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.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Just like I remembered it

On our very first night, we visited an Italian restaurant very familar to Charles just off the Khao San Road. The owner, a South African Indian (!), personally took our orders. Naturally they got my order wrong. Charles then took us to his favourite bar, the fifth best bar in the world according to a poster they have, a kerbside kiosk and a collection of plastic chairs. I have drunk in these places before and outside of the fact they had far less choice of beers than others, and they charged a little more, there was nothing to distinguish this pathway establishment from the others. Still we drank.
To get home we needed a taxi, two of them. Charles gave our taxidriver directions. Chinatown, he told him. Chinatown the driver repeated. He repeated it several times. Chinatown. He set off in what seemed to be the opposite direction. Chinatown, we told him. Yes, Chinatown, he replied. We drove on. And on. This did not look like Chinatown. It did not look at all familiar. I said stop. We showed him the hotel card again. He studied it and then nodding drove on. Things got worse. We pushed the card at him again, but he made noises like it was all alien to him. Eventually I could take no more. "For goodness sake, it's Chinatown!" I could hear the ghost of Jake Gittes laughing over my shoulder. Whatever about hotels, or strange roads, Bangkok's Chinatown is famous. Every taxi driver knows where it is. This was just willful swindling and I wasn't having it. He got the message, I think, certainly we soon turned in a better direction and began to see Chinese characters on the signs around us. Still he had to ring the hotel, twice, before we eventually made it, half an hour after the others.
The next morning I had a lie in! After all the early mornings we have had this was a real luxury. Nice.
Changing to my hotel near the Khao San Road almost looked like it might be a repetition of the night before. I was with Rebecca who had a hotel not far from mine. Despite some worrying turns, we made it, just in time for lunch, lunch at the Italian place, where this time they forgot my order altogether. Don't you just love Bangkok!
Missing orders


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