"Sorry, honey," I whispered. "I'm rich now."
23.08.2011 - 07.09.2011
Bangkok, September 7th 2011
Today I woke up still feeling rich although my wallet was close to empty. My flight will be at 2:10 in the afternoon. So I still have plenty of time to enjoy the feeling of being rich in an apartment I would not be able to afford in "reality". In daily life, I mean. I got out of bed, walk to the window, drew the curtains open, and walked out of the bedroom into my kitchen. All the dishes I used the day before are cleaned and set back in the cupboard and drawers. How nice it is to use as many dishes without bothering about how much work it would take to clean them up. I boiled water in the electric kettle and prepared myself a cup of Thai Nescafe.
After a light breakfast and free WiFi downstairs, I headed for the gym center. Not all equipments were in perfect condition. But at least the gymnasium here at Omni Tower is much much more a gymnasium than the ones at my previous accommodations in Penang and Sai Gon. After half an hour of work out, I returned to my room, my apartment, for a shower; a rich shower. Tralalala.
The front office staffs of Omni Tower were extremely helpful when I checked out. One of the staffs brought my suitcase with him, walked me to the front, and tried to call a taxi for me. I wasn't going to take a taxi all the way to Suvarnabhumi International Airport. I just wanted to get to the airport link station. There were many taxis passing by Omni Tower, but none seemed to accept the hotel staff's order. I think the staff already called more than 10 taxis, but every time the taxi would stop, listen to the hotel staff, and then go away. I asked 'why', but he said he doesn't know.
At last, a taxi accepted my order. Then, I realized that the taxi driver was trying to take me round and round. Thanks a lot to the map the tourist desk staff at Omni Tower gave me yesterday. Moreover, traveling solo seemed to have improved my map-reading skill. (Theory has it that women are good at reading maps and capable of multitasking. But fact proofs I'm terrible in both.) I now understand why the taxi drivers had been declining my hotel staff's order. It's because the distance is too short.
Instead of taking me to Makkasan Station as requested by the hotel staff, my taxi driver headed to the opposite all the way on Phloenchit Road. He didn't show any sign of turning to the right. Stupid I might be with maps, but it's very clear to me that the airport link line runs along our right side. We should turn to the right. We already passed a crossroad just now. We could have turned right there.
At the next crossroad, I tapped the driver's shoulder. "We are going to the right, aren't we?" I asked.
He did not say a word. Instead, he turned his head, saw the map spread wide between my hands, turned his head back, and pressed his right-sign switch on. In the end I arrived at Ratchaparop Station, one station before Makkasan Station. Luckily I spared much time before my flight. My taxi driver still tried to trick me. When the station was obviously on the left side of the street, he deliberately turned to the right. Then we got caught by a traffic light. I still had some bahts left in my wallet but had planned to buy something nice at the airport for myself. I'm not going to spend my eventually-extra cash on a silly city tour like this. When the meter reached 70 bahts and the traffic light was still red, I got off.
Thanks to the smooth pedestrian side of the street, I walked to Ratchaparop Station dragging my suitcase along with ease.
Since my first day in Bangkok a week ago, I already noticed how kind the the officers were at the station. They were always ready and anxious to show me the way and how to purchase a ticket.
This is what the airport link looks like.
A shame thing to admit: This was my first time with Garuda on an international flight.
At Suvarnabhumi I bought myself a traveler's pen-flashlight, and still had some bahts left, just enough to buy a plate of salmon roll plus a glass of apple juice which all cost 270 bahts. Thinking in rupiah, it's not cheap. Just don't think. There are times that you don't have to.
Another thing about Bangkok that impresses me is the Japan mind that seems to fill the air. It's not only that Japanese restaurants and food stalls are found every here and there, the announcement at the train station and inside the train, is also read in Japanese. It's not just written, but read.
Boarding on Garuda Indonesia. Air Asia just stared at me from afar. "Sorry, honey," I whispered. "I'm rich now."
Full lunch, yummy, and free. I looked through the window, in case Air Asia was watching.