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 The Big APPLE 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

 

The Big APPLE -- Part 4

The Big APPLE -- Part 4

Overslept really isn't the right word.  It implies one might have actually slept a little.  The small amount of sleep I got last night (if any) surely would not qualify as "a little."

But everyone was happy; I was happy, Sip was happy, and Nit was very very happy.  Nit was so happy in fact, that she was surprised when I tried to give her some baht.  At first she acted surprised, and then she refused the money.  Sip saw what was going on and had a short, serious conversation with Nit in Thai.  That got Nit to take the money...

Sip had a lot of serious conversations with Nit last night.  I wondered if Sip was creating a protégé like she did last November.  That Sip is something else...  She can use me as a guinea pig all she wants...

Antman is either MIA or DOA.  Or both.

As I learned later, Antman had a rough night last night.  He had been drinking a lot, but I've seen him drink more.  I figured the heat and lack of sleep (along with everything he had to drink) did him in.  After Antman left his deposit at TLR, I understand Hammers grabbed Antman and Antman's two girls, and took them all back to Antman's room at the Nana.  If I've told Antman once, I've told him a hundred times to never let an English man tuck you in.  But Hammers took good care of Antman.  

When I asked what the two girls did while he slept, Antman said they sat on the floor at the foot of the bed and talked to each other all night long.  Every time Antman would rouse, the two girls would grab him and put him in the shower.  Antman thinks he took a dozen showers that night.

Later, Antman went to Siam Center and MBK to shop for new clothes and shoes.  It was prolly all he was capable of doing that day.

Chewie called in a panic to see if we had left yet.  I told him we were just heading down to breakfast, and he should join us.  Chewie said he'd meet us in the lobby.

Sip and I shot down and was surprised to find Hammers sitting in one of the lobby chairs.  Forever optimistic I asked, "Hammers, you're up early.  Are you going to join us to Wat Pho."

"No, mate.  I haven't been to my room yet."

Hammers has been putting in some long days; it's gotta be 9:45 AM!

Chewie came down and joined Sip and I for breakfast.  We quickly ate and promised to meet again in the lobby after Sip and I brushed our teeth, and Chewie dropped his laundry off.

We only had a few moments waiting for Chewie, and spent the time chatting with Hammers.

Sip and I used our multi-pass Skytrain tickets to quickly pass through the turnstiles, and we waited for Chewie to work out his ticket situation.  While we were waiting we noticed a group of 6 or so elderly English tourists that were trying to figure out how to get to the Grand Palace using the Skytrain.  I explained the Skytrain didn't go to the Grand Palace, but they could take it to the river and take the riverbus to the Grand Palace.  Well, that was too much for them to accept and they looked like they were ready to cancel their trip right there.  Come ooooonnnnn!  It's the Grand fookin' Palace!!  Get with it!!!

I told them we were going to Wat Pho, and their stop was the one right after ours.  That comforted them a little.  So I told them they could tag along with us, and we would help them the whole way.  The men looked a little skeptical (when they weren't looking at Sip), and the women seemed glad to have a tour guide.  They weren't really that much trouble, and it felt good to be helping them out.

We all marched up the stairs to the Skytrain platform, and I was surprised to see that Chewie was talking to a couple of new faces; Peabody and his farang female friend.  Now, Peabody's was an interesting situation; my recollection is that he had a couple of flight vouchers that were about to expire and this girl was the only one that could take time off to join him.  She was nice enough, but maybe a little straight-laced -- it seemed she didn't know much about the nightlife...  When we mentioned to Peabody that he missed one of the better dance contests, his friend was upset that Peabody didn't take her and Peabody just kept his mouth shut.  Peabody confided in us later that he and his friend used to compete in ballroom dancing competitions, and that she prolly thought we were talking about a ballroom dance contest.  Yikes!  I can't think of anything much further away from a ballroom dance contest than a dance contest put on by Farangman, Noozy, and Loot Doot!

Peabody's friend was a joy to talk with and was pleasant to have along.

We finally made it to the riverbus dock and got a chance to sit a while waiting for the next bus.  We actually had just missed the previous bus by a moment, so we were in for the maximum wait.  But it wasn't so bad, I got to spend a little time with our English friends and tell them a little more about things to see and do in Bangkok.  The way the guys were looking at Sip, I gathered they wanted to know a little more about the nightlife.  But they weren't asking in front of their wives, and I wasn't volunteering anything.

