up staying in places a little too long! There are other things as well though, like, not being able to brush your teeth using the tap water. Or not knowing where you will be sleeping that night. Or there never being hot water available. But then, it will hit me, that actually, I don't have to clean a bathroom, or mop my floorboards, or cook my own dinner, and repacking my backpack for the hundredth time doesn't seem quite so bad.

Arriving on Khao San Road it was my mission to find a guesthouse. Something nice and cheap, I needed to make up for all the extravagance of Indonesia! Finally, I stumbled upon Mom's Guesthouse, where I found a room, with two beds, and within my price range! YAY! Unfortunately, it did not have any of the comforts I'd come to love, like; soft beds, private bathrooms, swimming pools and free wifi. But boy, I was still glad to be back in Thailand. Tom had spent the last 3 weeks in Pai whilst I've been away, and I couldn't wait to catch up with him! I wasn't sure what time he was getting in, but he'd planned to come down to Bangkok to meet up with me. 

Bangkok, being the backpackers gateway to almost everywhere else in Southeast Asia, is always a place to reunite with previous travel buddies. And this time didn't disappoint; I was to be reunited with the crazy pirates of the Perhentians (minus Tori unfortunately!).  Just as I was having a Chang (oh, how had missed them!), and catching up with Gwen, I got a call from Tom, he is in Bangkok already - where am I? I give Tom rough, but hopefully sufficient directions to my whereabouts, and return to my girlie chat.

After meeting up with Tom, it was time to hunt down the Manchester boys, Zach, Danny and James, to reminsce about pirates, ladyboys, and spiked buckets.  Now, Bangkok being Bangkok, we felt it necessary to go and see the horrible but curiously intriguing tourist attraction; the Ping Pong Shows.  Tom, having 'been there, done that', was not up for another round and retired to the guesthouse, quite understandable given the 10 hour bus ride he endured to arrive in Bangkok! So the rest of us, 9 at this point, piled into 3 tuk-tuks, and we were off! If you've never been in a tuk-tuk, they are generally designed for two. That is, two people that know each other quite well.  Cramming in three westerners is quite the challenge, and three competing tuk-tuks makes it feel like you are an involuntary passenger in some twisted version of 2 Fast 2 Furious: Tokyo Drift. Perhaps, 3 Too Many: Bangkok Nightmares? But once we arrived, down a dark alley, we had apparently arrived.  After a dispute over the entry price (welcome back to Thailand Alicia!), we were in. Into the dark, dingy, little bar with mirrors all around, a blacklight and a disco ball that had seen better days. The show began. I won't go into all the sordid details, but let me say this; it's not as fun as you expect it to be.  The girls have a sad emptiness in their eyes, and their movements lack any hint of sexuality. Ping Pong Show: Check. It's a one time only kind of thing.

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