2 weeks later the red shirts were wreaking havoc in Bangkok and I prepared to go north to pick up my newly arrived passport. This time I could not get a ticket in Phuket as it seemed government had cut bus rides up north in order to stem the flow of people to the ongoing demonstrations. Anyway, I got a ride in Krabi and was once again on my way. Same routine repeated itself with dinner in Chumphon. I bought for dessert a bag of "mak" from an old lady selling them outside the rest stop. It was so strong it made my head spin.
The Lion of Finland
This time I arrived Bangkok at 4.30am next morning and I was smarter than last time and bought my return ticket straight away. Then I took a taxi to Wongvien Yai where the start of the western skytrain line is. As I had so much time on my hands I just started walking along the road towards Chid Lom.
Bangkok morning rush
I passed several street hawkers that were preparing to setup shop for the day. Stray dogs were roaming the streets in packs, luckily they did not bother me. I also passed Patpong roads thatwere being cleaned up after the nights excesses. I saw police men doing their part in enforcing the law. Bangkok was waking up as I walked along Sathorn Road, Silom and Witthayu until Sukhumvit road.
Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)
I arrived about an hour and half later to the embassy and read a book while waiting for the bureaucrats to come to work. Once the doors opened I got my passport and was once again free to roam the streets of Bangkok. This time I had a date with Brendan and Lyn who were also in Bangkok for business. After some half a dozen phonecalls to find my bearings to their hotel I was there by 9.30am. I was grateful of being able to loan their bathroom and wash off the dust and sweat from the trip.
Bangkok riverside architecture
After that we headed off to Surasak and took the ferry boat up to Banglamphu district (close to the famous KhaoSan road). This area has nothing to with Thailand but tourists seemed to love it. We found a nice restaurant under a huge shady tree where we ordered several Singha's accompanied by lunch. As we were chatting away I realized time was drawing close and I found myself looking for a taxi that would not try and shaft me. The first 4-5 would not open their meters and quoted ridiculous prices to get to Sai Tai.
Old rice barge converted to service the tourist trade
When I reached the main road I caught a taxi who was honest enough to open his meter and take me where I wanted. I arrived SC plaza with 20minutes to spare. Finally when I was waiting at the platform I was informed that the bus is late so I ended up sitting there for perhaps an hour. Anyway, once again I was on the way south again, mission accomplished. This time there was no dinner stop or I slept through it. Next morning I woke up in deep south again back home.
By the time of writing this the red shirts had smeared the Parliament House steps and the Prime Ministers house entrance with their own blood...