Saturday, 19 July 2008

On the rails

It is a terrible paradox that you can not write about something until you leave it behind. Now we are on the train to our next longitudinal adjustment I can write freely about Bangkok.

Our two day whistle stop tour was a full symphony of mixed impressions..I have some advice to impart to both travellers and the fine people of Bangkok.

I am not sure what the insurance premiums are like for motor vehicles in Thailand. I suspect the Buddha on every taxi dashboard and the chorus of horns that substitue signaling and indicators serve to lower them somewhat. I can safely say that our first journey by tuktuk was both harrowing and humorous at exactly the same time. Imagine being on a rollercoaster with no safety restraint approaching a hole in the track and feeling as invincible as superman. That is the joy of driving Bangkok style.

Moving as a pedestrian needs deft slight of foot and a full range of street theater acting ability. If you know where you are going move quickly and look positively disinterested. Pausing is as good as screaming I want help. That is not to say that the Thai people are not fantastically helpful. In fact I would say that holding any piece of paper in front of your face and pointing at it is as good as having a mobile GPS unit that talks to you in the same manner as BMW with the right option kit will. They are that helpful.

I have been amazed at the breadth of cultures that call Bangkok home. Perhaps I am overly stimulated but one of the first things I noticed when opening the hotel desk drawers was not one lonely Gideon bible but four different paths to enlightenment. I am not sure where mine lies but it is nice to know there is something to fall back on.

Cow has been a good companion. Let us look at some cow snaps.

Here she is waiting patiently at the Bangkok train station.

Here she is again waiting not so patiently.

Here we are on board the train. Cow in full muse mode.

A couple more photos whilst I am feeling picturesque. A funny sight spotted getting on board the ferry to Koh Samui this morning.

A not so salubrious submarine.

And finally. Paradise found.

It even has free internet!



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