What a day….started off packing our bags hurriedly after having a disturbed sleep due to the ants and my partial delirium, so didn’t get up early enough. Popped our bags on and scurried off into the burning sun.
We were 50/50 whether to get the sleeper train to Chiang Mai today or find a cheaper place to stay so that we didn’t have to spend more than the day’s budget on the train, so we agreed that if we hadn’t found anywhere after half an hour we’d sack it off and get the train anyway. After 40-odd minutes of struggling with the heat, bags and the homicidal drivers, and after nearly passing out, we had only found a ฿550 room so we decided to grab our malaria tabs from Boots and get gone. the station was close and cool underground, and we got to the shopping centre I remembered without much of a fuss.
A man did a really loud fart in the shopping place, and no one batted an eye—he even cocked his leg, the dirty beggar.
Oh yeah: everywhere you go—trains stations, shopping places, etc—there are security barriers, metal detectors, etc. Even when the machine goes off they just lazily shine a torch in your face. Pointless. So online it reckons you can get malaria tabs (doxycycline) from Boots on the cheap—you cant. They’re the same price as at home. So after budgeting 20-30 quid for 240 tabs we had to pay 80 quid for 190. I was gutted ‘cos that’s a good few days fun been taken out the budget. (Homemade butties for a while I think…) I put that on my credit card and had to find an ATM. After ages of finding machines that I thought had a set exchange-rate, I realised that it was asking if I wanted to withdraw in my home currency where they basically set the rate. Hell no, I dont. Don’t let that catch you out. Nightmare.
Some guy collared us as he recognised us from the hotel and said we were going the same place and we should meet up. I tried giving him a false FB account but it didn’t work, so I had to give him my real one. We exchanged pleasantries and parted ways. I’ll spend the next few days on guard in case he tries to socialise with us.
Popped into the MBK centre on the way back to Hualamphong station for food. Went the food court on the bottom floor, only ฿40 for a rich, steamed spicy veg and a bit of an omelette. I’d have enjoyed it more if Lauren hadn’t told me about the cockroach she saw running across the counter…
Back into sweaty heat, we winged our way back to the station where we were told off by a Thai train station dude dressed in military gear (they love dressing like this) for sitting on the floor. Tourists were everywhere. (Last time I came I didn’t see one.) All the men were Joey Essex lookalikes except dressed in Primark vest tops and snapbacks, and the women really should have been wearing more clothes.
I needed a poo. ฿3 later I was in there. All the toilets were manky, with wee everywhere and no bog roll. Lauren had given me some tissue, but it wasnt enough to clean a single toilet even, so I opted for a squat. Worried I might slash on my shorts, I took them off one foot at a time to avoid stepping in the mess and hung ’em on the door. How wrong I was worrying about my urine splashing on me. Filthy Thai men’s pee came splashing under the walls at me from all angles. I dunno what they were playing at but they need to sort themselves out. Grown men sitting there making guttural sounds and spurting whizz everywhere, then cleaning their turds off with a glorified garden hose??
The train had sold out of cheap tickets so we had to get the AC770. Didn’t see one Thai person on the train. Preppy douchebags everywhere. We were on the top bunks opposite each other and contrary to common courtesy the girls on the bottom didn’t let us sit down on the chairs, so we spent the whole night sat on the top bunks with no window. The bunks are a bit hard and narrow and we popped our bags at the bottom so no one nicked anything. A little man came and hinted that it was bedtime at around 9.00pm, then chucked us off and started making the bed.
The train was an hour late setting off and was driven by a seemingly alcoholic driver. It was cold, too. The icing on the cake was when a preppy loser pulled out a ukulele and started having a little jamming sesh. I wished I was a Mr. Potato Head so I could take my ears out and toss them out of the window that we didn’t have.