Whoops! Wow!

March 24, 2010

It can never be a good start to a trip when you lose your mobile in the cab from the airport. I could blame the ongoing effects of a sleeping table but I hadn’t taken one. Maybe I was still dewy-eyed at Sandra Bullock’s performance in The Blind Side shown inflight – I enjoyed it but an Oscar for just what exactly? (Maybe the kid should have got one though). Certainly the cab driver and I were both distracted by the large part of Bangkok razor-fenced-off to contain the red-shirted protesters intent on bring down the government in the name of Thaksin Shinawhatsit.

Neither of us paid much attention when something went clattering down the side of the seat. Nothing to do with me I imagined – until abandoning / abandoned by the cab to walk, with luggage, the last mile or so (nevermind only 36 degrees) to the backpacker heaven / hell of Kao San Road.

It was as I made my way through the second line of riot police that I thought “I think I know where I am but why don’t I use GPS to check?” (how times have changed), reached into my back pocket to find nothing but an Oyster card. Whoops! That clattering will have been my phone then. Oh what mixed emotions – how will I manage without it? / brilliant, now I am really going to get away from it all / ah well no big deal it doesn’t work in Burma anyway / shit I didn’t bring a separate source of music, I’ll have to make do with BBC World (which is repetitive, licence fee wasting rubbish).

If you’ve ever taken a cab from Bangkok airport you will know that it’s a slightly convoluted process that involves getting a chit from a service counter, the person there then getting you a cab and driver. Have you ever bothered to look at that chit? Ever noticed it has not only the cab number on it but also the driver’s mobile number? The cops at the “May We Help?” Kao San Road Police Station have. One phone call later and we’d arranged for me to get my phone back. And a couple of hours later I did. Wow!

In a worrying trend, six months ago I managed to leave Los Angeles airport without one of my bags. The one containing all the things I wanted to hang on to – laptop and other valuables – was left standing on the ‘sidewalk’ as we scooted off to our hotel. A couple of hours later thanks to the taxi rank guy and a couple of cops I got that back too.

Human nature, human honesty – don’t you just love it.

And so my holiday has begun.

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