Thailand Power of Ten Update -25 Oct

Day 1 Finally in Thailand

Walking out of the plane it felt as if some one had left the oven door open. It’s seriously hot here and then there is the humidity. The run is going to be, let’s say interesting. With our mountain of baggage we headed up to the pick up zone gate 4 on the 2nd floor for the hotel transfer. No one there! So the journey begins. Well I suppose when we left we only had a plane ticket, a phone number and an end destination.
There was only one option left, 3 of us, 9 pieces of baggage we squeezed into a cab with a crazy driver. Oh yes, and zero English so the sign language began in the hot box as we bounded down the road into Bangkok. About 30 minutes later we arrived at the Hotel. Pete alias “The Sneak” our one and only crew/cameraman/media wasn’t feeling great, so he hit the room and Andy and I took a walk on the wild-side to see what was available in the area as we needed to buy all our cooking and basic gear for the road. But first we had to find a car/van or little “Bakkie” a cheapie at that.

At a glance we could see this was going to be a mission on its own. The one good thing is that we stumbled on a market type shop, on all my trips I have never had a one stop shop for all our supplies, but here was the best I have ever seen. This place had everything we needed. The floor, roof walls there was stuff piled, hanging stacked everywhere the deeper in we walked the more interesting it became – so all sorted, just the Cab first on the list for tomorrow.

Day 2 Getting ready for the road

The airport hire companies were crazy with prices and all the vehicles were new, we needed and older and bigger option. Back at the hotel the porter knew of someone down town who could help us. It was only 10 mins away. It did not look very promising, just small cars and a communication issue.

So out can the pen and paper and I began to draw a van with an open back, I drew a pile of gear in it. Slowly the ladies head began to move side to side in a negative gesture, she kept pointing to the car outside and I kept pointing to the picture. A lot of chatter perused among her and the staff. Then the light bulb moment and the phone calls began. Out came her pen as she scrawled a financial amount under my drawing. Shit! I didn’t want to make a purchase, just a rental. I looked at Andy and shook my head; we were going to have to find another option. Then the woman gestured sit, sit and the calls continued. After a long while she then smiled excitedly and wrote down a new number and pointed to it. That’s it, I checked with Andy and Pete and we had hit a jackpot, the van we wanted and the correct price. I sorted out the paper work and paid.
Then the wait started, 1 hour later the driver arrived, no van a little car, my heart sank, were we just pulled into so hole of misconnection, miscommunication and the rest. The lady jumped up and went off at the driver, looking at us she smiled, wrong car. Yes, I thought I can see that. Another hour past and in came the black beast. Just what we wanted.

We excitedly drove off to the shop and in no time everything was done, even a cargo net to cover our gear. A normal whole day job took us a few hours – It was now dinner, a celebratory beer and hit the road the next day.

Day 3 The trip takes a turn before we even start.

Andy came banging on the door to wake me, the day had dawned. I shot up had a shower and the banging was there again – Andy was there with not good news. “Sneak has taken a turn for the worse he said. He needs to get to hospital, he is shaking with fever” I thought he was joking. I went over to “Sneak” and he wasn’t looking good so we decided that Andy would take him to Hospital. I will stay behind get all the gear and rooms sorted and sit and wait to hear what is happening.
We are all in a bit of a spin as we are not sure what is going to happen now, when can we start, is Pete going to be OK ?
The worst was when we arrived there were warnings all over about some respiratory virus and if you not well you have to immediately report to some official – the mind is running mad at the moment. Then my phone rings, Andy Thai I see on the call id –
“What up with Sneak” I asked
The Andy answer “They are going to have to put him down”
“Come on Andy what is happening”? I really wanted to know. But the hospital was really busy, so the waiting game has begun, who know what the outcome is going to be. In the meantime I have SMS a Doctor who works with me at the Cipla Foundation to see if the meds that I have with us will work.

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