Since my body clock is out of whack, it’s time for a blog post! I arrived in Lopburi, Thailand yesterday at around 1900 local time and after my journey I was very much ready for bed.
Just over 24 hours before arriving at my hotel, I set off from my house in England.
Travelling down to London was predictably dull. There weren’t even any delays to liven things up. I should be grateful but it did mean I had nearly 4 hours to kill before my gate opened. There were, like, a hundred shops and none of them save WHSmiths grabbed my interest. At least whack a Game in there or something Heathrow.
It didn’t help that I sped through customs. It only took thirty minutes to dump my baggage and head through security. I had my bag searched because I forgot to take out my hand sanitiser. I think I aroused suspicion by asking a copious amount of questions about the gizmos the lady was using to probe my bag. “Ooo what does that do?” “What does that pick up?” “What are you looking for?” I realised I probably sound like I didn’t want to her to find something but it all worked out in the end.
While waiting to board I played the Spot the Sexpat Game. Nobody wins that game.
The flight was eventually delayed taking off by roughly an hour so for better or for worse I started watching Gravity. Depending on your perspective, that’s either an excellent idea or a terrible one. I tell you something, the turbulence and take off really added to the immersion.
It was an overnight flight and I did my best to sleep. Getting comfortable was tricky but in the end I settled for folding out the tray in front and burying my face in my arms. I don’t know how much I slept but it never felt like a lot.
Towards the end of the flight we were given a choice of omelette or porridge. This was not ordinary porridge though, no. This was chicken porridge. I had to try it. It had chunks of chicken and bits of what I assume were fruit. Overall it was OK and if I find it again in an actual restaurant I’ll have another try.
Finally, we arrived at Bangkok in Suvarnabhumi Airport. This also went smoothly despite some minor baggage delays. People departing at Bangkok were given an arrival card to fill in on the flight and I did so without specifying a staying address. Lopburi was too vague apparently so I was advised at passport control to put something else down – anything. So I decided to stay at another passenger’s hostel and sailed through.
I was met by a lovely taxi driver holding a sign for with “Johnathon”. I asked if he was from the company I was going to work for but was met with a confused look so I did another initial scout at the meeting point before face palming and realising this was my guy. Who else spells Jonathan that ridiculous way? I showed him my passport and he led me to the carpark.
From Bangkok, the journey to Lopburi took roughly 2 hours. I took this opportunity to practise my Thai a little with the taxi driver and stare out the window. I didn’t see much of Bangkok as we took the highways that skirted round it to the east.
When asked if I was hungry I said yes and we stopped at a fast food place. My first meal in Thailand was a burger. I am shamed by this. 119 Baht for a meal which, from what I’ve read, is pretty expensive by Thai standards.
While staring out the window, on the other side of the highway I saw ambulances and police in the wake of an accident involving mopeds. From what I could tell, there was a body that looked to be in the process of being bagged up. I had seen lots people on bikes and mopeds on the roads, many of which didn’t wear helmets. It was pretty sobering.
At last, we arrived at my hotel. It was booked and paid for on my behalf by the school I’m working for. I met the head of school and was shown to my room after introductions. The room itself is pretty large and comfortable, though I admit I’m just glad to get a bed after that journey.
When the room light was first switched on, I saw something in the corner of my eye scurry behind a painting on the wall. Half unnerved, half apathetic due to fatigue, I deduced it was a gecko. Another sits on the wall in the bathroom. He’s either not alive or just friendlier. I’m going to go with friendlier.
After a shower I settled down and explored the TV. I spent some time getting involved in a Thai soap opera before switching over to Voice TV – a channel I’d actually heard of because of watching Talking Thailand before on YouTube (a chat show spoken in a mix of Thai and English). However this particular show was all in Thai and I soon was struck with an overwhelming desire to sleep which I went with.
And here I am. It’s the next morning and I’m about to get my shorts on and find breakfast. My plan is to have a wander before I meet up with people from my school this afternoon for a bit of a show around.
It’s a sunny, hot day. Time to leave the comfort of my air conditioned room I guess!