Sunday, 25 February 2007

sawasdee moshimoshi part 2

for those who have just joined us, this is a continuation of the entry that i had posted yesterday. you might want to go here first before reading this entry.

i am feeling really good tonight. it must be the late dusk rain that had brought the cool breeze with the frogs croaking and sounds of crickets around the house that really lifted my spirits when i was inhaling the damp fresh air with a bit of nicotine outside the house. oki dokie then, back to the trip.

it must have been the lethargy of early morning activities of scaling, uploading, rearranging and preparing the slideshows of the photos that made me missed stating the obvious fact that it was not the best time for us to travel. out of the three generations of my family travelling together, ironically the fittest and healthiest people during those days were my 60 odd years-old parents. amelya and alyssa caught the flu one week before the trip. and my antibodies who had been going strong for the past thirty four years had finally descended of their plateau with me going in and out of fever 2 days before the trip. wifey, is as usual with her headache, not the ones used to excuse her from unwanted advances in the middle of the night but the ones that occurs almost without fail whenever she is exposed to extreme heat and/ or sunlight.

neither have i failed to emphasize the stress impounded on me upon the unfortunate event of me dropping my four-month old videocam. my latest manly-playthings just refused to abide to my command to record the moving beautiful moments that we were going through with an error message of video recording disabled but still allowing me to view the ones already imprinted on the silverish disc and snapping happily with its 4mp still impressions. hence, when we prematurely ended our first half day adventure with amelya sleeping soundly under the protection of a tuktuk and the demands of the senior ones for a riceful of midday servings in our hotel rooms skipping our highlights of the day, the grand palace, i hurriedly ventured out around the vicinity of our abode in search of a new silverish disc to ascertain the culprit of this disloyalty. while i was confounded by the price that i had to endure for such nobility of a commoners item back home, i caved in and dastardly went home humbled.

to my utter amazement and delight, the crux of the problem lied on the silverish material and my equipment were back to its original humility, following every order that i issued henceforth.

* note: alamak, penat la tulih camni, it is just going to make this entry longer so i'll go back to simple english *

but the afternoon heat is just too much for us and i was worried that it will worsen the healths of the children so we stayed back at the hotel until it was nearing dusk (their maghrib time is at around 6.20pm) before we ventured out to pat p0ng for the night market retail therapy.

we had been advised before by people and taxi drivers that the prices in those area will not be very competitive but i wanted to take every opportunity of going out since we have had little activity since we came back to the hotel room at lunchtime so off we went.

after walking for about half an hour in pat p0ng, the fever started gripping me and since i don't fell sick very often, i would be totally incapacitated if i were. while the videocam were working well, i was not. i could only last about 45 minutes of walking and the only thing that we purchased that night was tim burt0n's corpse bride dvd which is not really a bargain compared to back home. originally, we wanted to buy some princessy dvd for alyssa but since they didn't have any in stock and alyssa won't let us off the hook if we have promised to buy her anything, i chose that one since i love all tim burt0n's movie and we haven't had that one yet.

another side note: can anybody recommend me any good (read free) dvd ripper? couldn't rip the files out of the dvd that i recorded or i could have posted a video or two if i had one.

so, we went back to the hotel relatively earlier. or so we thought. despite the map that we have shown to the taxi driver who spoke almost no english and apparently doesn't read roman alphabets either, we got down the taxi almost nowhere around our hotel (but at least around the neighbourhood) after so many rounds of looking for the hotel while the meter was running! i thought of walking back to the hotel but luckily managed to grab another taxi which still could not find the hotel with the map and just zoomed past it. luckily my father spotted the hotel and we just couldn't be bothered to ask the taxi to go around and got lost again and we still walked half a block to the hotel room and ended our first day in bangkok.

scary masks on saledried flowersall sorts of figurinesspoilt for choices

the plan for the second day was to spend the majority of the day in the chatuc@k market which we almost did. and thank to god also that everybody was finally as healthy as we could wish. the taxi driver that took us to the market was reasonably friendly and fluent with english. while i was contemplating on the plan for the third day, he suggested us to to the safari w0rld for quite a reasonable fee. since i would like to at least leave an impression of the trip for the kids whom had been trudging to all the adult places that bore no interest to them, i agreed to his suggestion.

