Food, Food everywhere and not a bite to eat.Day two Bangkok:I woke up early as I planned to catch the 9:30am tour of the National Museum. History, art and all that. After walking a few streets I stopped to check my map. A fellow approached me and explained that not only was I walking in the wrong direction but the museum was closed for its' anniversary. Huh? It seems the prince was visiting the museum and it was closed for him until 2pm.
We interrupt this update for an update. I'm writing this in an out of the way restaurant drinking tea and waiting for the house band to start playing. There are one or two non-Thai faces but they all seem local. It's a pleasure to get away from being a tourist.
So this fellow, a primary school English teacher, suggested that I see a few sites instead. He was helpful and wrote down the place names in Thai. I hopped a motorized tricycle for 20 Bhat (divide by 40 for USD) to see the lot. After site number one my driver tells me he'll take me to a silk factory - "It's on the way." I can see where this is heading but as I'm in no hurry, I agree. When he pulls up in front of a Men's wear store with big letters proclaiming "Diplomats Welcome" and other such stuff in English I convince him I am not even going to step inside. I don't care how cheap the suit might be or how much his family needs the commission, I am not hauling it around the mountains for two months. We moved on to site number two. After site number two, Dong (my Thai driver) asks about my travel arrangements. I look at my watch and figure that it's an experience being taken for a ride in Bangkok.
I received better service in that travel agent's office than... ever. It was that good. I was "wai"-ed in and wai-ed out, a chair was drawn up for me and a glass of water poured. When I left without buying I was escorted out and the lady told Dong that there would be no commission for him. Sad face. Onward!! "Maybe an export store?" By now I'd had enough of riding in the back of a motorcycle-pickup truck crossbred. I dictated the last of my stops, paid when we arrived and said Kawp Kuhn Kahp*. Dong was not pleased.
It's now close to 11pm. I'm off to bed. Next time: P.I.T. - The school of the first engineer!
~~The band is playing Imagine.
*Thank you sir.