Thailand. Part VII. | Mar 2nd/3rd

Time to leave Koh Phangan and everything would have to run smoothly as my friend and I, only foolishly gave ourselves 3 hours, between arriving into Bangkok, get across the urban sprawl, check in and our flight taking off for Perth.

Setting off at 11am, we get a taxi to the ferry terminal and greeted by a hoard of backpackers standing around, some were like dead-expressionless animals grazing in a field others were enthusiastically measuring dicks to see who'd had the most rewarding experience through beer.

After some confusion of why our ferry wasn't here yet, we found out it was delayed a few minutes, this is off to a good start, taking shade from the sun and its heat under a tree we wait 30 minutes until the pack of backpackers start shuffling along the pier towards a boat, we put on our blank expressions and follow them.

We find some outside on the boat and sit down with our legs dangling over the edge and let the boat do it's thing, as everything is out of our hands for the time being, taking in the scenery as we rock through the waves of distant islands experiencing the wet cooling of a cloud burst.

Arriving at the ferry we're ushered onto our patiently waiting coaches and start our long drive to the train station, looking at the normal life these people live and how they're unaware of our tourist eyes looking upon them thinking it's a fairly strange and tough way of life. Then you see a £50,000 pick-up truck roar past someone selling fruit on the roadside, then you think 'Well, it can't be that bad'

As this journey went on, the health of the coach deteriorated rapidly, apparently something to do with the clutch, until eventually we pulled over and stopped. Our driver then decided to start a fight with the gear stick, accelerator pedal, and whatever else he could fight with from his seat until the coach gave up being a dick and started up again and off we went.

We got to the train station and after much bundling and running around the area to get food, snacks and supplies we got to the platform to find out the train was delayed 70 minutes. Well, that's just fucking grand!

Waiting around on the platform as the sun set and darkness covered everything, I dashed off to the toilet and I got offered a sexual act by a Thai boy in a Chelsea top, I said no and left there as fast as I could. Thankfully it was also at that point the train arrived late on time.

Settling into our quarters we ask the conductor what time the train is planning to arrive into Bangkok to be met with a reply of 'On time, we make time up, over night', we could now relax.

The train was comfortable as we opted for first class this time round, so we were gifted with our own room to spend the night chatting, playing drinking games and reminiscing.


First class was a rough noisy uncomfortable sleep, looking at our watch it was Blahblugh o'clock, I knew whatever time that was displayed on my watch didn't look good to making our arrival time into Bangkok, and as the train got closer and closer to the city, it was getting more and more delayed. Not an overly relaxing morning wake up call.

We were, however, treated to a wonderful sunrise over Bangkok that helped relieve some of the stress, even though there was nothing to really worry about, as our airline made 3 flights a day from Bangkok to Perth and we were catching the first one of the day.

The delays were getting ridiculous as stops at each station were getting longer and longer, we decided to jump out at the next stop, wherever it was, and risk our success of getting to the airport in a taxi.

We pile out of the train and say a swift goodbye to our friends as we ran down the street to try and hail a cab, this process seemed to have taken way too long, it felt like 15 minutes when it was actually just a few. We eventually get a one by running further down the street and more-or-less running into the taxi.

Bundling in, we say something to effect of 'Airport, and step on it!' then we looked at our driver and realised that wasn't going to be possible as he's older than the moon, but we should've of been so dismissive as all motor vehicles in Thailand are built with potent accelerator pedals and without brakes, asking 'How long it would take?', 'Not long, only 5 minutes' We relaxed, again, on this journey.

Problems seem to arise when we relax, because 5 minutes in Thailand seem to equate to around 30 English minutes, and mild panicking started to set in, especially coming so far to fall at the last hurdle.

Getting to the airport, we run into a chaotic mess of lost wandering people with large bags and confusing screens of flight information, none of which seemed to really relate to our flight, my eyes suffering from rapid eye movement didn't blind as I was trying to digest and process all this information, none of which made any sense in my panic, it all looked like hieroglyphics in English.

Then, Yes! There you are! and we ran, nay galloped through the crowds, contorting our bodies around others as we were sliding under pulled luggage, jumping over midgets, it felt like a extreme live-action version of Frogger.

Getting to the check-in area, I spot the woman who was just about to close the counter, dashing over I slapped my passport on the desk, followed shortly by a second slap of my friend's passport. “Hello, we're here” we say in an exhausted, flustered, cool kind of way.

We walk over to the long line of security and customs and check our passes, the boarding time was exactly the same as what was being stated on my watch and the line didn't appear to be moving.

I grab the attention of a security girl and point at the time on the boarding pass and at my watch and let out a small pathetic yelp, she got on her walkie-talkie and we were processed through the VIP entrance.

After a thousand thank yous we sprint to the gate and sat down on the plane, 2 minutes later the doors were shut, as we prepare for take-off.

We arrive into the ever-welcoming shit-heap of Perth airport and get a taxi home, this journey door to door took 37 hours, shattered I do the sensible thing, go out to the pub and meet with friends for a few drinks.

Thailand... Large Chang fuelled fun.

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