One last time

Trip Start Feb 25, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, August 30, 2004

I saw large bloke slouched in a stationary tuc tuc with a piece of piping around his neck attached to a funnel! This is the sort of guy I'd hang around with. As i got closer to him i could see that he was truely a man-mountain! There was no way anyone else would be able to fit in the thing with him. To get things in perspective, at a squeeze you can fit 3 reasonably sized blokes in the rear of one. I was returning to my hotel after passing out on Matts floor the previous night with hazy memories of him trying to get me into bed - the spare bed that is! So, i was hungover and staring at this monster as i approached from behind the tuc tuc. I was in awe of the size of him. As i got within hearing distance i could hear a familiar voice coming from where the lad was sat, but he was so big i simply couldn't tell if the voice was coming from him. Hang on! No! Shit!@!!! It's big Steve!!!!!! Welsh lad who i met in Laos and a top top bloke!!!! 'Hello mate ' I said. No shouted! Steve struggled to turn around to see me, but when he did, his face lit up and he spat out pieces of chicken as he greeted me! "Hello boyo'! Cried steve as i ducked to avoid chicken breasts flying from his mouth! What followed was 3 days of me trying to keep up with Steve on the beers! I was always fighting a loosing battle but then again, god loves a tryer!

I arrived in Bangkok, knowing that this time would be my last visit. This year anyway. I walked from one end to the other carrying my backpack and ruc sac. I was going to try and make the full length without bumping into people whom i already knew as i knew that that could lead to beer and me being semi drunk without having booked into a hotel. So, half way there and so far, no one. You're not as popular as you thought Scarborough! Then, 'Jeff'!!!! I was walking towards Colin, a geordie lad whom i met in Vang Vieng, Laos. A quick 5 minute chat with him and we arranged to have beers later that evening. I already knew Matt was in Bangkok and by now, he really was a good mate. SO, within a minute of leaving Colin i bumped into Matt! I refused to have a beer with him, opting for plan A which was to get a hotel sorted and meet later, which we did. Our meeting point? The bar outside the Ko San Palace at 9pm! This used to always be the bar and time I used to meet up with Del, Gary, Dan and Jerry upon previous Bangkok stays so a bit of nostalga for ya! Now, i knew it wouldn't be a quiet night but nothing could prepare me for what happened! In brief, we headed away from the main area to a few bars a short cab ride away. We shared a small bottle of whisky. All was going well and we were playing pool in a large bar on the outskirts. I was playing against a guy who i thought i recognised. If Bill Oddie and Matthew Kelly could have a love child, then he was now playing me at pool. I told Matt this and Matt thought (well, didn't think is more to the point) that it was a good idea to tell him! I was out of earshort but saw the reaction..... it wasn't good but worth it for the comedy value! We ended up drinking til the small hours and in a bar which was far from reputable. Nearly got in a fight - us being the pasifiers - and i ended up passing out on Matts floor at 6am. i was on my way home the following afternoon when i bumped into Steve and commenced 3 days of breakfast, afternoon and evening beers with him.

Now, Matt, Colin, a lad called Richie went to Kanchanaburie. I was supposed to go along with them but our paths didn't cross until they returned to Bangkok some 3 days later. Stuck in Bangkok and with the influence of Big Steve, i was well on my way to the largest session since i'd travlled! Steve had befriended a tuc tuc driver named Sung Sat. Sung Sat was turning 50 soon, had a skeleton frame and drank like a fish. Now, a scam in Thailand is that if you get a tuc tuc to a certain destination, the driver will 99% of the time take you to somewhere you don't want to go - usually a clothes or jewellry shop. For this they will receive 200 bhat commission whether the punter purchases anything or not. For the un-suspecting punter, this is very annoying as is stops them from seeing the sights. For the suspecting punter, it can be a real laugh. So, Sung Sat asked me whether i minded helping him out making a bit of cash by going to a few shops thus making him commission.... 'Of course not' - anything to get me off the booze for a few hours and it should be a laugh i thought. So, we set off at 1pm and i was briefed to pretend to be interested in buying a suit when in a tailors and jewelry when at the jewelers and not the other way round! I came up with a few belting stories for each shop.... my best was that i was the captain of a rugby club and that i needed 18 suits for the team members. At this stage i wasn't in a position to purchase them as i had to 'touch base' with the lads but was merely after prices which i could relay to them and then make my decision. One shop thought i was going to spend over 3000 pounds there and it was like the scene out of Pretty Woman where everyone was running round the shop - just for ME!!! Little did they know that i was on a commission run for Sung Sat! Anyway, we had a real laugh doing this and he made about 2,000 bhat overall which is over a weeks wage! Subsequently, Sung Sat brought a feast of chicken, fish and whisky which we devoured at his house..... Wherever food is present, Steve is never far away and the big lad turned up and helped us devour the grub and booze. Sung Sat later collapsed meanwhile steve and i headed out for a night on the tiles which saw us ending up at a bar with a swimming pool in the garden. I was nearly sick when i saw steve strip off and belly flop naked into the pool drenching everyone around it!

I guess i had a tear in my eye as i left Bangkok. It was definatley a rocky relationship between the 2 of us. I met the best people there, enjoyed the biggest laugh but on the other hand saw some horrible things and met the freakiest people! My flight was at 7am to Singapore and, keeping in line with tradition, i didn't sleep, opting to stay awake and enjoy a juice and the company of my new, although by now close mates. We reminised, laughed and hugged as we said goodbye. I will be in Singapore for less than a day, and then i leave for 10 days in Bali before finally leaving Asia and hitting Australia for a weekend of partying! It's all go at the moment, but what's new?
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