Stopovers to and from India
The best thing about having to go in to the Indian interior for a week of work is the fact that the cheapest flights to Kolkata just happen to change planes in Bangkok…and if you have to change planes there, you may as will have a break there!
So off the plane early, remarkably quickly through Immigration slowed only by the German family in front who’s 5-year old just couldn’t wait and left a puddle behind.
Quick visit to the money changer and the bags were on the belt. Always good to find the man from the taxi company with my name card…these guys have never let me down (pattaya4leisure 1200bt inclusive all tolls). You can get to Pattaya for cheaper, but this suits me.
Baywalk Residences on Beach Road didn’t have my room ready – it was only 8 AM…but cleaned up after a departing guest and had it done in under an hour – no charge for the extra half day, no joiner fees…a tip to all, always book for 2, even if single, the room costs no more and you have an argument to use if you need it.
So here follows some of the things that amused or saddened me as I wandered (and stopped) around town…I point out that I am quite a walker, and generally end up skinnier and fitter after visiting the Land of Smiles. 10 – 20 km in a day is common and I get to see quite a lot of life around me compared to whizzing by in a car.
Boat Ramps: A walk down to any boat ramp in any part of the world is always good for a laugh as people overestimate their skills at backing trailers and steering boats…the Pattaya boat ramp is no exception but for a different reason, if you want to see precision tractor driving, boat retrieval etc it is the definition of poetry in motion.
An accident waiting to happen: Came across a shopfront in a back street with at least a tonne of fire works on display…some of these were right on the street front, in boxes and racks…bangers, rockets the works…just one misplaces cigarette butt and it all goes up!
Hand Shakes – Left handed? “What’s your name? Nice to meet you” is a pretty common greeting in gogo bars but on 3 occasions this trip I’ve been offered a left hand. Perhaps a vital ingredient is missing from the training at the moment as when I grab the back of their hand with my right I get the funny look?
Another scam at work: Watching the world go past in a Beach Road beer bar, 2 young tourists return to where they think they parked their moped…they find it a few metres away but now apparently missing helmets and a mirror…much hand wringing and arguments later, they jump on and ride off…it will be an interesting chat with the hire company.
Miss Photogenic: Tiny Chinese? Girl with the hoola hoop in Walking Street…her camera awareness and the flashing smile would put many a US junior pageant girl to shame.
Accidental Contact: Some of you would be familiar with the show in What’s Up where all the girls make a monkey bar chain and pretend to do naughty things to each other, well one slipped, and made genuine and substantial contact to the next girl in line much to the applause of all. The injured party then appeared to meticulously pick hairs out of her teeth while snarling at the now slightly less hairy girl that slipped…part of the act – maybe, looked pretty real to me.
What look works best: From slightly dumpy uni student look with sophisticated rectangular glasses, and neat black hair …now a good 5 kg lighter, sporting a tramp stamp and long wavy light brown hair…I had chatted to her a few months ago so enquired on how business was going…apparently it’s been good to her pocket… Personally I preferred the cleaner, sharper look myself even if a little chubby…perhaps I’m not Mr. Average of Pattaya.
Back up to Bangkok for a day before going to India…
Thai Massage: The absolutely best Thai massage ever had, at a place (Laundry / Salon / Massage) on the western side of Soi 4 about 300 metres down and before you get to Omni…Opposite the 7 Eleven. Can’t comment on the happy ending as I didn’t take up the offer but the 2 hour Thai massage was fantastic!
A new species to eat: Gulliver's for dinner, I’m always one to eat a new species if I see it and Gulliver's have ostrich on the menu. Thinking it’s a long way from Africa I ask the waitress, "Ostrich? Really, a big bird” while doing an ostrich impression with my hand and arm. “Yes sir, but you only get a small piece” was the absolutely dead pan reply. I’m sure it’s in the training manual, but it gave me a chuckle.
Deflated Egos: Also at Gulliver's, it’s fun to see the shocked faces of the punters thinking they will impress their friends taking on the cute girls in the short skirts. These girls clean-up big time and dent many a strong man’s pride…a great spectator sport as the puffed out chest slowly sinks and the shoulders hunch.
The bait and switch: I must be getting old…quicker than blink the cute sign girl I followed in to a massage place morphed into an older woman without me even noticing. Not a big deal as I was after the massage not the company, but boy oh boy it was a smooth swap. I hadn’t had that done to me in the past so will now add the question “Massage with you. Yes?” to my negotiations.
And now into the dark interior of India
Nice observations. If you like ostrich, Barn Klang Nam does a wonderful ostrich dish, stir fried with vegetables.