I am off flying again for another overseas assignment – first flying to Bangkok and then returning to Malaysia for half daybreak and then flying off to Kabul again (last minute notice). I love flying but this marathon is a bit too much for me to handle and without much rest too. Hopefully, I can make it in time for Deepavali.
Interesting things happen in Bangkok when I reached the new airport in the late evening (oh, by the way, Thai Airways is great!). The new airport looked chaotic at first but it was easy for me to find the way out. I did not bring any “heavyweight” luggage so, moving around was easy.
To reach my hotel, I could take the normal taxi or the expensive limousine. Considering how the last time in Bangkok, I had trouble with the taxi man in getting him to understand the directions in English, I opted for limo service (which was fast, easy and safe too as I later found out).
The hotel that I stayed in in Bangkok called Swiss Lodge which was a cosy little boutique hotel near Silom. I strongly suggest everyone stay in this hotel whenever you are in Bangkok. I explained this to the lady (who speaks excellent English) at the counter and even passed her the location map. She understood and told the same to the limo driver in Thai. I have then whizzed away in a brand new Nissan high-end limo (which is not sold in Malaysia).
On the way, the driver noticed a pickup truck weaving in and out of the traffic. He said something about it in Thai but I could not understand, so I said “ya ya” in a weak voice. The pickup truck – sometimes it went fast; sometimes it was hogging the lane. It was not long before we caught up with the crazy pickup truck. And guess what, the pickup truck suddenly cut into our lane.
The Nissan performed superbly – the driver braked hard (which I hardly noticed except for the fact, our speed went down fast from the earlier 130 km/h) and maintained stability when the driver made a quick left & right turn. I wonder what would have happened if it has been the ordinary Toyota Camry taxi (or my Proton Iswara).
With this little incident out of the way, I almost fell back to sleep but I soon noticed the roads looks too unfamiliar. And when the driver turned in to a big hotel called Swiss O Hotel, I knew that the driver has taken me to the wrong hotel!
The driver argued with me (he kept saying “Swiss”) but when I pointed back at the location map, only then he realized he had made a mistake (for the location map was also inserted in his travel chit. I lose count of the apologies that he made in a very broken “Thai-lish” (imagine mixing Thai & English).
He sped off to send me early but apparently the “Swiss Lodge” was way far on the other side of the town. It will take at least 30 – 45 minutes of Bangkok heavy traffic to cut through. I was angry but being in Bangkok, I acted like a Thai – I kept my cool and smiled.
By the time I arrived, it was almost midnight but seeing very friendly (and sweet looking) faces at the reception area, waiting for me with a cold drink and wet towel quickly made me feel at home. It was almost one in the morning before I hit the cosy bed after a hot shower, putting away my tiredness far, far away or so I thought.
At 3.00 am, just when I was deep in my sweet dreams, the fire alarm went off…