A riverbus pulled up, and I gathered our little group onto the bus.  Sip was a big help.  Once she understood we were helping the elderly English couples, she couldn't do enough for them.  She helped them on the riverbus, found them seats, and sorted out the tickets for them (with my baht, of course).  Sip must have earned much merit that day...

It was nice to be on the river that day.  It was hot, but the cool breeze on the riverbus made it an enjoyable trip.

Just before we got to the Wat Pho stop, I said goodbye to our English friends and grabbed Chewie and Peabody.  We got off and made our way through the shops in the riverbus terminal.  We slowed to buy a couple bottles of water, but sped up again to pass the dried fish.

The farangs had to stop at the Wat Pho ticket widow while Sip discreetly walked right on in.  There were a few shrines where Sip wanted to make merit and I only had larger bills, so Sip was racking up the merit points by the bushel.

We made our way around to the Reclining Buddha, and started in for a visit.  Of course Sip wanted to make more merit at every shrine we saw...  I must remember to start carrying small bills for these Wat visits with Sip.

After Wat Pho, Peabody and his friend said good-bye so they could try one of the famous Wat Pho massages.

Chewie, Sip, and I continued our walk around the temple grounds.  It was hot, but there was a small breeze which made it bearable.  Chewie exhibited a talent of being able to find the shortest distance between two points covered by shade.  It wasn't always the shortest way to where we were going, but considering the heat and all it wasn't too bad.

Soon we found ourselves at the Wat Pho massage school.  Every other time I had been to the school there had been a big wait for massages.  Today there was no wait.  We poked our heads in and found the massage prices were very reasonable.  Chewie was hell-bent on a foot massage, and Sip wanted a 1-hour massage.  The foot massages were only 45 minutes and Chewie said he would wait for us, so Sip and I allowed ourselves to be lead away to a massage mat.

My massage girl handed me a pair of cotton jammies to put on.  Well, that's no good for a couple reasons; firstly, I'm well over 6 foot tall and well over 200 pounds so I don't think the little jammies will fit well.  Secondly, the Ex Officio pants that I wear have a sewn-in brief which means no underwear.  Hmmm...  There doesn't seem to be any changing rooms around...  I guess they're expecting me to drop trou right there...  Of course it doesn't bother me, but I'm concerned the Great White Trouser Snake might scare the children.

Sip saw that I was declining the Thais trying to get me to do something, so she came over to see what all the commotion was about.  She told me I had to change into the jammies, but when I told her that I was "shy too much" everyone left me alone.  I dodged a bullet that time.

The massage girl however, wouldn't take 'no' as an answer and wanted to compromise.  My Ex Officio pants had zip-off legs, and she wanted me to zip them off.  Well, okay...  If that's all I have to do...

The massage was fantastic!  It wasn't a soapy, but it was good.  Sip and I were being massaged on mats next to each other.  Sip was finished before me, and she took the opportunity to jump on me to tell me how much she enjoyed the massage.  Even with that interruption, I felt like I was floating 3 inches above the mat.

If you're interested in a traditional massage, give Wat Pho a try.  But remember to get there early and wear underwear.

Leaving the massage school, we found Chewie waiting in the shade for us.  We all thought it might be nice to have a little fresh lime juice and a snack in the garden at Jim Thompson's house, so we headed toward the exit with Chewie leading us from shaded area to shaded area.  

Next to the exit is a small gift shop; Chewie and Sip stocked up on water and postcards while I headed off for a much needed stop at the hawng nam.  Joining them a little later, I couldn't help but think how nice it was to have Sip along; on a day like today; it was nice to be greeted with a cold bottle of water and a warm smile.

We left the temple rounds and braved our way through the street-vendors on our way to find a taxi.  My luck getting a taxi to take me from Wat Pho or the Grand Palace to the Jim Thompson House is usually not good.  He didn't speak a lot of English, but I explained to the driver where we wanted to go, and told as much as I could to Sip so she could help out.  As we got closer, I asked Sip to tell the driver positive things like "we're going in the correct direction" or "we're almost there."  Nearing the National Stadium Skytrain station, we saw the Jim Thompson House sign and were able to tell the driver to turn just in time.  Everyone was quite happy we had such good luck finding the house, and the driver earned a tip.