among the sights in the market were above. while the two options of taking care of both of the children while they were playing in the inflatables (which i do not have any stills, only video) and went another round shopping with them were both not favourable, i chose the former, only to find out that they took too much time with the kids out of their sights. thankfully, i spotted a tourist information centre nearby and both of the kids were sleeping soundly in the airconditioned room when finally the shopping adults came back to their senses and discovered us there.

you could say that after what happened the day before, we could have better luck with the taxis. not wanting for history to repeat itself, i requested the english speaking tourist guide to write down the route to the hotel in siamese for the direction to the hotel while showing her the map.

while we secured the taxi easily, we noticed a disapproving head-shake of the zero-english taxi driver when i was showing him the note. after about one kilometre of drive, he stopped by the roadside on the pretense of checking out his tyres. then, with the vigorous shake of his head and possibly the only word of english that he knows, he said no with some signals that i gathered could only mean that he was not willing to carry four adults and two children in his brand new taxi. so, again we got off without paying anything of course and hailed another taxi which thankfully carried us back to our hotel room uneventfully.

still not satisfied with their collection of the day, i have to bring them to go around the hotel for more shopping after about 3 hours of rest. while we did not spend the whole day at the market, they must have had an overdose of therapy should they be looking for one that day. :rolleyes:

on the fourth day, we made our way to the safari w0rld which is about 50km from the city centre. it was an uneventful journey. around the safari w0rld, there was a golf course and the richer side of bangk0k with spanking new bungalow gated developments which according to the taxi driver easily costs in excess of 7 million baht. i also managed to catch this modern looking under construction building with a huge buddh@ overlooking the main entrance of the building which i think i rather unique in its elements.

the children had fun there as much as the adults with the orangutan, sea lion, dolphin and beluga whale shows, feeding the tropically acclimatised polar bears and watching the free-roaming animals in the safari ride.

purple elephantsea lion showfeeding the polar bearssafari ride, who's watching who here?

i thought that we were going back to the hotel room at the end of the day but again, i was wrong. apparently, the adults was still undernourished in their quota of their therapy and we ended up going to another shopping place, the praturn@m market area. on the way back when the sun had almost set, i spotted this golden temple which had a good contrast compared to the surrounding grey and white concrete jungle. if only we were back like 15 minutes earlier, it would have been a better exposed photo but i am putting it in this entry nonetheless.

our flight home was at 9.40am the following morning. when we were coming into bangk0k, i had estimated the traffic-free travelling time would be around half an hour. add another half hour for traffic jam, 1 hour margin should be enough to cover all eventualities. even then, i thought of the worst and added another half hour so our ideal time to go out of the hotel was 7 o'clock. i even asked 2 taxi drivers of their opinion and both agreed with me that we would have plenty of time to reach the airport.

we got into the taxi going to the airport even earlier at 6.50am. as we stepped into the taxi, i even asked the third taxi driver whether we could make it on time and he said we would have plenty of time. unfortunately, the infamous traffic jam in bangk0k was trying very hard to prove that one uninformed tourist and 3 bangk0k taxi drivers were wrong.

we were still stuck in slower than snail-pace traffic to get into the highway at 8:00am. and the last 1km before getting into the highway must have been the one of the longest half hour that i have experienced in my life, with flashes of deja vu on the very occasion that we missed the first ever flight that i took of the everyone can fly airline. but thank to god always, we finally managed to enter the free flowing highway at 8.10am and i just watched in silence as the taxi driver lugged the huge suv body at 140km/h, scaling the 35km highway in mere 20 minutes. and with 15 minutes of spare time before the check-in closes 45 minutes before flight time, i was not in the mood to re-enact the incident that my former school mate went through in catching his last breath while rushing to check into a flight. then finally, all was well and we were heading home while i managed to immortalise the last view that we saw entering the new airport's boarding lounge before going into the red aeroplane.

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