The venture to Bangkok
The taxi came to pick me up on Friday afternoon. Shasta and I said our goodbyes, for now. It's hard to say if we'll meet up again or not. The same with Alicia. It's likely not with either of them but one can never be certain.
I waited at the 2nd ferry terminal for around 20min before my boat came. It seemed I was getting what I paid for as I took the cheaper option and the walk way out to my boat looked like just that. The cheaper option.
Tis the life of a backpacker!
I boarded the ferry and decided to check out the upstairs cabin before going below deck. Outside the cabin door was an African American guy passed out on the ground with his head resting on his bag. I ignored him at first, went into the cabin and decided not to stay in there as it was 30 baht more. When I exited, more people had gathered around the passed out guy. Someone was trying to wake him by gently shaking him and saying hello. I bent over and kindly pulled his bag out from under his head and loudly said, "hey! The boats leaving! Your in Koh Tao! Get up!" That started to wake him. So I yelled it one more time and he jumped up in a panic! His sunglasses, a shoe and done change all tumbling to the ground. He clearly had a good time the night before and needed this sleep. He gathered his belongings as ithe travelers (myself included) all got a good laugh. I saw a Thai boat attendant and I quickly motioned for him to try and stop the boat.
I left after that, the guy was clearly able to help himself from that point on. I went downstairs to the lower cabin and watched from the windows as the boat tried to go back to the dock. It got pretty close and then I watched the guy jump down to the dock! To funny! I wonder if this guy is one of those travelers who's always a mess, like this!?
The ferry was supposed to depart at 2:30pm from Koh Tao. I didn't look at the time when we finally started moving but I think it was more like 3pm.
I arrived at the port to catch the bus at 5:40pm but when I went to check in they gave me a sticker that said 7pm so I had some time to kill before the bus left.
I checked out my options for food, there wasn't much. So I bought a twix candy bar, from the train station stop. Something I was familiar with but I ended up regretting eating it as it tasted old. Perhaps the preservatives had expired.
There were 3 local Thai kids running around all of us travelers in the parking lot. We sat on all edges of the concrete, eating, relaxing in shade anything to pass time and stay out of the heat a bit.
The kids kicked a soccer ball (a Thai style ball) at me and when I kicked it back that started up a playful game between them and about 4 other travelers, including myself. That was probably the greatest thing that could have happened to pass the time.
I met two guys from Brussels during the soccer game interaction. They had been sitting next to me at the station prior to the game starting.
Serguai and Frank were their names.
We became travel friends to Bangkok.
The sky was starting to turn dark and I knew it was time to load onto the bus when it lit up and started opening up like a Transformer! This double decker wonder was like nothing I had expected to see in Thailand. It looked super comfortable as well but that turned out to be not so true on a 8 hour ride.
The guys and I got stuck sitting in the top, back of the bus. A place that proved to be loud and full of vibration. The seats reclined nicely but it was hard to get comfy when I'd keep waking up with neck cramps. Our driver also drove like a bat out of hell! So much in fact that we arrived in Bangkok 2 hours early!
We had even made a 40min dinner stop at 9pm and we still arrived early.
The bus pulled over and I heard the driver get out, below us. He didn't turn off the bus but he did open our cabin door and start yelling, "get out!" One if the few English phrases he knew. The entire bus was woken up , confused and disoriented. We were told we'd be dropped off on Koh Son road (a famous backpackers road) but I could tell this wasn't it. It was 3am and I was NOT on the right road.
My friend Joe was coming to meet me at 5:30am and now I had to find the correct road, on foot and wait around for him. I was also surprised at the temperature for how early it was. It had to be around 90 degrees.
The Brussels boys were very kind and didn't want to leave me by myself. So we walked together until we found Koh Son road and then we found a McDonald's were I could connect to wifi and check my messages for any sign of my friend. I had nothing. We spent about an hour in there before we left and walked to a bar up the street.
This road was gross! I saw 4 of the biggest rats I've ever seen run past me and towards a pile of trash up against a building. They didn't hide either, these rats were well fed and not shy! They stayed in eye sight. Just about everyone that was out was dunk and there was laughing gas being sold for $100 B in balloons, on the street. I didn't notice any lady boys but I had already gotten my fill of them on Koh Tao.
The guys and I visited at the pub a little and stared, sleepily into space until 5:30am finally rolled around. I left my big pack with them while I walked up the street to look for Joe. My small pack had all my important belongings but I trusted these guys just the same.
I was filled with excitement to see Joe walking down the start of Koh San looking for me. I yelled his name as I walked faster in his direction. Oh it was nice to see him, like a small piece of home waiting right here in Bangkok for me.
He walked back to the pub with me and I introduced him to my Brussels friends and got my bag. The guys were now free to go search for a taxi to their hostel.
Joe had one of his Thai step sons with him, Egh and they had a free taxi as well. The driver was a family member so we didn't have much else to worry about.
It was about a 30min drive to Joe's Bangkok house. His real residence is about 5 hours away in the country up north. We arrived to his place and I met the other step son, Army. They were both very welcoming and spoke a fair amount of English. I was given a room and settled right in. Joe and I had a nice visit and caught up on my travels and life at home since I had last seen him. Then it was nap time.
As in now. I'm adding pictures to this post and going to take a nap. I'm exhausted!