We started the day off just round the corner from our hotel with a very nice breakfast and then after our sustenance and the ubiquitous bit of packing and a further bit of negotiating with one of the local Tuk Tuk drivers we finally set off for Chang Mai’s, Arcade Bus Station. Once at the station we had to wait around quite a while for our bus but when it turned up it was well worth it – leather seats and decent leg room too and I don’t think we paid any extra either but it seemed like luxury. However, there was an unforeseen menace lurking aboard the bus and one that did not rear its foul head until after we set off …. the terrifying VIDEO JUKEBOX … argh! On the ‘Jukebox’ there seemed to be videos of just men singing and sporting varying haircuts – of varying quality it has to be said, ranging from the curtains look to the fully fledged bouffant. The songs too all seemed to have the same theme about how each of them had been trapped in a love triangle – and this varied from MMF / FFM and even M and 2 Trannies, or at least that is what these particular ‘ladies’ looked like. This was not ‘Let me Entertain You’ more ‘Let me stop you from relaxing back and enjoying your luxury seats with a nice travelling nap’ – not as catchy a tune maybe but one that was more in keeping with how I was feeling! To cap it all, one of the singers looked like one of my brother’s mates so I took photos to prove such for when we returned home!! The journey was a decent length and with Thai roads being so good this allowed us a good chance of a bit of sleep, so even with the evil video jukebox playing we still managed to catch a few zzz’s.
As journeys have the habit of doing we finally arrived at our destination Sukhothai and whilst early on it seemed like any other town the night time would prove it to have something quite different about it. Still upon arriving we needed to get from the bus station to our hotel which we managed but only after a bit of fleecing was done by our friendly Tuk Tuk driver, the knave! The hotel was very nice though, very dark teak and looked as though it had originally been built on stilts and then transformed so the ground level now had rooms as well. So we wasted no time settling in and having a bit of a look around the hotel and a bit of a rest too as sleeping on a bus can be quite exhausting you know!
Once rested, it was getting dark so out and about we went to explore and this was when things got a wee bit weird. Now although the town had nothing out of the ordinary in itself except that it had loads of insects of the flying variety but because of these it also had loads and loads and loads of birds. On every wire and every building there were just masses of the feathered things all up there chattering and generally making birdy-like noises. Now I am no ‘twitcher’ but my guess is they were starlings but I only came to this conclusion after ruling out Flamingoes, these birds were not as pink! – and Penguins and Ostriches, as these birds appeared to be sitting on perches that were far too high, though I did not check for birdy ladders, lifting devices etc., but as I said I am no twitcher!
We stopped at one of the little eateries on the paths which was very nice though you did have to keep an eye out for the insects flying about, very nice food though but whilst it was good a young American seemed to be having an overloud conversation with his mate across from him. He was obviously teaching ‘English’ which was perhaps a bad start but then he went on to describe his pupils by over and over again using the word ‘dumb’. Anyone who ventures over to another country to earn money and then describes the children he is teaching in such a way is in the wrong job and should go back home in my book.
By this time the night was getting quite sultry so after eating we found ourselves a nice little bar with quite a bit of character and here we had ourselves a few beers and very nice they were too. Once cooled down we strolled home and seeing the birds on the wires was quite unsettling, it was all a bit like that Hitchcock film, ‘The Birds’. As we walked I was expecting something to set them off like an unheard command and they would be on us in a flash pecking at our flesh and especially the eyes. Every horror writer knows that birds go for the eyes! Unfortunately I think the little old lady night-watchman also wished that the birds had got us too as when we reached our latest hotel we rang the bell as, for some reason we did not realise, we already had the gate key on the little keyring that the hotel manager had given us earlier in the day – gulp – if looks could kill eh! She did not seem at all pleased that her night time slumber had been disturbed, still we bid her goodnight and were off to bed before she could bid us go !!!! ourselves!