Sip's eyes were as big as saucers again as we entered the meticulously kept grounds of the house.  Sitting at a table by the reflecting pool in the garden, we ordered some snacks and sandwiches.  And of course, the freshly squeezed lime juice.  Sip ordered too much food as usual (she said she wanted us to try different Thai food).  Maybe that's true, but she always orders the same thing.  Mai phen rai...

I gave a Jim Thompson House brochure printed in English to Chewie, and one printed in Thai to Sip so they could read a little about the house.  That piqued their interest to take the tour, while I was content to sit in the garden and drink fresh squeezed lime juice.  Ain't this the life?

When Chewie and Sip returned from the tour, we stopped at the gift shop on our way out.  The gift shop itself is almost like going to a museum; there are many different examples of silk and traditional paintings.  And there are also a few interesting books to browse through.

We hopped the Skytrain back to Nana.  Chewie wanted to check his email so we left him at World Coffee.  Sip and I went back to the room, but only had time for a quick shower before going to TLR.  Good for me -- maybe I can get store up a little energy.

I called Antman in his room to remind him of DaGrino's pool tournament tonight.  He was a little concerned about going back to TLR after what happened last night, but I told him not to worry.  As long as he apologizes for the toes he stepped on and thanks the people that helped him, he should be okay.  Since he had planned to spend the evening hiding in his room, he wasn't ready.  But he said he'd meet us later at TLR.

When Sip and I got there, people were already arriving for DaGrino's APPLE Killer Pool Tournament.  Sip was very happy because I told her she could play for me.  It wasn't long until Antman got there, and one of the girls remembered him from last night (but she didn't hold that against him).  We ordered a few drinks, and Antman grabbed the girl to practice on one of the tables before the tournament started.

It didn't take long for the shotz to start.  We ordered a couple pizzas so we would have a little something on our stomachs.  Good thing; the shotz were being passed out fast and furious.  At one point shotz were being ordered and passed out faster than the empty glasses could be collected and washed.

Sip didn't do as well as she thought she would, but she enjoyed spending her free time in the Chill Out Room talking with Bob4You's gal.  Antman, on the other hand, did surprisingly well.  Right up until the time he was eliminated.  Well, everyone can't win...  

These days, Antman is spending his free time practicing for the next tournament.

Hanging out at the APPLE Killer Pool Tournament was fun, but I was starting to feel like I was missing out on the bars.  A few other guys started to feel the same way and since it was getting to be show time, we decided to head over to Angelwitch to see the show again.

We left TLR and walked down Sukhumvit to the pedestrian bridge.  It was pretty hot out, and Chewie took one look at the bridge and decided it was too hot to climb the steps.  We tried to explain that there was a taxi stand on the other side of Sukhumvit that could get us to NEP quickly, but  Chewie took a cab to Nana from the wrong side of Sukhumvit.  As busy as the traffic was, I figured Chewie must have been half-way to Pattaya by the time we got to Angelwitch!

All those tuk-tuk touts, street vendors, the heat and humidity, the beggars in the sidewalk, and the taxis sharking us are all worth it if I can see those Isaan girls dance again.

Angelwitch was pretty busy, but we were able to find a dozen seats together.  Maybe the girls had to move a few punters away, but it wasn't too many.

NYSaint must have a bottle of Saurer Apfel Schnapps stashed at every bar in Bangkok.  NYSaint was passing out shotz before the girl even collected my order!

Jazz stopped by, and NYSaint made sure he had a taste of Apfel Schnapps.

The show was good as always, and it was good to see it again.  But I must admit that after seeing it a few times, only the Isaan girls can keep me coming back.

Chewie finally showed up, and we made plans to meet tomorrow morning at breakfast.

Sip's a great girl but must have a bladder the size of a peanut.  She went off to the Angelwitch ladies room, but she came back saying it was too bad for her to use.  That must be pretty bad.  Sip wanted to go back to the room; it's hard to argue with that.

We got as far as the Nana elevator where Sip noticed a ladies room.  I waited in the lobby bar while Sip attended to her business.  The bar was full of ladies, and I was the only punter at that hour.  There were a lot of girls there giving me the big eye.

Sip returned refreshed, and thought it might be fun to spend a little time in the disco.  I think we walked in around 10PM which was really a little early for the disco.  There were other punters there, but there weren't many.  It was only a short time before we decided it was dead, and hit the road.

Maybe we were heading back to the room a little early, but I had a funny feeling it was going to be another long night.

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Ommmmmm

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