Friday, September 10
On my last day in Bangkok, I just went shopping for souvenirs around Thanon Khao San. I bought a carved wooden mask from Bali for a whopping $9.00. I was so stoked on the intricate design / paint scheme. Near the beginning of this trip in Bali, I figured I'd be able to find one here in Bangkok, so I waited to buy it so I wouldn't have to lug it around in my backpack for three months. I also tried to find one from Java, but the shops mostly stock the same ones from Bali, Thailand and Africa. After I savored one last succulent meal from May Kaidee's, I went to wait for a bus to the airport. Just in time, that jerk the sky opened up and let loose with a non-stop downpour that soaked me to the bone.
I waited for two hours for various airport buses, but none ever stopped. I saw one drive by out in a middle lane and tried to flag it down, with no luck. Then I saw a bus number 15 go by and thought I'd catch the next one. I waited so long, with even less luck. Then a nice young Thai girl approached me and asked if I was trying to catch a bus to the airport. I said yes, then she recommended bus 556. It was so sweet the way she stopped to help. That would never happen in a million years in the United States. She was like a guardian angel. The same thing happened another time when I was trying to find a bus from the airport into Bangkok.
Exasperated and running out of time, I jumped in a cab and got a lift down to the airport rail station down by Siam Square. I was so stressed when the cab driver made a right turn, I kept asking him where he was going, because I thought he was taking a roundabout route to make more money. "I hate cab drivers!" I suddenly blurted out, but I don't think he knew English well enough to understand what I said. Once I saw the familiar area of Siam, I calmed down, paid the driver, jumped out and walked the rest of the way to the train station. I was very pleased to ride the brand-new train and route. (The grand opening had been held just a couple of weeks before.) It's so buttery and smooth, and only takes 30 minutes to get to the airport. The doors are odd, though--instead of gently sliding together, they slam shut like a pissed off family member down the hall.