Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lao Trip 8.3: Forced March: BKK

On Day 3 of my 8th trip to Lao, I hadn’t even gotten there yet.

The bus from Nong Khai left around 7pm and arrived at Mor Chit, Bangkok’s main bus station, around 6am. I grabbed a cab straight to the U.S. Consulate in Bangkok, dismissing the first first cab because it didn’t have a workable meter. This is a well-known taxi scam in Bangkok. If the cab driver does not have a workable meter, chances are he will charge you lots more than it would have cost running a meter. Many cab drivers apologize that their meter is broken, when in fact they don’t want it to function, anyway. You don’t want rides from these guys. There are loads of taxis in Bangkok to choose from.

 Everything at the Consulate proceeded smoothly and I was again reminded of American efficiency compared to Thai. My appointment had been for 8am and I was out by 9:30, with a lot more pages added to my passport. I grabbed a cab back to Mor Chit where, lo and behold, I got the same bus crew going back to Nong Khai. They were even excited about that and shouted at my arrival back on the bus.

When I finally got back to Nong Khai late that night, I was able to get my usual room in my favored guesthouse, even though my reservation wasn’t for that night, but a different one. I was pooped. I took a shower and collapsed on the bed, falling asleep immediately.

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