My Best Buddy Is A Thailand Addict And It’s My Fault Part 2
Greetings, Stickmanites. No point reading this submission If you haven’t read part 1 of My Best Buddy Is A Thailand Addict And It’s My Fault (or seen the movie. Spielberg is interested. I swear to God.)
9:35 AM on October 2nd we were barreling down runway 1 at Dublin Airport (there’s only 1 runway so I guess its gotta be runway 1) on an Airbus A-3somethingorother on our way to our first layover at Abu Dhabi. It’s about a 7-hour flight and Etihad is a decent enough airline to travel with. We were both like 2 kids on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa Claus to arrive but I felt I had something of a slight advantage over John because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Santa Claus really does exist and he lives in Pattaya, not the bloody freezing cold arse end of the North Pole. John was full of questions and “what ifs?” “How long is short time?” “How much will a massage cost and will a happy ending be possible?” “What’s the deal with lady drinks?” “Can I bring a girl back to my room?” “Do I absolutely have to wear a condom? It’s like taking a bath with my socks on and I hate the bloody things!”
My answer was always 1) whispered because of the Catholic nun sat beside us. And 2) an emphatic and resounding YES to the condom question. More often than not I just answered, “Wait until we get there. Then you’ll see buddy.” It was exactly like having a kid on Christmas Eve making sure that Santa KNEW he was waiting.
A quick disclaimer while I have your attention. I’ve only been to Thailand a handful of times. I don’t profess to be anything like an expert on the place or even have a vast experience of travelling “in-country”. A fair chunk of what I’ve learned about Thailand comes from reading countless submissions on this website and I thank you all for your absolute knowledge and experience. But compared to John I was a bloody guru, skilled and experienced in all things and the go-to guy for advice.
Anyhow…..our flight to Abu Dhabi finally ended after about 7 hours and we found ourselves stretching our legs and looking for a suitable airport bar in which to unwind for our 4-hour layover. O’Leary’s Bar in Terminal 3 seemed to fit the bill quite nicely (there’s ALWAYS an Irish pub, isn’t there)? 3 pints each of the magnificent Stella Artois later and a bar bill of €84 (EIGHTY FOUR EURO FOR SIX PINTS OF BEER!) we were on our way to gate 32 for the second leg of our Dublin – Bangkok journey.
This part of my submission is where I kinda, sorta, in a roundabout way deviate from protocol just a little bit. Our flight out of Abu Dhabi was due to take off at 11:30 PM and arrive in Bangkok at 8:45 AM. After 3 pints in the airport, coupled with a few mini bottles of wine on the first leg of the trip, added together with the pints of the Black Stuff in Dublin it’s safe to say that we were both over the legal limit (not that either of us were planning on flying the plane). But……we both took a mild (ish) sleeping pill just after we boarded and buckled ourselves in to our seats. The result of this was that neither of us have any recollection of take off, the flight, the meal service, the drinks service (sacrilege!) or any part of the flight. We were both woken by the gentle bumping of the wheels upon landing at Suvarnabhumi. I kinda feel like anyone who reads this will be tut-tutting at our irresponsible behaviour. Just remember one important factor. We’re Irish! We get a pass when it comes to irresponsible behaviour. It’s one of the things we’re famous for. It meant that we arrived in Bangkok more or less refreshed and with at least 6 hours sleep under our belts. Result!
Got through security and immigration in a matter of minutes, collected our luggage, changed some money at Super Rich on the lower ground floor (a seriously better exchange rate), proceeded to exit 3 where our pre-booked taxi was waiting, exited the airport and barreled down the highway towards Pattaya. The first landmark I recognised was when the taxi turned right and passed the Retox Bar on Soi Lengkee, turned right on to Soi Buakhao and almost an immediate left on to LK Metro and deposited us outside I-Rovers bar & Guesthouse at 12 noon. We had finally arrived!
LK Metro looks like any other street in the daytime and I noticed John looking around. I could almost imagine him thinking to himself, “What’s all the fuss about, it don’t look like anything special!” He now describes the next 12 hours as the best 12 hours of his life. The holiday was about to begin, the fun hadn’t even started yet. But it was about to. Having read almost every submission on this site I hear seasoned Thailand visitors bemoan the fact that “It’s not what it used to be, the beer is too expensive, the girls aren’t as friendly or as nice as they once were, the FUN just isn’t the same, the girls want too much money.” Our 2 weeks in Pattaya in October was the time of our LIVES! I kid you not when I tell you that John shed tears in the taxi on our return to Bangkok.
The author of this article cannot be contacted.