Kathmandu, I'll Soon Be Seeing You

Trip Start Nov 13, 2007
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Saturday, May 3, 2008

you may have guessed after 6 weeks in the country that i'm not a huge fan of thailand. infact i think that would be putting it extremely mildly.  infact i think thats just a ludicrous understatement.  im not a fan.  but today in a twist of fate centred mostly around the pakistan embassies refusal to provide me with a tourism visa cos i dont hold a thai work permit, instead of having to stay an extra day now i get to leave 4 days early and im smiling ear to ear for the first time in days.......

i left the mayhem of koh tao on wednesday (only before one last dig by my good friend and DMT steve to let me know he saw a flippin whale shark in white rock the day after oli and i dived there!!!!) URG!!!!!  on the morning of my leaving a taxi driver tried to charge me double price to the pier.  all in a days work for these guys....ferry was grand and as we sailed away i noted the big black thundercloud that hovered over the island and the sun came out as soon as we moved into open water!!! the coach to bangkok was lovely aswell - big luxubiant leather chairs and some DVD's to watch.  i did miss my ipod once again int he last hour cos everyone around me had theirs on pretty loud. but it was a fast and fairly interesting journey.  got to the viengtai hotel around 8 and its grand.  made inquiries about visas, was told thursday was a national holiday so nothing could be done then. double-urg.

so yesterday i sent away for my chinese visa thanks to the help of some nice thai people (!) in the tourism place in the hotel.  what i was expecting to be the most complex to get turned out to be the most hassle-free. ah the irony.  so i entertained myself wandering around, ended up in MBK the most crazy shopping emporium ive ever been in.  and then ended up in the siam discovery cinema.  words fail me.

i paid a little extra (E10) for what was called a VIP ticket to a VIP cinema to see the iron man.  so really the same price as a cinema ticket at home.  however.  i got to wait in a VIP suite where i was served coke in a wine glass (classy!!!) and personally escorted to my "seat". again seat just doesnt do it justice.  it was about the size of a normal cinema but with about 30 seats. each seat was white leather and bigger and comfier than a laz-e-boy.  they reclined. they reclined to an almost horizontal position and in the little bag on the seat was a pillow (!!!) and a big fleece blanket (!!!). i was hand delievered popcorn and i must say it was truely the most awesome cinematic experience of my life. ever. this is the way cinemas should be.  (see attached photo, i couldnt resist!!)  on a side note, the film the iron man is definately (with the exception of batman begins and thats only probly because christian bale is in it) the BEST superhero film ive seen.  now i know i was watching in exceptional circumstances and with an amazing sound system but i still think it rocked. even at over 40 robert downey junior is still super attractive, if in a somewhat weird, hes a bit mental but i love him anyway kind of way.  my strange attraction to men with super over-confidence and a medium dose of arrogance rages on *sigh*.  i think im doomed.

so anyway today i tried in vain to call the pakistan embassy but the dude just said i couldnt get a visa and hung up on me. then i tried to get a taxi to the embassy and everyone tried to overcharge me.  i had an airtel indian mobile phone in mysore moment on the khao san road in tears (only person who asked me was i okay was a gringo.).  eventually got someone to take me for just 150% the going rate. got there and was told they dont issue visas to pakistan from bangkok unless you have a thai work permit.  which i dont of course.  end result? i dont need to stay here a moment longer cos i already have my chinese visa so booked myself on the first flight out of here on monday.  the proverbial weight has been lifted.

on a lighter note i went to get my eyelases tinted today (sun has bleached them almost blonde at this stage!!) ended up in the salon with MY EYES GAFFER-TAPED SHUT!!!! ive had some crazy treatments in my life but never had my eyes taped shut.  (see picture for your entertainment - theres intensive conditioner in my hair incase youre wondering about the cling-film look barnet i have going on.)

and so tom is sightseeing day and sunday is action-packed floating market, bridge over the river kwai and tiget temple with muay thai boxing in the eveing.

and to finish id like to quote cat stevens who sums it all up so so well.....so very well.

I sit beside the dark
Beneath the mire
Cold grey dusty day
The morning lake
Drinks up the sky

Kathmandu I'll soon be seeing you
And your strange bewildering time
Will hold me down

Pass me my hat and coat
Lock up the cabin
Slow night treat me right
until I go
Be nice to know

Kathmandu I'll soon be touching you
And your strange bewildering time
Will hold me down

Chop me some broken wood
We'll start a fire
White warm light the dawn
And help me see
Old satan's tree

Kathmandu I'll soon be touching you
And your strange bewildering time
Will hold me home

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