South East Asia – Chapter 7 – Random Observations

A short little post about things I noticed during my transfer from Bangkok International Airport to Don Muang Airport. Totally random …

1. Bus drivers in Thailand are mainly female.
2. A lot of people where masks over their face while walking around at the airport or elsewhere. We
rarely see this at home, but it is commonplace here.
3. There is a Muslim praying room right beside where I am sitting in the DMK airport.
4. Bangkok (from the highway) looks like any other big city, with a few gold religious places or pagodas
sprinkled throughout the tall concrete jungle, mostly slightly on the outskirts of city centre
though.
5. People here don’t seem to smile or laugh much. Now, maybe that’s because I’ve only been at the
airport. Maybe it isn’t a happy place to work or be?
6. I feel very safe. I’m sitting in the airport with my laptop out and my luggage all beside me, but
other than keeping an eye on my surroundings, I haven’t see anything to make me think someone might
try to pick-pocket me or run away with my stuff. I’m sure walking down the street I would feel
differently.
7. I’ve seen more than a few white men with much younger Asian women.
8. The cleaning staff wear gloves all the time and pick garbage up with tongs of different sorts. I
haven’t seen any recycling bins to sort different items, but the cleaners seem to separate the
bottles and cans from the paper with their handy tongs.
9. I have yet to see any good looking Thai men. I’ve never really been attracted to Asian men, but I
assumed that once I arrived in the country and was surrounded by them that there would be a higher
volume and that would mean I’d see more, therefore find more of them attractive. Unfortunately, not
so far. Just a random observation, no I’m not looking to hook up!
10. The women wear the cutest outfits! So girly, frilly, light and feminine. I suspect most of them are
designer though and I probably wouldn’t do girly and frilly very well so I don’t think I’ll be
shopping for those outfits while I’m here. We’ll see when I return at the end of my trip.

South East Asia – Chapter 6 – DMK Airport

10:30am local time in Bangkok on August 16.
Sitting on the floor in the airport … questionable? Yes, it is.

Blah. That’s what I have to say about the Don Meuang Airport in Bangkok. Just Blah.

The free shuttle bus took about an hour between the two airports. We went from four lane highways to four lanes that the locals had made into five and six lanes. Sometimes we were trucking along at 80kms an hour, other times at a snails pace weaving in between cars.

The shuttle bus is old and tattered, but generally decently clean and they seemed to keep us safe throughout the traffic, which was my main concern.

I could see city centre in the distance with all of its high rises, but unfortunately the windows were screened with advertising so I couldn’t capture any even half-ass photos.

On arrival at DMK airport, I went to the hotel reservations desk with the idea that if I could rent a room at an airport hotel for ½ a day, at least I could shower, get cleaned up and not have to cart my luggage around.

There was no one at the Hotel desk.

I went to the information desk instead. They told me that the hotel is 15-20 minutes cab ride away. I decided I didn’t want to bother. I checked at a local tour desk but no one had any interest in taking me for a tour for just 2-3 hours. Here their price was $100 US. Um, no. I don’t want to spent $100 US on a tour for 2 hours when I’m sure I could get it much cheaper (if I could be bothered to try and negotiate with a taxi driver). However, after 24 hours in transit, I cannot be bothered.

So … off I went following the departures signs. At the top of the escalator (where I’m now carrying three backpacks), the sign says straight. Well, straight takes you into a wall, so I took a slight left and then a right down a long hallway. I knew I was going the wrong direction, but hadn’t seen any other option. At the end of the long hall, I found a lady who pointed me to the next floor up for departures. Maybe that sign with the arrow was saying “up” not “straight”.

Up another level I went to the departures gate. After asking several people where to go, I was directed to the International Departures Passport security clearance. I entered and a nice lady pointed me back out because I hadn’t even checked in yet. Well, I know that, but this is where people told me to go. She sent me out to the Air Asia desk. I put my checked bag through the security scan, they cleared it and I went to the counter. The girl looked at me like I had three heads. Eventually she told me that I can’t check in because my flight isn’t until 4:30pm. I will have to wait until 1:30 for check in.

Back out I went, but now what? I’m wandering around a tiny airport with all of my luggage and nothing to do. I can’t go for a walk outside, the shops on this level are minimal …

Best I could hope for was free internet. I found a free connection with Nok Wifi, you just have to provide your booking number. Unfortunately, mine doesn’t seem to work. Maybe because I’m still six hours before my flight? Or maybe this airport just has it out for me.

Well, I guess I’ll look for a place to charge my phone and laptop that are dying. After walking up and down the main area twice, I finally found a dodgey looking plug in that someone else had used to charge their cell phone. When he was done, I dug out my converter, looked at the pieces and plugged it in to the wall, just to have it fall back out. It’s too heavy and the plug in is pretty shotty looking.

Another look and I discovered that my two-prong cell charger would actually plug directly into it.

YAY! Thank goodness for yet another small pleasure.

Boo. Just in time for me to realize that I forgot my two-prong laptop charger. I only have my three-prong charger.

With my computer having already run out of battery power, I was super bummed. Here I was, all the way in Asia with intent of writing lots of blogs, saving and sending photo updates to everyone etc and my computer is dead with no way to charge it. Even the converter that I bought doesn’t accept three prong plugs. Well damn it.

Then, I decided just to give it a try in the dodgy plug in. Lo and behold, I’m sitting on the floor at the DMK airport charging both my cell phone and my computer … knock on wood, neither of them have blown up and the plug in isn’t sparking.

And folks … This is how I roll … That’s right … in white pants, sitting on the airport floor in a country I’ve never been too with my laptop and cell phone charging in dodgy plug ins. When you are traveling, sometimes you just don’t care how ridiculous you look or how uncomfortable you are….

I’ll take it though. I have nothing else to do except for sit and write at the moment. It’s getting close to lunch time here, but it’s too hard to take care of all of my luggage, plus order, pay and carry my lunch. So, I’m hanging out for another two and a half hours until I can check my luggage in. Then I’ll head through passport control, security and find some food on the other side of the gate. (or at least I hope I will).

Besides, who knows … this may be the last three-prong plug in that I find. And, if that’s the case I won’t be able to send photo updates and blogs. ACK! I doubt I’ll find a 2-prong Mac book pro plug-in while I’m in Myanmar, but if worst comes to worst, I’ll have a look for one when I get to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

Here’s hoping I can keep my laptop up and running as long as possible!

Not to worry, I’ll still be able to send text and facebook updates via my cell phone whenever I have wifi service, so I won’t totally disappear!

Cross your fingers!