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Exotic Vacation…In London

Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

Exotic Vacations…in London

Landed in England. Spoke with the exchange lad on arrival at the airport (getting some pounds for my baht. My advice? Always do that in Bkk, not in London) Anyway, here we go:

EL: (Exchange Lad) So, you live in Thailand?
Me: Yep! Nice place.
EL: I guess so. I heard girls are nice over there.
Me: You bet! That's some kind of understatement.
EL: (Mildly interested, slightly apprehensive) Do they have an "attitude"?
Me: No. Not really.
EL: (Brightening, enthusiastic and envious) That must be paradise!

Gee, I think I just sold a ticket. Let me collect my cut and I'll be with you in a minute. So, welcome to London! Do girls have an attitude problem here? It would seem so.

However, my first impression about the girls here relates more to size. Damm! They are big! In both directions, for many. For the first 15 minutes, it looks like every girl that doesn't sport a fat buttock has a belly that singularly reminds me of a those anti-stress balls. You know, the ones you squeeze on one end and everything comes out on the other side. If I loved fat girls, I would be in paradise, but as you guessed, I haven't meet St Pete, and none of his pals seemed to be around either.

However I had been well prepared, since I had been 18H with the only airline that seems to make it a point of honor to hire the ugliest hostesses they can find, probably to dispel the myth that beauty even exists. Let me guess, the recruitment chief is gay, right? Elbow to elbow, herded like cattle to miniature sits (and I am not particularly fat or big myself). The chief hostess sounds like an army sergeant.

Why, oh why did I sign up for that? Oh, well, 25,000 baht from Bkk to London and back, I can't really complain, unless they decide to crash the plane mid-way. (No, I won't be giving you the name of the airline, because I am exaggerating. It's not that bad).

Anyway, I digress big time. Back on track with the program, the first real shock in England is the people. When you look around, you can find some nice looking girls, so really nice, though that definitely takes more looking than in Thailand. People over there are not on the helpful side.

– "Excuse me, sir, how do I get to…"
– "Look at the map"

Yeah, right, thanks a lot. Of course the map doesn't give any idea on the relative cost of each transportation method, and doesn't even state half of the transportation methods anyway. Trust me, the costs is something you want to have a really close look at, when you are in London. These guys think nothing of charging you fifteen pounds (1200 baht) for a couple hours in a bus. Gee, I haven't left Heathrow airport and I already miss Thailand, where you can go from Chiang Mai to Bangkok for 250 baht.

Finally, I opt for something that's not on the map, after asking a few more of the natives. Looks like the train is about the cheapest way to get around on "long distance" (there is no real "long distance" on this puny island)

The weather is quite cool and the air is dry. Sun is shining too, which I didn't expect. This is really neat because walking outside is a breeze. No matter how long you walk, you won't break a sweat anywhere comparable to what you get after 2 minutes (by which I mean 120 seconds) standing outside in Bangkok. Anyway, the topic is England, right now, and if there is one thing that stuck to my mind, that's the price.

I knew it wouldn't be cheap. Well, guess what, it wasn't! 180 baht for 1 (one) of those triangle sandwiches, in a supermarket! How do people survive over there. Now, I earn a somewhat decent salary, so I can afford it, but still I just try to imagine what this would mean in terms of standards of living, if I had to stay over there all year round. How is it the cheaper hotels in town go for 50 pounds – and are fully booked??? (4000 baht a night and you forget the smile).

And then there is the screaming. These folks are loud! And I mean LOUD! I heard more screaming in 5 days in London than I heard in Thailand in the last 3 years! People there don't even seem to realize they are screaming.

On the positive side, I must say I am impressed with the houses in the countryside. It's very much in order, and the air is so fresh that it makes you feel it's the first time you had any, since you left Bangkok. Can't underestimate that advantage. I never thought I would have something good to say about the weather in England, but it looks like it.

Nice houses, nice streets and fresh air, …that's about all I found "cool" in modern England, so far.

I will perhaps continue this report later on when I get some more time, but feel free to tell me what you think of the place. So far, Thailand it is, hands down.

Stickman's thoughts:

It has been more than 10 years since I was last in the UK and I have to say that while the costs of just about everything were a major disadvantage, there were many GREAT things about the place too. People tended to be polite (as opposed to friendly), the newspapers are GREAT, there are heaps of interesting markets, stacks of history and a zillion places to visit in London alone. But yeah, the cost of everything is astronomical, especially if you are earning baht!