. We mention the fact that we wanted to buy a return ticket but apparently we couldnt even buy it here because Phon Thong is not computerised. They have computers at the Bangkok office where we are so I dont know what the problem is but once again 'This Is Thailand' strikes. Taxi back to the guest house to find that our old noodle shop is open again so we pop in there for lunch. After a lazy hour in the room I go out for a walk on my own to see what we can do tomorrow to pass the day. I went to the National Theatre as I had thought about getting tickets for a show there tonight. As I walked through doors and along corridors nobody stopped me until I was actually entering the theatre itself where a show of classical Thai music and dance, Khon, was in progress. I was told that if I wanted to watch I would have to get a ticket but that tickets were free. I returned to the main lobby and acquired my free ticket then sat and watched the show for about 20 minutes before it finished to the National anthem. The theatre itself had seating for about 2000 people and was about half full. As the lights came on it appeared that I was the only farang there. I guess others who wanted to see traditional dancing etc were paying through the nose to go to a 'cultural show' with one of the tour companies. Instead of coming here tonight we can come tomorrow afternoon and see a similar show then for free. I leave and walk another 100m or so to the National MUseum where I get a small leaflet with a map of the galleries and exhibits
. It turns out that the museum is usually 200Bht (4GBP) per person but as 5th December is the King's birthday it is free this week. It must be my lucky day and I hope that this is an omen for the visa application. I return to the guest house with a couple of coffees to discover that Jai doesnt actually like the KHon traditional shows being from Isaan where they like the traditional folk music shows of morlam. Oh well, you cant win them all, just wish I could win one every now and then ! We eat at the guest house tonight where I enjoy a large crusty baguette filled with chicken and salad. Good to have some real bread for a change. Head out for a walk around Khao San Road area which is heaving in tourists again. Good for busines here but no-one seems to be heading up country to the north these days.
We arrive in Bangkok earlier than expected at 04:30. Somehow they seem to have shaved a couple of hours off the journey recently. Maybe they come a different way and miss a couple of stops. It is dark and I sleep a lot so I wouldnt notice where we are most of the time. Take taxi from the bus station at MO Chit into our Guest House but arriving at 05:00 there are no room free and we have to wait for someone to check out and then for the room to be cleaned. Eat breakfast and are finally called for a room just after 08:00. Quick stretch out in the aircon to freshen up then off to the VFS offices on Rajadamri Road to try again. Jai is in the office for just over 1 1/2 hours as they seem to be extra busy today. I wait outside with two other Brits who are just about as happy with the set up as I am. Coincidentally one of them is from Merthyr, not that far away, and the other used to live in Dursley and went to school at Rendcombe College so knows Glos pretty well. When we leave the offices we take a taxi through Bangkoks chaos back to the bus station to buy tickets for our return journey tomorrow night