Day 2: Sleeping Beauties

Waiting for bags at the airport, can feel a lot like watching the generation game, a big bag, a small bag, a cuddly toy. However, this was a first, as our bags arrived promptly, and we were out of there, before the maddening crowds had time to gather. Next stop, transport. So as we roamed the airport of Bangkok, looking like starving zombies, if a zombie’s sustenance were sleep, we were beckoned over by a kind elderly gentleman (or so he appeared) to a taxi office. In Sarah’s best attempt to bridge the language barrier, she was able to explain where we wanted to go, and, in return was given a price, now, not knowing the customs of the country yet, and being massively jet lagged, we naively paid the steep price of 1000 baht (£21, roughly) and headed on our way. We later discovered that no other traveller paid this much for their fare from the airport. This was our first experience of being conned.
As we stepped out of the airport, from the confines of the caressing air conditioning units, used in every store, building and car, the first thing to hit us was the dense humidity, and, seeing as I was wearing an ensemble worthy of a British climate, it sucked. Luckily we didn’t have to walk far before, our rather expensive, taxi driver took our bags, and, allowed us to enter his vessel. The journey to the hostel seemed like a long voyage, a lot longer than it probably was, along the way, Sarah and I made little conversation with each other, short of a few grunts here and there. It was hard to take in the surrounding sights through our blood shot eyes, all the while doing a thousand yard stare, trying to focus on where we were being taken.
After what seemed like an eternity (probably forty minutes at most), the nice views of distant temples disappeared, only to be replaced by smashed cars and people sleeping rough. It was around a couple more corners, that the taxi driver, drove us up a dead end alley, or so it appeared, and said in his best broken English, “you get out and walk now, five minutes, down there”, both Sarah and I looked at each other as if to say, “what the hell have we gotten ourselves into?”.
Hesitantly, we did as instructed, and before we could even get to the corner, the locals were friendly and smiling, and…. taking all of our possessions, just kidding, they guided us to where we were staying, which just goes to show, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.
Upon entering the beautiful establishment known as chilli hotel, I first noticed, that on the wall, behind the recptionist desk, they had printed famous quotes by well known philosophers, one of which read “the world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page”, which I found quite inspiring and encouraging, given what we had left behind. We were shortly greeted by the receptionist, who told us the worst news, that we weren’t allowed to check in until two p.m., that was eight hours later!!!!!! After some persuasion, we were allowed to go up to our room then and there, and, pass out, BAD MOVE, as we had now set ourselves up for a fail.
When we rose from our eternal slumber, it was around six in the evening, and we decided to get up and explore the local area, as we entered the lobby of the hotel, we met our first friend, a lady in her mid forties, named Mandy, who took it upon herself to be our guide, and show us where to get some food. After she left, Sarah and I ate our first of many rice based dishes, and, headed back to the hotel, each with an ice cream in tow. When we got in, Mandy was still sat downstairs, so we began conversing with her for a couple of hours, learning of things to do in Bangkok, and exchanging stories of how we came to be in Thailand. Sarah and I then said our goodnights, and, proceeded up the stairs to our room around ten or eleven p.m., to make an attempt at adjusting our body clocks to our new time zone. This would turn out to be trickier than we first thought, “why didn’t we force ourselves to stay up?”, would be the regretful cry that we’d bellow repeatedly for the proceeding nights to come.

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