Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003 – Day 246 to Friday, October 24th, 2003 – Day 248

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003 – Day 246

I was up at 9.00am. I slept only a little last night as the room has only a prefabricated wall. Two blokes in a twin room next door were chatting mad. I walked to Lavender station as I thought I would have enough credit on my metro card. It took 20 minutes. I then took the metro to the airport. I was there 2.5 ahead of take off, but I like airports. I found a movie lounge and settled into watch Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (which was poor) and read the Straits Times Newspaper. I like Cathy pacific for the free newspapers. I got the Financial times and Wall Street Journal. The inflight entertainment was the same as the Jakarta-Singapore flight. I watched a funny episode of the 70’s show (which mimicked Vertigo, Psycho and other horror movies) and a episode of Mr. Bean.

I was in Bangkok by 3.50pm but had to wait one hour for a public bus to take me into town. It was nearly 5.00pm before I found a hotel with a room. I tried 4/5 others. I wanted a bit of luxury for 2 nights as I need a good nights sleep. I paid 1,000 Bt for a luxury apartment including breakfast. That included tax and service. Its called the Nanatai Mansion.

I watched some of the Argentina V Romania Rugby game on TV and lots of BBC World News which I like. I did not go down town until 8.00pm. I wanted a bite to eat. I love Thai green curry with chicken and potatoes.

Nothing to report for the rest of the night. I am back in Bangkok again – shit. I had a few beers, but I I have lost a bit of gra (love) for the city. When I first came here (in 1998) it was my first visit to Asia and the first time I traveled abroad alone. It was exciting. They say (and its true) that you either love or hate Bangkok. I loved it. It was brash, loud, smelly, hot. You meet the strangest people here. All sorts of farnag (Western men) come and stay here. I remember guys coming into the bars. One was so old he used two walking sticks to get into the bar and left with two Thai girls on each arm on the way out.

I met a man who had brought his blind brother (blind from birth) to Thailand to find a wife. I met an English guy ( a sailor) who had troubles every night. He was in the same hotel. On the first night, he had brought home a girl while drunk only to find out she was a he. On the second night he brought home a different girl who stole all his money. He had a brain wave. He had secretly taped their encounter on a cam corder. He brought it to a police station who stole the tape and said they were going to publish it on VCD/DVD for his stupidity. I would not get involved with the girls here, even if I could aford it. They are all hardcore (many of them are so old, you can imagine them been around since Vietnam). Of course that’s how the reputation started. Bangkok was the R&R location for US Soldiers during Vietnam and that’s how the tourist industry started. Many of the hotels in the city were built in the 70’s to cater for the soldiers.

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

I am back in Bangkok (22-10-2003)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2003 – Day 247

Little news today. I have been to every temple, tourist attraction, dog house and bar in Bangkok before and its old to me. I want to leace ASAP to Cambodia. I will scan post some old photos here after I get back (of previous visits) but I am not goung to revsit all the attractions in bangkok for the sake of this blog!!

Anyway I have had a sore tooth some and again over the past month and decided to visit the dentist. In all honesty I have had litle experience of denal work. I remember going as a child (maybe 16) and I am sure (they may shock) that I did not pay and visit to any dentist between 1990 and 2001. Sad but true. I never had reason to visit even though in the early 90’s I rarely brushed my teeth. I never got into the habit of manintining and loking after them. i remember a dentist, gave me blue dye tablets to chew every night (to turn my teeth blue) in order to force me to brush but I still did not.

The first time I went to a dentist was in Bankok in June last year before I headed to vietnam. After an exam, all I had to get was 2 fillings. They were impressed. Sure, my teeth aint white (far from it) but my teeth and gums were still in good nick.

Anway I rang them again at 9.00am this morning and aranged a exam at 10.00am. I rushed down to the metro and as I knew where it was was, I was able to get there with 10 minues to spare.

Dental Hospital, Sukhumvit Soi 49

Dental Hospital has 24 dental treatment rooms, including diagnostic and treatment planning room, operating room, admitting facilities, dental laboratory and other services.

Noe this is no corner shop. This place is top range, 3 floors of pain but professionala nd clean. I headed in for a exam and an x-ray of my teeth (it was good value). this is my first x-ray (dental record) so I might get them to send it abck to my dentist in Ireland (not that i ahve one yet). Bad new regarding fillings.

Click on the picture to see it in it´s original size

I hate dentists (23-10-2003)

There were 3 fillings that were needed to be filled. In addition there were 3 old fillings from my childhood that would need to be replaced within a year (no hurry) and 5 small cavities unseen to the naked eye but wee picked up by the x-ray. Bugger, I decided to do a few of the more urgent ones today and do the others at home.

The exam, x-ray and consultation took 30 minutes. i waited for 5 and headed for a cleaning (1,200 bt). The cleaning was to minisise teh chance of gum disease. that took 30 minutes and there was a lot of scraping. Uggg. I eaded straight accross to another room for 3 fillings which took only 30 minutes. That was OK.

Still, with the waiting and work, it took 3 hours. I was unable to eat for another four so I headed to Pantip Plaza where pirated DVD’s etc are to be found.

It was a pale imitation of last year where all wares were publically on view. They were banished as the crackdown reached here. There were some sellers in he back rroms fronted by antique shops with some sellers with lists. Still, a bit messy. News of the rackdown can be found here.

The government’s next target was Tawanna Centre. Four other centres of pirated products, owned by other interests, would also be targeted. These would be the Mahboonkrong Centre in downtown Bangkok, and one outlet each in Si Racha, Nonthaburi and Khlong Thom.

Anyway i headed to the bus stationa fter that to check on buses to Southern thaialnd (Trat) in order to get into Cambodia. Tickets were 147 Bt but would were on sale only on the day of departure. After that i ate close to the station. It was nice stall food for 30 bt. It started to rain so i headed abck down town for a beer and to watch the Japan – Fiji game.

I went to a food court around 8.00pm and ate.

I was planning to stay in Thailand for 2 days (and leave tomorrow) but I did not

know that all banks were closed today (thurs) for a national holiday. i was

unable to get the US currency i need for Cambodia and Vietnam. You have to

leave here at 8.00am to get to the thai boarder before closing. Beacuse I have

to wait for the bank to open, I can not leave now until Saturday.

I went back to the hotel and had an early night. The hotel plays pirated films (using VD) on a a TV chaneel throughout the day and night. i watched 8 Mile until 1.00am before falling asleep.

Friday, October 24th, 2003 – Day 248

I stayed in bed until late watching About a Boy with Hugh Grant on TV. Indeed I did not leave until noon. I checked out as I was moving to a cheaper hotel called the Orchid Inn down the road. It was 400 bt less for the same facilities etc (air-con, cable).

I headed to the Bankok Bank Branch close by to buy US currency for Cambodia. There are no cash machines in cambodia so its all US greenbacks. It took forever when forms, waits etc. After that I headed back to Pantip Plaza. A bit better luck this time. it seems it was bad news to sell illegal copies during the APEC meeting when Bush JNR was about but things are getting a bit better now. I only bought 3 films. They are far cheaper in Vietnam and China.