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Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

So today we woke up just in time to catch our flight which was more luck than judgement as nobody remembered to set an alarm. We packed up quickly but most of our gear flew with the bikes. Still we had managed to thoroughly trash the room in the three days we occupied it. We apologised to the cleaner for what she was about to discover upstairs.

We were slightly hung over after last night which is like saying water is slightly wet. We went for a few quiet beers with the guys over at Eagle Export and the owner got a bit dunk and the guys who were staying with him joined in and it was a fun night so we just stayed there listening to the band upstairs and getting more and more silly.

This morning the silliness turned to headaches but we fought our way through the fog behind our eyes and battled our way own to breakfast. I ordered the same as yesterday and I never do that but it was so good! Marcin ordered the same with bacon as a meal without meat is no meal at all for him.

So while we were eating a guy came in to talk with us. He's been following us around the whole time saying he needs to talk with us. So this morning we were too tired to fight him off so we listened to what he had to say. He runs a tour company and they’re planning to expand and run a trip identical to what we’ve just done, running 20 tourists on Enfield 500s. He offered us a job. So to get this straight, he wants to pay us to do what we just did and give us bikes to do it on. He wants to buy our visas, give us beer and let us run amok again and not only this, he wants us to do it for money! So we stopped laughing for a moment and then started laughing even harder an pretty much agreed to do it. He’s sending us a breakdown of his business plan, I’ll go over it and explain the long words to Marcin and it looks like next year we might just be professional tourists. Sounds good to me.

So we had to dash. Finding a cab took about three seconds and we were on our way to the airport. Traffic was light but the driver was sticking mostly to back alleys that cars simply should not be driving down which seemed to help.

We were told we were leaving at 11.20 so we made it to the airport in good time. It’s not entirely organised but everything seemed to mostly work ok in a Nepalese way. We had a coffee and killed some time waiting for the dynamic squad of security guards to fondle us lovingly and look suspiciously at mundane objects. Our gear was X-rayed and then searched manually and there was no screen to monitor the X-ray on so my guess is it didn’t actually work. The security search showed up a slight problem, Marcin had brought a spork along, a camping kit with a knife, fork and spoon and wasn’t allowed to take it on board. He hadn’t checked anything into luggage so I had to take his spork back to the front desk past all the security checkpoints and put it in my gear. I had to leave my passport upstairs and go down and then go back up through a passport check. I just told them what I was doing, he didn’t understand but they let me go through anyway. Security is just a word on a badge here, it’s not taken very seriously, I walked right through unchecked back to the boarding gate. We finally were allowed through with only 20 minutes to spare and got to the departure lounge. We checked the screens and it turned out that our flight wasn’t at 11.20 any more, it was now at 13.00 so we had two hours to kill with no internet and nothing to entertain us except for the pungent smell of our filthy motorcycle gear and the hilarious way Marcin pronounces "Mountain" which comes out as “Moon-tin” and just cracks me up every time he says it.

So we waited until 13.00 and nothing happened and the flight had been delayed again, this time until 14.30. by now this was getting a bit irritating. So we grumpled, ground our teeth and just waited because there was nothing else we could actually do. Eventually the gate was opened and we were allowed from one small waiting room into a smaller room to do some more waiting. We were taking by bus for 100 yards to a reasonably dilapidated Chinese-owned plane. We taxied to the runway, shaking about like we were riding over the typical roads out here. We were sat next to a young Indian guy who had the IQ of a dishcloth and his friends opposite were similarly intellectually challenged. They had to watch us putting our belts on and then try to do it themselves. In the end the crew had to come out and fix their belts for them.

So we took off, spun around and headed out to the mountain ranges. It was impressive, we flew right over the Himalayas and saw mount Everest in the comfort of a heated cabin which is probably the ideal way to see a snow-covered lump of rock in my opinion. Finally the crew brought round lunch which was only just passable but we were hungry and I was worried Marcin might start eating the chairs. They asked if we wanted the chicken or vegetarian option and he just shouted “Meat” over and over again. We then had a long and loud discussion about 9/11 and I farted. We were not popular passengers.

The young lad opposite needed help feeding himself, the staff had to show him how to eat so I’m honestly not sure how they function in any kind of normal society. The crew were shouting at them at this point.

So the flight stretched on and on but finally we felt the sure signs of a decent. At this point I was in the toilet and the sure signs of decent caught my slightly off-guard and now the cleaner has to wash the walls. We went until we saw the lights peppering the horizon and that was it, we were over Thailand. We sunk further to the ground and hit it with a bone-wrenching crash that was something like a landing. The Captain came out to see us off, a man I normally wouldn’t accept a coffee from. It’s strange how money changes hands and society demands we follow and so we accept a totally unacceptable scenario.

So we were finally in Thailand. We entered the airport and then still more problems started. Marcin needed the toilet and I split off to head for baggage claim. Between me and that was a queue from hell. It took over an hour to get through and Marcin never came back from the toilet. I even went to find him, worrying he’d flushed while drinking from it or something else had happened. Nothing. No sign. I finally got through and found my bags. My helmet though was now missing a chunk of internal padding and won’t fit any more, it had to be taken on as luggage. Finally I gave up and asked at the information desk. They said I could put out a tannoy call outside but if I went outside I wouldn’t be allowed back in. In the end I had no choice so I went outside. They refused to put out a tannoy announcement but said there was another information booth further down. I went there and Marcin was in a shop, in the process of buying a phone card to call me with. He had been queuing and somehow we’d missed each other.

So we finally got a hotel with free Wifi, free breakfast and a free shuttle service to and from the airport. We’re too tired to sort the bikes out tonight and we have a plan for the morning. Additionally my Visa card no longer works so I have no money. Not ideal but I think it might now be blocked after putting the shipping on my card in a strange country. I will call them tomorrow and get it unlocked or at least get something resolved.

We went to a restaurant and had a simple meal which was really excellent. The food tasted clean and delicious, I just had vegeatables and rice, Marcin had meat and both agreed it was top stuff. We ordered a beer and got an awesome 3 litre pipe with ice in it which was a mobile draught that the staff filled our glasses from every time we took a sip. The whole bill still only came to around 12, a visit to the 7-11 bought us 2 more beers and some water and cost just over 1. I love being back in Thailand. There’s only one thing missing.

I checked email and got a confirmation of a job offer. It seems we’re being formally invited to travel for a living. I don’t know if I can do this trip again without killing Marcin but I’m certainly willing to take that chance.
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Norm on

Congrat's, loved the blog.
Would like to see more pictures if possible?

thu on

I agree, but I want to see pics of the toilet walls in the plane. Blog needs to be kept up, as it's still a travel log in a loose sense. Just keep walking, don't stop -- you're still technically travelling...

jtw000 on

I'm not stopping yet, we're still travelling together until Marcin leaves.

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