New To The Kingdom

Enquiring at the desk where the TOT[Tourist Authority Of Thailand]was, the jovial bell captain informed us that it was “just a little ways down the street”…

We should have been suspious, this was the same bell captain the previous evening that told us the great restaurant across the street[the street being the MASSIVELY wide Rama 4]was “just a little ways down the street”, we waited for the traffic to clear up, I was ambulating on my Canadian forearm crutches, since trying to hope the almost 1′ high sidewalk there in my wheelchair would be dangerous as best, stupid atleast, we waited about 20minutes, the traffic never slowed or cleared enough that an Olympic sprinter could have made it across that maze of high speed congestion without losing atleast a few toes…we finally gave us, returned to the hotel, where I unwisely ordered some type of fried eggs, but darling Patty ordered the noodles and was delighted!

Anyway, we made it out of the Malaysia Hotel, heading towards TOT, we have good assurance that it was nearby. After several kilometers, we asked a few of the locals how far TOT was…they ALL said “just a little ways down the street”, another 3 kilometers in the noon day Bangkok sun & humidity was all I could manage, we finally let one of the many TukTuks take us the “little way” to TOT, it turned out to be another mile!

TOT was extremely helpful however, they had thousands of leaflets and brochures of the Land Of Smiles, we were particularly interested in the southern Isle Of Phuket. It seemed to be something out of a south pacific dream.

Wisely TukTuking back to the hotel, were able to get a “deal” there on the scenic bus trip south to Phuket the next evening.

The humidity and heat had taken my health without much bother, we retreated to the air conditoned slumber of the coffee shop where an assortment of backpapers, expats and their “friends” carried on to an ever blaring theme of disco music and loud noise in general.

Looking over the many brochures filled our eyes with delight for the next days scenic journey!

Being an extremely slower learner, I once again ordered the mystery eggs, while dear Patty wisely ordered the delicious noodles.

We put up with the screeching elevator back to our suite, playing tag with misquitos for several hrs, we finally passed out.

The constant knocking on the doors at all hrs were never answered, we just snoozed til dawn, when the busboy managed to tip over a heavily loaded cart full of dinner dishes, right in front of our room, as he delivered the Milo and mystery eggs & noodles for breakfast.

We delighted reading the Bangkok Post that morning, a truely FINE world class newspaper, in particular we liked reading Crutchly & Trink columns. The large lizard had worked his way from behind the toilet once again to his enclave in the bathtub, my crutches made him retreat, hissing and screeching back to the safety behind the toilet once more, the shower was interesting, if you were able to dance and whirl around like a dervish, then you could barely connect with the few water droplets that tried to drip out of the clogged and limed up shower head, I finally gave up, sticking my head under the tub faucet, it had almost twice as much flow as the shower head, and it only took 15minutes to get that swell hotel soap out of my eyes.

We lazed around the room, reading the Bangkok Post til checkout time, then receded to the coffee shop for yet more mystery eggs[did I mention I don’t even like eggs?]and noodles with Greenspots!

Our time to depart was near, we got a TukTuk to the big bus terminal, the driver as death defying as the taxi drivers had earlier been, we knew they probably went to the same learn-to-drive academy! He swerved, jerked, and jostled the TukTuk constantly honking his horn as lesser vehicles and those on bicycles, barely dodging GIANT buses and often managing to be behind surfurious exhaust of trucks for most of the way, but, he finally slide into the big bus terminal, it seemed that the entire country was there, either getting in or getting out of the hundreds of buses.

The friendly driver told us the bus in front of us was the “express bus” to Phuket. We happily paid him, went to get into the bus, when a hand reached over my shoulder and grabbed me…I turned quickly, expecting the unexpected, when I saw this lovely Thai lady, a cross between Tina Turner & Mae West, saying “You Go Phuket”? to be continued…

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