I made it! a struggle but i made it! the ...

Trip Start Jun 03, 2001
Trip End ??? ??, 2002

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, May 20, 2002

I made it! A struggle, but i made it! The story started in Krabi where i realised the lady at the guest house had ripped me of in the price for the bus to Singapore by 300bht! Doh! 11 months in and i still can't stop the smallest scam! anyway I got up at the required ungodly hour and went to the bus to find it would be me and a girl from Dublin, Miriam in a twelve seater minibus for the whole journey to Hat Yai. We stretched out and i learned she had been in Thailand 7months and was leaving behind a new found boyfriend on Kho Lanta to go to Australia! we swapped travel advice and stories the whole way through four sets of customs and immigration checks and throught the night on a Coach where we were the only Falangs (foreigners) we were pushed and ignored everytime we wanted to move or get of/on the coach. Still they did it with a smile!

We arrived at Singapore and were directed to the MRT station by a friendly local who watched us struggle with three bags each and he his arms the same lenght, still he did know the way. I realised then that i had no Singapore dollar to pay for the MRT and luckily could borrow from Miriam a fare of $1.40. Singapore Airport is billed as one of the best in the world to stop over in and in a way it is, and in a way it is a bit misleading. We had both been told you could relax in the pool or have a shower or take part in the Airport gameshow. First , all of these are in Transit (after check in ) and you have to pay S$5.50 for a shower, S$10.50 for a dip in the overcrowded pool, and buy S$10 worth of airport vouchers to enter a draw for the chance of getting on the gameshow!
Not exactly a rip of but information beforehand would have been good.

I checked in at Cathay pacific for the radiculous journey of Sinapore to Bangkok and a wait to go to Bombay. Only to be told i was not booked on the flight to Bombay and would have to go on Standby with 34 others!!! The next flight would have been Thursday. I panicked but could not get STA in Singapore to answer the phone, or get an answer from Cathay Pacific in Bangkok. So the only answer was to hope and get to bangkok which i did, and made use of the personal tv screen in the seat and a great in flight service. At Bangkok i was met with a guy with a sign saying 'Mr. Brownes' and i had to go to transfer desk No.2, i did and was presented with a boarding pass for the flight to Bombay. Fantastic, did i stop to spare a thought for the other 34 people on standby? ............NO!
I arrived after the 3.5 hr flight to Mumbai to a sign reading Mr Andrew Browne as arranged by Paul. It took me to the hotel and as i had just changed the last of my travellers cheques i had a smallest note of 100rpe which i tipped the driver/porter only to be told that was his aveage daily wage! Bonus!
I was knackered, so after a quick walk round the hotel road i settled to watch England get thrashed at cricket.

The next day i walked the 100yds to the domestic departures terminal and collected the ticket to Goa. a 44min flight and the best meal i have had on a plane later and i was in deserted beach resort in Baga Goa! Perfect, I had a great meal (Chicken Do Piaza) and then heard a familiar accent at the bar (Ian from Cliftonville rd Belfast) who was on his way home also in a few days! he Colin form London and I spent the next few hours over G+T's and Kingfisher beer recalling all the things we miss about home.

I managed to catch up with Mel via MSN Messenger to find she has my old job in the Irish Bar and is drinking more than I did! It was great to chat but frustrating also!

anyway that is all for now, I stay here to read and chill for 4 more days then go to bangalore to meet Paul and Kim, and then Delhi on Wednesday.

Take care AB
Mone and JJ Happy Birthday
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