The plan was to get up early and head off to JJ Market. The Boss and I woke at 8am but still rather jet lagged decided to have a little more snooze. The girls had been out for cocktails – we discovered the note when we got up. Which was a long time before they got up! Poor old PT Volunteer has hardly touched any alcohol for six months. She was a little the worse for wear!
Eventually we made it to the pier to get the hop on off ferry down the river. PT Volunteer was not keen on the boat plan and got little sympathy from her sister (something to do with an incident whilst interailing and “just deserts”!).
First stop was Wat Arun. Golden Buddhas and exquisite mosaics.
We were stopped by two young students who asked if we would take a short survey for a school project. When asked how we would sum up Thailand in one word we both answered in unison “friendly” which just about says it all. I have traveled a lot, both back packing, luxury and everything in between and I am hard pressed to think of a single country which exudes welcome and friendliness so much.
We crossed over to the other side of the river with a view to visiting the Grand Palace but we had left it rather late and instead decided to take a long tail boat through the canals of Old Bangkok. Hearing the news that she had another hour in a boat the PT volunteer began to pale visibly. Again her sister failed to weep with sympathy.
It was a fascinating water stroll through the back streets of Bangkok.
Quick dash back to our apartment to change and a tuk tuk over to the other side of town for dinner with the PT Volunteer’s partner’s family who are also over visiting and two other volunteers who were over from Isaan en route to their own holidays. Never has so much noise been made and so much food been eaten by only nine people. We still managed to make room for a couple of cocktails at Cloud 47.
Tomorrow we WILL be up early for JJ!
Love Gillie x
I learned a new trick this week – how to get the seats with extra legroom when flying cattle.
Emirates, and I presume most other airlines, keep back the bulkhead and emergency exit seats when booking online. However, if you arrive early at baggage drop and ask if you can be moved – hey presto! So from Newcastle to Dubai we had bulkhead seats and from Dubai to Bangkok we faced the emergency exit and could stretch our legs practically into the next cabin. Thank me later.
So we arrived, tired bu in one piece. We found our hotel. Which is more than the PT volunteer, Geography student daughter did. Our hotel is at 73 Sukhumvit 13. The Geographer took the skyrail to the bottom of Sukhumvit 13 and rang us to ask where we were (more about the phone later). At that point the Boss and I had left sleeping daughter at the hotel and were having a cold drink in a bar opposite a building site on what I later learned was Sukhumvit 11. I described the building site but we decided our cranes were not the same ones (it later transpired they were). So I gave the Geographer our hotel adress (again) and she decided to get a taxi. An hour or so later she rang again, describing her surroundings it did not sound as if she was anywhere near us. “Where did you get the taxi to take you?” I asked. “13 Sukhumvit 73” she replied. This, I remind you is the girl who is going to read Geography next year!
She made it at last and yesterday she took us out to visit her school and meet her colleagues. The train was interesting. We were a feature of interest. Some Europeans do take the train to visit Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand,. But very few venture further to Tha Rua!
We were taken out to lunch by Bea’s colleagues to a wonderful fish restaurant.
I don’t think I have eaten so well and so much in a long time (though we managed another massive meal that evening at a streetfood cafe!). And then a quick visit to her school and new home.
It was lovely to see both how happy she was and how much her colleague and pupils loved her.
Oh and the phone? I got a mysterious call on Thursday afternoon from an unknown Thai number. It took several attempts for a connection to be made – it was the Geographer. She had left her English phone at Tha Rua station and was using her Thai phone! Fortunately her fellow volunteer picked it up later in the day and it will make its way back to its owner this evening. For how long however remains to be seen!
Love Gillie x