Sunday, October 5, 2008

in this installment, james gets taken for a ride ... to nowhere

Bangkok was ... interesting. My "room" was a closet with windows that wouldn't close so I could hear the perpetual roar of tourists all night and a window to the hallway with no drapes so I had florescent light shining on my face all night. No television, free soap, or room to move. Oh, and it cost a third more than my room in Cambodia which could hold an entire soccer team.

So in the morning I rushed around, trying to find this Israeli travel shop that everyone raved about. I finally did ... and got a cheap flight to the big island (Koh Samui). Then I had hours to kill so I thought I'd browse around the city. Ten minutes later I caught a bus to the airport because I'd rather sit for four hours in the sterile, uncomfortable world of an airport than hang around Bangkok another minutes.

It's horrid.

Then my flight was delayed, and rather than walk onto the plane, at the last second they detoured us to the tarmac where we got on a shuttle to a completely different plane.

The flight over was incredibly beautiful. The sun was setting behind cloud formations that I've never seen in real life, only in magazines.

I landed on Koh Samui and was really impressed with the scenery. I asked to be taken to a particular port village so I could head to Koh Tao (the smallest of the three islands, where all the diving is) in the morning. My driver wanted to take me to HIS hotel, and when I refused he stopped the van so I could get off. Told me I could take my pick than, but this was the village.

He lied. After walking around for an hour, looking for the cheap guesthouse listed in my Lonely Planet, I found a confused motorbike driver who finalyl figured out I was in the wrong village. I had to snag a room at the cheapest place here (twice the price I could have gotten at the other place) but at least it was a TV so I can listen to Sarah Palin on CNN and take a dip in the pool.

I made my deposit for diving with a British diving company. If there's room I'll start tomorrow. And I'll be on an island that's only 21 square kilometers, so I'm hoping to spend most of my time there snorkeling with the free equipment I'll recieve from the dive company! Got I hope it workd out. The two bigger islands are a lot more touristy. The middle one is better (can't remember the name, it's VERY Thai) but every full moon they have a party that attracts tourist and locals alike from all corners of Thailand. Basically, the beaches are shoulder to shoulder with drunk people. I kind of want to witness that, but I don't think it's worth the trip price over to get annoyed with idiots.

I can't wait to explore in the daylight, from the air these islands look like the places I used to stare at for hours in National Geographic.

No, not the topless tribe women. Sheesh.


KathyB. said...

Boy, I am mad at that taxi driver...and glad you were able to get some things sorted. I hope your diving time is fantastic and makes up a little for the prior experiences. Looking forward to more adventures from JAMES IN SPACE !

Sheridan said...

Give me the number of that taxi driver, I am banning him from Movie-Moron permanently.

Nice to hear the story had a happy ending. I can't go a day without my 'cringing fix' of watching Sarah Palin incite a riot.