I thought I’d written my last blog of this trip, but I was wrong.
Yesterday Jaki woke with stomach cramp’s which were so painful that at one stage she started crying, not a good sign. All she wanted to do was lie down and sleep.
Unfortunately we had to check out of the Chatrium at 12 mid day and move to a smaller hotel near the airport.
Our flight was scheduled to take off at 1115 am on Saturday morning, which meant being at the airport for about 0800hrs. With Bangkok traffic that might have meant leaving the Chatrium at about 0700, a time of the morning were just not accustomed to.
So the cunning plan was to stay at ‘U Tiny Boutique Hotel’ overnight then use their free shuttle to get us to the airport on time.
So we checked out but Jaki wasn’t well enough to face the taxi journey so we found ourselves some comfortable seating in the Lobby and just waited.
By 1400 she was feeling a bit better, the griping pain’s were at least tolerable so we decided to take a chance and go.
The Chatrium usually organises a Taxi for you but when we presented them with the address of the Hotel they clearly weren’t familiar with it and resorted to Googling it and printing out a google map which they eventually gave to the Taxi driver along with the hotel’s telephone number.
Our taxi driver, a very dapper young fellow about 12 years old with shaved hair and a pony tail (very fashionable in Asia) and aviator sun glasses nodded knowledgeably when they gave him the directions.
So we hopped in the car and sat back.
We noticed that the licence which is always displayed in the front windscreen, showed a very smart gentleman in his mid forties wearing his best suit for the official photo. Clearly our baby faced driver was not the same guy as the one in the photo.
We drove through the Bangkok traffic at break-neck speed and after about 40 minutes left the motorway and then followed it back in the opposite direction on a small dirt track.
By now Jaki was positively green and praying softly for it to end, one way or another.
Our driver pulled over to the side of the road and made a call. There was some serious ‘Jabbering’ before we swung back onto the road and continued our drive into the country side.
To my surprise, we pulled up along side a sign that proclaimed. ‘U Tiny Boutique Hotel.’ We had actually arrived.
Staff from the Hotel seemed genuinely pleased to see us and they were quick to grab the bag’s and usher us inside as if they were frightened they would loose us.
The Hotel looks almost brand-new. its very clean and tidy, quite ‘Dapper’ in appearance.
We were given ice cold towels, a drink of some thing horribly sweet and asked for our passports.
Formalities completed we were shown to our room on the third floor.
The room was very nice, good space, two beds, what I would refer to as ‘Queens” a very nice looking flat screen TV that showed only Thai stations (we did find one channel that had a film and with a bit of fiddling with the remote I managed to change the setting so that the dialogue was in English though the film was awful). Sean Connery must have needed some easy cash.
The shower and bathroom were clean but the shower was electric and although it worked perfectly and the water was hot, the flow was a bit like an old man with an enlarged prostate. Sluggish.
Jaki immediately crashed on the bed and slept.
I watched MK Dons play Charlton (if memory serves me right) in the FA Cup and I was horrified to see that some of the advertising was censored and had been blurred out, including the shirt sponsors which made it a bit difficult to watch.
Censorship seems common here in Thailand.
Bored with a football match that seemed to be played in sporadic smog I went down into the garden, a very pretty area by the side of the pool with a range of exotic plants, some rather comfortable loungers and a host of butterflies that danced around in the sunshine.
I read some of the book I had picked up from the Chatrium book swap. It was the only book in English so I had little choice but so far Im really enjoying it,
Missing Presumed by Susie Steiner.
I must have dozed for a while as the sun had gone down when I woke and returned to the room.
Jaki was feeling better though the pain’s were still coming they weren’t as bad as they had been . I told her it was “only like having a Baby” which cheered her up no end.
We went down to reception where there is a fairly sterile restaurant set up. Clean but modelled no doubt on a canteen in British Home Stores in the 1970’s.
Neither of us was particularly hungry and we didn’t want to tempt fate by ordering some thing spicy or exotic given we had a shuttle to the airport booked for 0800 in the morning.
So we settled for a plate of Chip’s (crinkle cut) and a plate of Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls, which we couldn’t finish even between the two of us.
We were on our beds by 2000hrs and luckily we’ve got some program’s from home recorded on the computer so we sat and watched one of them before getting down to some serious sleeping.
The bed’s were very comfortable. The Air Conditioning modern, silent and responsive and the curtains were full black out models.
The alarm went off at seven and after a quick wash I opened the lap top to find an e mail from British Airways.
Now were not celebrities, there’s no chance they are gonna randomly up grade us (i tried to use my Air Miles to upgrade the seats but apparently our seats are special. So special you cant change em).
I knew this wasn’t gonna be good new’s and sure enough, they proudly announced that our flight had been delayed by three hours. Three ferkin Hours!
Had we known, we could have stayed at the 5 star Chatrium for another night or had 3 extra hours in Bed. Jaki wouldn’t have needed to put herself through all that yesterday.
However, although our flight was delayed they hadn’t given us any notice of the check in time which apparently has stayed the same, resulting in a six hour wait at the airport.
So, I went down for breakfast, Jaki preferred not to be faced with food at this early stage.
I tried the fried egg’s which were pre-cooked but as they had no way of keeping them hot had now gone cold and the transparent stuff that is always present on Thai eggs was congealed.
It was a good job Jaki was still in her room as this would have set her off again.
Clearly the breakfast was a disappointment.
Serving up cold food isn’t the best way of attracting new customers. They will either have to invest in some food warmer’s or develop a system that allows the food to be cooked fresh.
However, the coffee was good and I sat in the garden in the early morning sunshine feeling a bit sorry to be leaving.
We’ve been in Asia for so long it all look’s so familiar and it will take some adjustment when we get home.
At 0900hrs we threw our bags in the back of a pick up truck, climbed into the cab and within 15 minutes found ourselves at Bangkok International Airport.
As our flight was delayed it wasn’t showing on the board and it took a visit to the information desk before we established check in was in ‘Isle G’ where there were particularly long queues as people had to negotiate the impact of the delay on their travel plans. Particularly those that had missed connecting flights.
There was a young (my mate Pete would call her a Crusty) English girl sat on the floor crying. Her foot and her knee were bandaged and she was clearly in some distress. There was some confusion before she was assisted by BA ground staff who took her to the front of the queue and then found her a wheel chair.
Not the way you want to end your holiday in Thailand.
Once the bag’s were off our hands we went through the Body Scanning thing.
Removing my belt was a bit problematic as I’ve lost some weight and my trousers wouldn’t stay up without me holding them and I didn’t have a free hand.
Then we were faced by the queue at immigration which seemed particularly long today.
However,with a little patients, well, a lot actually, we got through and I now find my self sat at departure gate G7 waiting (currently for another 2 hours 20 minutes) for our flight.
They predict we’ll land at 2030 Hours and by the time we get through custom’s and immigration we will have missed the nine o’clock Bus to Bristol, so we will have to wait for the eleven thirty one. That will get us back in Bristol some time after one thirty in the morning. Then its a taxi (rather than the bus we had planned) ride back to Frampton. And £25 we hadn’t banked on spending.
So, the rest of the day will be spent battling tedium. Ive got three episodes of Game of Thrones ready to watch. Ive got a Talking book to listen to and as long as the battery hold up I should be fine but this is the worst bit.
So after 10 Flights, through five countries, 2 train journeys, 2 Ferry crossings, countless taxi’s, Tuk-Tuk’s and The Bangkok sky train, the only delayed travel we encountered was with British Airways.
Some thing Im sure we can all take pride in.
As this is written at etc Airport I am unable to attach any photos so you’ll have to make do with my ramblings.