Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Got out on the Highway

After the train ride to Chiang Mai I managed to leave my mobile phone and headphones in our carriage. This was particularly annoying as I had enjoyed its company over the last couple of years. Losing personal property in another country is not fun but it can make for a story.

The executive committee decided that a vehicle should be appropriated and that we make our way back to the railway station. We found a fantastic Yamaha scooter which is the finest hired vehicle we have had during our whole time away.

Using a combination of two maps and homespun GPS we made our way to the railway station and information centre. The information centre has a poor choice of name but they did manage to point us at the railway police. After a short period waiting we were met by a official looking chap who with some grace took a statement and suggested that we visit the Chiang Mai tourist police and furnished us with a new more detailed map.

The next day we mounted our steed and using three maps managed to almost visit the tourist police, see the regular police, visit two coffee cafes, wander the streets and see a huge tract of previously undiscovered Chiang Mai. Needless to say it was a relief when we found the tourist police. The tourist police officer candidly advised us that lost property is never handed in but he did supply us with a statement which we will use to make a travel insurance claim on our return.

Earlier in our trip we sent surplus space suits and supplies back to mission control via parachuted air drops. Since then our bags have swelled in orbit and it has become necessary to send more luggage home. It was with glee that we joined the super highway to get quotes on more traditional terrestrial freight services.

Chiang Mai has a super highway which encircles the city and connects with the state highway to Bangkok. Using the super highway allowed us to push our vehicle to previously unattained speeds. It has to be said that driving a scooter on a motorway with a map firmly pressed to your back, the wind streaming through your helmet and wife screaming in your ear is a glorious experience.
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