Wingin it: Wheeling and dealin Bangkok to Ko Samet
Travel and adventure — why are they so addicting. Because you look in the mirror every day and do your best it is demanded and sometimes the bear eats you and sometimes you eat the bear. You are alive. We are alive.
My Bangkok phone is ringing at 7am. (whole other post on cheap GSM phone that I am swapping SIM left/right/center for local voice/sms communication) and nobody really understands each other but blah, blah and YES PLEASE take me and my family to Ban Phe 250kilo away today for negotiated price from yesterday and oi this is tough you better show up but if you don’t I have the back ups ok, ok . . . )
Ok, so up, coffee and poking around and then we have a final Bangkok adventure in the morning to a new zone and new markets — the upscale developed kind for the asian glitz/consumer — amazing contrast to the street markets — and some errands. Loved this cycling shot and can’t wait to get on the bike again!
So pack it up and pack it in and some play time and school time and yeah our guy shows and he is early actually cool except but I’m on the 18th floor and I keep thinking he is about to leave even though he is 30 min early and calling every 5 min and I’m doing my best to smile while packing my wife and kids into bags and we speak 10 words in common . . . at one point I run down and find him and am like hey man it’s cool I’m here look at these pics of wife kids you met yesterday we are coming! . . . and then we pile into the (preferred) PINK taxi that I’ve scoped already for real tires and cleanliness and trust the driver have the vibe in place and away we go but I’ve got the route dialed too cuz I’m freaked he doesn’t know it perfect.
We are immediately 1000 degrees and in traffic. We all go into a strange travel soup for 1 hour but I’m freaking on his route and finally get enough confidence to space fully w/ the rest. Then we are like on a U.S. road trip, not interesting really. Huge highway, accidents here and there, billboards. Hmm. Close to Ban Phe a moto with tout pulls up and reels our guy in — he spots the Bangkok taxi w/ white fam . . . and I see the boat card the taxi guy has and know they will try to shanghai us into some expensive boat, blah. So on point, see the right signs and get fired up at the right time and our guy has to ditch the tout (and his commission) and we get to the main pier and wade through touts and lies and what not get the big boat for 150 bhat one way for our family. The other option is 2500! So, the math is, pay attention and don’t be an idiot and be willing to spend 40 minutes to the main pier and pay $5 for the fam — or get jacked into paying $90. WTF!!!! Anyway, the big boat and slow speed and local Thai/Jap/etc. is so awesome for us. Way better than fast boat anyway.
Main pier, sort out the “taxi” — which are 4X4 trucks w/ benches and we end up ok — not jacked and not perfect and meet some cool local thais w/ a villa for us in Bangkok and we’ll see. Bags, peeps, truck, all good.
We find a good room at the place we want and decide to punch it in.
The next thing we know it is 6pm and we are in the windblown ocean with 100 thai/jap/chi/etc. peeps just going off! Super fun, and inspiring. The ocean is warmer even than Indo. It feels good to take off 5 layers of travel/Big Smoke grime. We have dinner at the resto right on the beach from a fresh bbq menu w/ curries, fire spinning and dancing cambodian teenagers, techno cranking the soundsystem. Just your average ASEAN holiday going on. I demand Megan spin fire w/ these cats we have 3 nights to get it done — she wades in and starts to make friends, nice!
I explore a bit more after reading and finish up at a stand selling meat/veggie soup thing before heading back to the room, kindle in tow, and this soup burns my face off like it should, wow.
We are in a tiny room but not even close to the tiniest we’ve done — are are coming to enjoy being on top of each other (interspersed w/ not :) What a day.