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Strange way to leave Thailand

Udon Thani, Thailand
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Grand Slam!

The Panthers completed the triple in style to finish off an historic season. We managed to watch the 1st period live on a dodgy webstream of Sky Sports but when somebody changed the channel after 20 minutes we had to resort to the radio! Although we were happy to hear the golden goal go in after midnight local time, our neighbours didn't join us with the celebrations!

We are so proud to be a Panther, it might have been a long time coming to win the league 1956-2013 but we never stopped believing. Just why did this have to be the historic season when we weren't around to see it?

Our short visit to Thailand

As we entered Thailand by land our visas were only valid for a measly 15 days. You can only apply for a tourist visa outside of Thailand which is slightly strange but as we had already left the UK before we found this out we only had limited options to apply for one on the road/rails. We could have done it in Cambodia but the Thai embassy's website was only in Cambodian and Thai which we thought would only add to our problems. The other option was to visit Laos where everything appeared to be much easier as it is a well trodden visa run route for expats. So we only planned a couple of nights in Bangkok before heading to Laos with a stop off in the North East to see one of our friends before hopping over the border.

As we had a free day in Bangkok we decided to Ross's disgust to have a shopping day. We have been to MBK shopping centre before so it was an easy choice of where to go. A 7 storey shopping mall that sells everything you can imagine, mostly legal stuff but more copies and pirated software/movies than we have ever seen before and we spent 4 weeks in China!

After an 8 hour mammoth shopping spree we managed to get everything we needed and even some Western sized clothes for the first time in ages.

We had arranged to be in the North East in early April but as our plans have been a little fluid, fixing a date with our friend Som was difficult and we agreed to call her when we arrived in Bangkok. When we did it just so happened she was on her way back home for her birthday and was passing near Bangkok and offered to give us a lift. This sounded like a luxury after so many trains and buses so we jumped at the idea before checking how far it was!

We were duly picked up and joined the busy highway with everyone else heading home for the New Year and soon noticed her driving skills were a bit ropey. After some small talk without trying to distract her we found out although she passed her test a year ago she had only driven a handful of times, and quite frankly it showed. So when we stopped for fuel Ross politely asked if he could drive! 6 hours later he was still driving...

It was a seriously long drive especially as Ross hasn't driven for 3 months but arriving in one piece is always a bonus.

Som's Birthday

The next day was Som's 30th Birthday and apart from visiting her favourite Temple we spent the day doing what Som loves best and much to Ross' s dismay that's more shopping. That night we drove into Udon Thani to have a few birthday drinks. Well Ross and Som did anyway as Sonya was the designated driver! It was a fun night out at a bar with several live bands, we didn't understand a word of any of the songs but at least they could sing! Ross ordered a beer and it arrived with an ice bucket, apparently it saves them from cooling the beer before serving. Gives a whole new name to 'ice cold' beer. You just need to drink it before the ice melts when everything tastes like water.

After spending a couple of nights, our time in the North East came to an abrupt end. We had been talking about our onward transport to the border since we arrived, but we had planned to stay a few more days so when Som told us 'we go to the bus station' we were a little confused. Just after this we looked out of the bedroom window and noticed somebody taking photos of every inch of the pick up truck. Ross went to have a look what was going on and spotted somebody else filling out paperwork. After a few minutes we realised the truck was being repossessed! We don't think we could have had a stranger ending to our brief time in Thailand as we were driven to the bus station by one of the bailiffs, being followed by the other bailiff in his car! An awkward situation as the bailiff spoke no English but you could just tell he was thinking 'why are they in the back of the truck' Honestly we are not making this up for the blog, and it will be the unplanned random stuff we remember the most from this trip.

Ta Ta for now!

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