Day 96: This Doesn’t Look Like Any Table Tennis I’ve Ever Watched

Nothing seemed to work this morning. Everything that was supposed to be sorted and straight forward ended up being a total nightmare. Seeing as a good 10 hours of the day was spent travelling, to save both mine and your time, I will abbreviate the majority of the days happenings via bullet points…

• Got up around 6am.

• Showered, packed bags, went to roof of hotel for breakfast.

• Minibus picked us up at 7am, took us to coach (on roadside again).

• Rode the coach for an hour and a half, before being dropped off and having to wait a further half an hour to change buses.

• Had the misfortune of sitting in front of the toilets, leaving us with little legroom and very upright seats. The journey lasted three quarters of an hour before we arrived at the border.

• The border was no walk in the park, we had to queue at the departure sections for 20 – 30 minutes. Next, we queued in the blistering heat for over 2 hours before getting through immigration and receiving a 15 day visa to Thailand.

• After getting through the whole border patrol ordeal, the next horror came in the form of a sniffer dog. Because I was carrying both mine and Sarah’s big bags the soldiers asked me to put them on the floor, while they let the black Labrador sniff around them. Sarah looked petrified, while I just stood there laughing at this dog that wasn’t interested. However, the soldiers were determined to find something (at least that’s how it seemed) as whenever the dog moved away they’d rile him up and point excitedly at the bags. I was allowed to go through when they undoubtably didn’t find anything.

• We then had to wait for a few more passengers from the bus to get through, before we could get on another minibus, which would take us the rest of the way to Bangkok.

• One hour into the journey, we made it to a service station. We were told it would only be a 10 minute stop. It ended up being closer to an hour. As for some reason there was a fault with the bus and we had to wait for another one to arrive. I ended up sitting in the shade to avoid the heat, by doing so I ended up nodding off whenever the warm breeze blew in my direction. Eventually the other bus showed up, ironically it had the bat symbol on the side, almost as if Batman had come to save the day.

• The driver certainly made up for lost time, flooring it as we went. He tore up the roads, and we flew into the air with every bump and dip we hit. The driver somehow managed to make a 3 hour journey in only 2.

• When we arrived in Bangkok, instead of taking us to the bus station our driver dropped us outside Khoa San road. It was around 6:30pm by that point and we were willing to stay anywhere after a long day travelling. We decided to stay in the first place we found. We got a double and a single room. It was then time to shower and get changed.

• We spent an hour or so in the rooms before going out to find some food. We ordered some pad thai, then hit up some bars. As we felt as though we had earned a night out after all the cultural activities we had done.

• We visited two bars, the first was very busy with moronic people dancing to the worst music (e.g Agado & Mambo number 5). We ordered a 2.5L beer tower before moving onto the next bar, where we had cocktails (which went by rude names) and Sarah made us some new friends. She did this by walking over to a group of girls and saying “Do any of you speak English?” (The reply, yes) “Oh really? You’re the first English people we’ve met tonight, may we join you?” (Again, the reply was yes!). What a wingman she is!

• Due to Sarah’s lightweight-ness she had no trouble when it came to maintaining conversation with the group of girls. They were from England, Ireland and Canada. We remained with them for the rest of the night.

• After a couple more drinks, and another bar (with me disappearing every 10 minutes only to return with food) we drunkenly decided to visit a Ping Pong show.

• In this life there are many things you will see that are impossible to unsee, one of which is a ping pong show! We initially thought, “ah, it comes with the territory and it will be lighthearted entertainment”. Wrong. It started out funny, don’t get me wrong, with ping pong balls flying around the room left right and centre. At that point I was in tears of laughter. Then, it became all too dark when the woman began to remove strings of razor blades and sewing needles. We then realised that these poor women were probably forced to be there through intimidation, and the whole thing was probably one rung up the ladder from prostitution. It made us feel bad for paying the 300 baht (£6) each to get in. The three Australian guys in front of us got up and left halfway through, we sadly all stayed until the end. As it was a bit like watching a car crash, we couldn’t believe what our eyes were seeing, and because of that, curiosity made us want to see what would happen next.

• I was really tired on the way there, to the point I even fell asleep (briefly) in the tuktuk, after the red bull had kicked in and the show was over I somehow got a second wind. It was then that the tuktuk drivers tried to do us over. Before we left they said it would cost 20 baht there and back, but to return after the show they tried it on and said 200 baht. The joke was on them as we ended up hopping in a taxi. Meaning the drivers had taken us to the show free of charge!

• Sarah and I then stopped in a 7 Eleven in order to grab some pre bed snacks and some water, before returning to our beds to sleep off the booze.

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