Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

There's Always Something...

There was me getting my bag together for my big Indochina trip tomorrow when I happened to check my travel insurance policy. There in definition of trip was the line 'period of no more than 45 consecutive days'. Oops! I say oops because I wouldn't be allowed on the tour without adequate insurance, and this was late in the day. Frantically I got on to my insurance broker in Dublin. While the bahts ticked away I was passed from one electronic phone message to another, none actually getting me to a helpdesk. Eventually I did get through though only to be told it was 60 days (still no good) and nothing could be done to improve the policy. I checked with Bank of Ireland, but of course they had no online facility. Thankfully the tour company, Intrepid, on one of their webpages that worked (the dynamic pages were just giving errors), had a list of links to insurance company, the first of which did allow me to buy online. Phew!

I met up with Claudio again last night. A Scotsman, Nick, newly arrived, on his own and intimidated by the whole Bangkok thing (he so reminded me of me when I arrived, he even had mistakenly booked a 'good' hotel far from the action for his first two days) joined us as we made a pub crawl. Later seeing some American girls sitting on the curbside drinking buckets of cocktails, we got some buckets ourselves and joined them. Tessa and Amanda were both lovely and on for partying. We attracted another two girls, both Israelis (lots of Israelis here), Talel and Michelle, and headed off dancing. It was late by the time we all broke up, though Nick stayed out on the street with a gang of Brits until 6 or 7.

Everyone seems to be heading off these days. Claudio goes home on Thursday, I join my tour tomorrow and Nick was heading down to Samui at 3 today. We met up at lunch, both of us very hungover. Lots of water was taken, though meeting in the bar we started in last night, the food was poor. After as we strolled around we bumped into Tessa again. She'd just bought a photocopied version of the Lonely Planet Laos guide, though it looked very like the real thing. Amanda had already gone home and Tessa was leaving for Chang Mai at 5, so she had to go, but then I met two Northern Ireland girls I'd met last night too, Jenny and Carina. They might be around later.

Sometimes it really can be easy to meet people. Last night at dinner, for instance, while I tucked into my barbequed red snapper, I got chatting to an English guy, heading by train up north that night. It was only as I was saying goodbye that he suddenly realised that he forgot to collect his tickets and the store was now shut. I was sad for him, but what could I do. I left him scratching his head.


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