Day 199: The Power Of ‘Negative’ Thinking

The one good thing about Bangkok? Because of its natural scent, you can fart on the streets and get away with it!

– Ben Norris

Yes it’s true ladies and gentlemen Bangkok is one smelly place. We don’t really like going back there when we have to. We prefer to use it as a stopover to our next destination. Which is why we were happy for today to be our last day there. With that said, it does offer a great night life for debauchery, but that’s another story. For the most part of today we stayed at our hotel, because of the time of year the temperature outside was unbearable. The best place for us was in the shade. We ventured out occasionally, but only when we needed food. So don’t be expecting too much from today’s post.

• Sarah slept solid last night. She was still asleep long into the morning as well. I woke up around 9:15am and began watching tv as I waited for her to open her eyes. It wasn’t until twenty to eleven before she joined me on my single bed. We watched one tv show together, then began getting ready in an attempt to beat the midday check out time. When we were finished we had one minute to spare. I carried the large holdalls to the storage area, we claimed back our deposit money, then went to Starbucks.

• There wasn’t much money left on the gift card my mum bought us. We only had enough for two muffins, leaving us with 11 baht. That wasn’t enough for anything on their menus. It had finally come to an end, the most thoughtful gift had served its purpose, it had done very well to last us over 7 months. So thanks for that mum, we appreciated each cup of coffee, and thought if you each time. After we enjoyed the chocolate and blueberry muffins we walked down the street to buy some fruit shakes. They were just what we needed on such a hot day.

• I had made up my mind to go back to the stall from the previous night. The one which sold vests and T-shirts. This time around the man selling the goods wasn’t happy to see us. He remained seated while I browsed. When we finally located the two that I liked, I approached him and asked how much. He didn’t even bother trying at their original price of 220 baht – he must have remembered us from last night. Instead he gave me the reduced price of 400 baht, wiping out the whole haggling process altogether. Joke was on him as that’s all I wanted to pay anyway. To be honest I think he was just glad to be rid of us. With my newly purchased Star Wars and Heath Ledger Joker vests, we strolled around a few more stalls before returning to our hotel.

• It was a lot cooler inside, so we remained there for the majority of the afternoon. We alternated between the restaurant area and the cafe – the restaurant was the only place the internet worked properly. Sarah used it to Skype her family, and together we used it to find accommodation at our next location, Koh Lak. We couldn’t wait to get there then, as we now had a room with a/c, a swimming pool, and a resort right on the beach to look forward to. Around 4pm we went out to find some food.

• After looking at a couple places we decided on the restaurant opposite our hotel. It was called “The Macaroni Club”, and sold both Thai and western dishes. I ordered a margarita and Sarah had a lemon shake. I was still hungry by the end of it, and we both agreed we’d need to be full before getting on the bus for a 12 hour journey. We took a walk around Rambuttri road and had a large helping of pad Thai. We didn’t finish it all, Sarah because she was full, me because it wasn’t that nice. At 5:20pm we returned to the hotel to ride out our remaining time.

• As soon as the clock read 5:50 I grabbed the bags and we made our way to where we bought our bus tickets. We were scheduled to be picked up at 6pm, but because of the unorganised ways of the Thai people, we were kept waiting long after. At first it looked promising, dead on 6pm we were walked down the street, but were then told to stand and wait only 50 metres later. Around half an hour passed before we set off again. We were taken through many backstreets, and even walked through a gym, before we ended up on Rambuttri road. We were then ushered to a large bar beside a hotel where we were told to wait a further half an hour. It was here that Sarah pointed something out to me, whenever we meet new people and talk about the things we’ve done, I am always the one to point out the negatives. She claims I often say “it was good… BUT…”. I tried to make a joke out of it, BUT on some level I guess it was true, and in my defence this trip hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows. There have been some downsides, BUT, I think her point was I don’t really emphasise the things I have enjoyed, and spend most of the time focusing on the negatives. It’s something I’ll have to work on I guess. I’ve always felt I was the other side of the same coin. Whenever she makes the good points to people, I’m there to offer a different perspective.

• There were at least 50 people all waiting to go to different locations. Because we were on the coach to Surrathani it meant we were amongst all the people waiting to go to the Thai islands. Seeing as there were so many people, Sarah and I moved closer to the front to procure two seats next to each other on our coach. Like usual I sent Sarah on ahead while I dealt with the bags. I wasn’t filled with confidence after we read a sign at the bar explaining we should keep our valuables with us at all times. We always did, but it made me slightly suspicious after reading that. When I handed our holdalls to the man below the coach he asked me where I was going, I said Koh Lak, then he threw it to his friend who was storing them. Wether he was filing them in terms of convenience for removal, or if he was asking to figure out how much time they had to rifle through each group, I don’t know. To be honest it had been a long day and I couldn’t care less. Besides there was nothing of value in the bags anyway. When I was free of the holdalls I climbed the stairs to join Sarah.

• There was a bit of an issue between one of the passengers and a local guy. At first the passenger feared the man had over counted and began to get angry. He started telling him he was p***** off and wanted a refund. The situation sorted itself out when one girl moved to join her friend and a free space revealed itself. He then sat down, and calmed down. This bus was horrible though, each seat was hard and stiff and the a/c didn’t work. It was officially the hottest bus we had ridden in a while, and to say each seat was occupied, the added body heat didn’t help matters. I managed to better the situation slightly by wedging a tissue in our fans to better hold them in place – towards our faces. Usually we have the opposite problem on over night buses. The a/c is normally on full whack and we have to plug the holes to prevent ourselves from freezing to death in our sleep. After watching some tv shows together, Sarah popped the Valium to aid her sleep, and I wrote the blog. I am sorry if this hasn’t been a very good post to read, but here’s what I’ve had to work with while trying to be creative… My back aches from this seat, I’m hot because the a/c is terrible, I’m on a moving bus, I have limited room to get comfy, and Sarah has somehow managed to starfish on a seat, breaching my personal space. Perhaps Sarah is right when she says I’m always negative about things!

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