Day 114 – Bangkok
We had now got word that the shocks were definitely arriving today, but a morning spent on the phone gave us very little clue as to what time they would be available for collection. Even more frustrating, it seemed that for some reason, on Saturdays it is impossible for civilians to collect cargo, and it would have to be organized by a customs official at the airport, who, coincidentally, would have to be paid. This is some seriously providential legislation for these customs guys. All of this ambiguity meant that we had to all wait around the hotel area and couldn’t venture too far afield, as we may need to be ready for action. However, it was a particularly hot day, and so there were no complaints about spending a few hours in air conditioned rooms. I killed some time by going to pick up my suit, which had finally been finished by the tailors. It fit like a dream, and they even hung onto my details, in case I ever wanted to order from them again. If you are ever wanting to get a good quality suit made for a real steal, I still have their e-mail address…
It was only at around 3:00 that we finally got the call that we could go through to start the paperwork for collecting the shocks. Dad and John opted to go, and the rest of us read, slept, or took short forays out into the humid chaos. As the afternoon began to fade into early evening, Kath, Shan and I decided to take a last wander around town. We walked through temples and monasteries sheltered between tall office buildings, and poked around in tiny little shops, one of which was given over completely to huge, gilded framed pictures of the Thai King, who is absolutely adored by many of his citizens. As we walked out of that shop, we noticed a small crowd gathered in a little bookstore. Upon entering, we discovered that there had just been a book reading by a local author, and although we had missed the reading, he was now going to entertain everyone with his jazz band. And they turned out to be seriously good. It was great to see many of the audience members, mostly locals, really getting into the groove. Afterwards, we were invited up for snacks and drinks where the author/muso was displaying some of his artwork, a phenomenally talented guy.
Now quite hungry, we continued our wanderings and found a small food quarter, where due to the complete lack of ability to communicate, we had to order by pointing at things that looked recognizable, although in the case of dessert, we just had to wing it completely. It was all delicious, though, and after a final walk through the markets and backstreets, we returned to the hotel. Dad and John still weren’t back, and it was only after 11:00 that they finally returned victorious, shocks in hand. Tomorrow, we’re outta here!