Back to where it all began and leave Shark’s Fins where they look best! – Day 246 – 21 September

Another day another Dollar, well Baht actually and for us a new mode of transport, the humble diesel train, though at this point we had no idea just how very humble it would be. Today we would be travelling from Ayutthaya to our final port of call on the South East Asian part of our odyssey, to Bangkok, the place where it all began for us over here. Would it have changed at all and would it remember us or we it lol? We did not have the best of starts to the day though, we had planned to finally see a proper floating market but we have not had a lot of luck with floating markets and today was to be no exception. Still with high expectations we awoke and wolfed down some breakfast noodles – these are the same as any other noodle except you eat them for breakfast! Then we went to the hotel staff to find out how to get to Ayutthaya’s floating market but here the markets are rather late affairs and this one did not start until after dinner but we needed to be heading off to Bangkok before then! So the curse of the floating market had struck us once again!

So it was that instead of being on a shopping trip, one on the water at that, we found ourselves on a Tuk Tuk to the railway station just before Noon. The Tuk Tuks here are a bit of a different shape from others we have seen and that was worth a photo or two in its own right. The little train station reminded me of ones all over the World just a little stop for people wanting to get on and off the big lumbering beast that we were expecting to roll down the track. At this station, unlike back home you could cut across over the tracks which, if I am honest, was a little disconcerting, especially watching the older people with trolleys and burdened down with large packages and the like but always some young ones would pop up to lend a hand, it was really nice to see younger people respecting and helping their elders.

Bangkok Railway Station – the quiet exterior belies the havoc going on inside … lol!

Then our ‘beast’ rolled up and beast it was, an old diesel making noises like an old dragon but it looked the part so we soon enough stowed ourselves and our back packs aboard. The seats were okay but a bit plasticky so if you simply jumped onto one you could quite easily get third degree burns! You had to respect the seat and simply slide onto it! The window openings were also very small and as the weather was very hot I am sure we must all have looked like dogs panting away as they do in cars – phew! We were one of the lucky ones though as we managed to find ourselves a bit of a draught. The train was not exactly a bullet train more of a snail train but this was good as it gave us a chance to see Thailand from quite a new perspective. This is the thing I love about trains the world over, you have no real hassle and you can see everything from a different angle – people, houses, huts, cows the whole shebang!

Although we had been here before this was Bangkok from a slightly different perspective too, the perspective of the train traveller and our new lodgings were more central in the city and not too far from the railway station so we soon enough found them, very nice and modern looking but at a reasonable price too so all was good in the World! After storing our backpacks away it was back out into the hustle and bustle which is Bangkok a real busy city and we needed food. Now this was not as easy to get as we had imagined or as easy as our bellies would have liked it to be!

It was all a bit crazy really we had been to and through Bangkok’s Chinatown on numerous occasions last time we were here so why did it all seem so strange today? We just could not get our bearings, had those inscrutable Chinese moved it all around to defeat us finding food? It was not until after a good many twists and turns and the odd blind alley that we hit upon somewhere we actually recognised and then it all starting falling into place albeit a little slowly!

Not exactly sure where this is but it was on the way to us grabbing some food – I think this photo was taken the third time we passed it!!!

We finally found a place to eat and we picked it in large part because it had a good choice of food none of which seemed to be including shark’s fin in any guise. Now I have seen a lot of things being eaten on our travels, we have even partaken in a few too but can anyone really explain to me the fascination with Shark’s Fin soup? What does it do and if it is so good why can the rest of the shark not be eaten as well? We live in what is known as a technological age, we have been into space and can talk to each other in the blink of an eye and yet we still have people who believe that eating such things – shark’s fins, rhino horns etc – will give them enhanced sexuality or improve the size of their genitalia! I cannot believe it. I think what we need is a counter-movement of other weirdos, ones who believe that by simply eating the penis of someone who consumes rhino horn, shark’s fins etc it will make their own penis get bigger would that not be just as ‘just’ a cause eh? Anyhow at our chosen restaurant there were no such dishes so all was good with us and the food we ate was nice and tasty and my erection still worked fine … lol! Without depleting or endangering anything really.

Nicely filled we headed off back for our hotel but again this was not as easy as we thought to find. So we ended up asking for directions whenever we could but even then it still took a while for us to get back ‘en route’ as it were. As in all good fairy tales though we did eventually find our home and we did celebrate our success with a Chang beer but only the one as once again we had to be up early tomorrow for another day trip out!




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