Day 98: Three Is Not The Magic Number

No alarm clocks, no noise to disturb my slumber, only Sarah Duxbury. That beautiful, annoying combination. Prod, shove, tickle… I’M AWAKE!!!!! The day began around 9am, we watched some tv, did some social networking, showered, packed bags, before going to the lobby to put the bags in storage for the day. Next stop breakfast. We left Jamie to get ready and decided to meet him around 1:30pm, after Sarah’s follow up appointment with a specialist at the hospital. It was 11am by the time we finished eating, we then caught a taxi to the hospital for 12pm.

When we arrived we had to go to the other high rise tower. It was equally as impressive. There must have been a lot of money pumped into creating these medical marvels. There were six elevators inside, each floor was extremely spacious, and because of having to pay for healthcare, the hospital was quite empty. We located the room Sarah needed and were only kept waiting for 8 minutes before the specialist was able to see us. Like the day before, the doctor spoke really good English and after only 15-20 minutes he found what was causing Sarah’s gradual hair loss. It transpired that hair loss is a post effect of surgery. It is caused by physical stress on the body and can happen to many people after having an operation, child birth, or any other big event the body has to go through. It’s not necessarily physical stress, psychological stress can also be a trigger. The specialist then issued Sarah with a couple bottles of hair serum, which would help with the regrowth. After paying an additional £45 we left and returned to Jamie at the hotel.

Seeing as we still had time to burn before meeting the Blissmeister, we looked in the opticians to see if I could find another pair of prescription sunglasses, to replace the ones I lost all that time ago in Laos. I couldn’t find anything so we left and went back to the hotel. We found Jamie on the computer in the lobby, when he was finished the 3 of us went out for a walk. The first thing we did was book up a bus to Kanchanaburi for 5pm that afternoon. We walked the markets to see if we could find the nice vest we saw the night before. On the way we bought another serving of pad thai from a woman who was raking it in, in terms of customers. We walked right to the bottom of the road but to no avail, the vest had alluded us. Not wanting to go back empty handed I decided to try on some nice looking shorts in a nearby shop. Their changing rooms left something to be admired, seeing as all it was was a curtain attached to some string at the back of the store. I put my bag down on the side and was just about to drop trow, before a guy attempted to open the curtain and reveal me to the rest of the room, like some terrible looking art piece. He quickly (and embarrassingly) apologised and shut the curtain back up. The shorts were no good, which made the whole haggling process before hand pointless, I then handed the shorts back and the 3 of us left.

Slowly, we made our way back towards the hotel, stopping in every shop/stall which sold vests along the way. 15 minutes later we gave up the search for the vivacious vest. We didn’t have long before we were to catch our bus, so decided the best thing to do would be a visit to Starbucks. Just as we were about to do so, Sarah shouts at me, asking the question “BEN, WHERE IS YOUR BAG?” My heart stopped, my stomach twisted, my brow dripped with sweat. “OH £&@&”, I thought. Quickly we gathered our thoughts as to where the bag could be, it was then that Sarah mentioned the changing room. With the quickness of lightning I took off like superman! Sprinting down Khoa San as fast as I could, weaving between people, dodging traffic, jumping, skipping, anything I could to get back to the shop as fast as humanly possible. I’d probably have given Usain Bolt a run for his money (no pun intended).

The reason it was so fundamentally important that I get my bag, it contained every valuable item we possessed: camera, tablet, credit cards, multiple currencies, passports, documents. I arrived at the entrance to the shop huffing and puffing, and with a look of terror in my eyes I walked to the back of the store. The shop lady asked me if I was there for a bag. I reached the curtain, which 20 minutes previous I was stood behind…. IT WAS THERE!!! I was a very lucky boy, and my heartbeat returned to its normal rate. The reason it was probably still there was because I put it amongst the copious amounts of suitcases and bags which were for sale. Luckily, I padlocked the bag shut earlier that day, so anyone who may have seen it wasn’t able to take anything without a pick lock or knife. With that nightmare moment over we went to Starbucks.

