Lost ATM Card
Early October 2014, my third trip to Thailand, starting in Bangkok moving on to Hua Hin, to play golf, drink and be merry began badly.
Staying at the Holiday Inn on Sukhumvit 22, on the second evening I nipped across the road to The No Idea gastro pub for a couple of pints. It’s Saturday night and lively. Kiwi Dave the gaffer is milling about. I get chatting with an Irish guy and like me he’s a Nottingham Forest fan. We had the “craic” around 12:30 AM and it’s time for me to do one and leave. I could have paid the checkbin with my card but as the ATM was literally 50 yards I would withdraw 5,000 baht and pay cash about 1,200.
I return to the hotel and realise that I didn’t have any card. I went back to the ATM and the pub to see if I’d lost it there. No. Oh dear. I have lost it with no other means or back up. I called the 24 hour bank number and report it lost straight away.
Next morning the driver who picked me up at the airport is taking me to Hua Hin. He had already asked if he could come an hour earlier than the scheduled 11 o’clock. Mai bpen rai no problem.
He didn’t hang about (they don’t, do they).
555 sitting in the back seat thinking crikey that’s brave or dangerously stupid, usually a mixture of both Thai style driving!
He made the journey in two and a half hours. I’m standing in the reception at the Amari hotel and I produce my passport.
The lady receptionist then asks for my bank card. “I’ve lost it duck” (Nottingham speak).
Sorry? She said.
I lost my card in Bangkok last night, I explained.
She looked horrified with a face like a smacked arse. If looks could kill I was a dead man. I was told to wait whilst phone calls were made, I assume to GolfAsian. I went outside in the searing heat sitting poolside, just wanting to dump my stuff and get a shower, as I was only about 1 PM so in theory I couldn’t access the room until 2 PM. That was sorted out and I got to my room. All okay for now.
Over the next few days I played golf at the Royal Hua Hin next to the railway station. Thailand Tony, a mate, lent me 5,000 baht, while I was trying to sort something out with the bank back home. I eventually did through Verified By Visa but that was over a week or so later.
Anyone who plays golf in Thailand knows although the courses are really good. It’s not cheap with the extra costs – drivers tips, 400 recommended, caddies same and buggies at least 500.
The beauty for me playing there is you never know until you rock up who may be playing with you.
My next game would be Palm Hills Cha Am. 2 other guys join me on the tee. Both are Norwegians. One elderly chap who was very smart, overtly friendly with his attractive caddy.
The other guy, Jon, a typical Norseman, was big, stocky bearded and was a Leeds United fan spoke very good English, like most Scandinavians do.
By this time I had literally no money. I’m skint! I noticed early in the round Jon didn’t use a driver off the tee. I had bought a Wilson staff driver in England before the trip 180 quid. I started to think maybe Jon could be interested in buying the club. In the situation I was in I would take 100 pounds which was 5,000 baht back then.
I suggested he have a go with it and he did, but with no real success. A little further in the round my caddie had a go. She was only 16 years old. She hit it straight down the middle. Jon and I were not as successful.
I could tell he liked the look of the driver and at 5000 baht he was getting a result, even if he couldn’t use it.
With only a couple holes remaining I said go on Jon have another try. At last, he smashed it! He wanted the club but only had 3000 baht on him. He gave me his business card. He and his Thai wife had a hotel in Hua Hin. I picked up the money the next day.
After the golf I was sitting having a Singha and a Winston blue when a GolfAsian rep dropped 5,000 baht on the table.
Happy days, thank Buddha for that.