Like always, their drinks were amazing. I had the peppermint mocha (it now had my Ben Norris stamp of approval). So again, thanks mum for the Starbucks card. After finishing the drinks we returned to the hotel. We only had 50 minutes left to wait before the bus would come to get us. We burned that time by chilling out on the padded chairs, while Sarah Skyped daddy Dux. At 4:50pm we walked around the corner to where we booked the bus. 10 minutes later it arrived, we then climbed aboard for a 2 hour journey to Kanchanaburi. For the most part I wrote my blog, followed by an episode of The Mentalist. Which just so happened to end 2 minutes before we arrived at 7:30pm. The driver stopped right outside a possible guesthouse we could stay at. After enquiring about availability and prices we decided against spending the night as it was too expensive.

The next place we tried was cheaper, however, Sarah was disgusted by the fact the bathroom had a squat pot instead of a classic European throne. It’s safe to say we didn’t choose to stay there either. While Jamie and I were being shown the room Sarah darted off to another nearby guesthouse, that too wasn’t good enough and the 3 of us continued to another guesthouse. Eureka, this place, this beautiful resort which had a pool was perfect. However, travelling as a group of 3 can sometimes be problematic. Seeing as most places only have double or single rooms, you sometimes have to compromise. The compromise for us was that the 600 baht a night room would cost us 890 baht. For the simple fact they’d have to add an additional bed. It was a good job we haggled and got the room for 800, as the third additional bed was just padding from a sun lounger. It was ok as that bed was Jamie’s :P.

We had a slight problem when it came to closing the front door, we soon learned that by slamming it shut was the only way for it to remain shut. We then got a ride in a tuktuk to the nearby market for 40 baht. The tuktuk’s took another shape in Kanachaburi, this time around the cart which passengers sat in was directly beside the driver’s motorbike, like a side cart. If the driver should ever crash though, I fear the passengers would fly from the small confines they were sat in. In fact, they were probably the worst tuktuks in terms of safety. The whole thing resembled a birdcage. I don’t know if the driver tricked us or not, as the market was within walking distance from the guesthouse. Our main aim wasn’t to find clothes (for once) instead we were on a mission to locate food. We achieved that task and then some. We picked up food as we went. With most items costing only 10 baht each (20 pence) we ate like kings. We started off by grabbing some fried corn discs, boiled corn on the cob and chicken and rice. That was just for the first sitting. We washed the food down with a couple slurpees from the nearby 7 eleven. We then explored the grounds to see what the market had to offer.

I wish we hadn’t, as we stumbled across small cages which housed 3 baby goats each. It wasn’t a nice sight, as there wasn’t enough room for them to move. Directly beside that were 2 baby deers with leads around their necks, each tied to a nearby table. Quite what there purpose would be was unknown, possibly meat, but what was even more baffling was where did they even find baby deers in the first place. We then returned to the food section where Jamie and I purchased some pad thai (because we are always hungry). This time when we sat down to eat we made a little friend. A small boy who joined us at the table to eat his spring rolls. I saw he had Spider-Man on his t shirt so I showed him my Batman, Superman tattoo, he was more interested in my other non tattooed arm though. At least that’s what I presumed, he didn’t speak English, other than the word hello, and was pointing at my plain arm. With our bellies sated, the 3 of us returned to our guesthouse.

We decided to walk back, seeing as it was only a short distance. On the way we stopped in several guesthouses to inquire about availability, as we only had one night booked where we were. After stopping in 3 different ones we learned they wouldn’t know if they were free until the following morning. We then stopped in a Tesco Lotus store for some titbits before calling it a night. When we got back we explored the resort, we learned that the pool was an infinity pool which overlooked the river (at least that’s what we think, it was too dark to tell at that point). We then stayed around that area for a while to use the wifi (which seemed to be restricted to that area only) before returning to our fancy, minimalistic room for a good nights sleep.

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