Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................




Post 270: Pattaya


To be honest, I did recognise that it was a one-way street, I just wasn’t too sure which way. Unfortunately the Bike-Cop sitting at the top of the Soi, knew exactly. He shouted and then started giving chase. He had a standard issue 200cc Boxer and I probably couldn’t out-run him, but as he was fat and pursuing me on foot, I probably should have tried.

It isn’t like getting a tug in Russia, here it’s done with a smile and even the larger fines are peanuts. Ignoring my IDP, he confiscates my UK Driving License, hands me a ticket and points me in the direction of Soi 9 and the main police station. The fact that while he’s writing the ticket most of the two-wheeled traffic if doing exactly what I’d just done means nothing. They’re Thai, and I’m Farang.

In the main police station, I grab a ticket and wait for my number to be called. I’m the only Farang in there and thus probably the only person with more money than excuses. So … no point in keeping me waiting. I hand over 400 THB, £8 in old money, and my ticket is stamped three times, by three different officers, in three different glass cubicles. Back at the scene of my accidental crime, the Bike-Cop is all smiles. I’ve no doubt just fulfilled his daily ticket quota and the rest of the day is his own ... mai pen rai kap



It’s still only 9:00am and Pattaya is still sleeping. Just as well, because when Pattaya wakes up, it’s an absolute shit hole. On the brightside, Scooters here might not be the cheapest in Thailand, but they’re certainly plentiful. For 200 THB, or £4 per day, I’ve picked up an almost brand new Suzuki 125 Hayate. Nope, I’ve never heard of it either, but I have to tell you, it’s a lot more fun than it sounds. Automatic, push-button start then simply twist and go. I’m not used to the set-up and keep applying the back brake every time I reach for the clutch. The brakes are probably fine, but without any engine braking to mention, it feels a little weak in the stopping department. But hell, does this thing go. It flies along in traffic and can turn on a sixpence. After just a day on this thing I can totally understand why ’feet forward’ riding is this years black. My only problem with that is that on a bike, I ride on my toes and not on my arches. It’s a little weird and I have to keep reminding myself that the petrol tank is somewhere beneath my arse and that using a knee to steer the bike is a fruitless and futile exercise.

I’m actually on my way to ’The Sanctuary of Truth’, just to the North of Pattaya in Naklua and then tomorrow down to Koh Chang via Sattahip. I’ve never been to any of these places there before but I’ve heard an awful lot about them and hopefully, they’ll all exceed my expecations. One of the reasons for choosing Pattaya as my first port of call, was not simply because of the availability of Scooters, but to head South and to avoid Tassaneeya who is currently down in Hua Hin on the opposite side of the Gulf with her latest squeeze. Now don't get me wrong, when a former girlfriend acquires a new partner, I'll always be the first to congratulate them, but when the term 'former' is replaced with 'current', I'm not usually so quick with my congratulations. Anyway, the plan of avoidance was good, but an SMS message this morning tells me that She’s changed direction and is currently in Koh Chang. She had no idea that I was going there, so lets just hope that as an Island, it’s a hell of a lot bigger than it looks on the map ... mai pen rai kap.

www.justgiving.com/geoffgthomas

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical of a Darlo lad only in the place 5 minutes and already been picked up by the fuzz.

Keep safe, live long and prosper.

Big Geoff, British West Hartlepool. Weather frosty and damp

Anonymous said...

You never did tell me what happened with you and Tassaneeya..probably a private thing, but one can't help being curious...anyway, glad you are back where you love to be..all the best mate, will we ever meet up ? DUKE.

Simon said...

enjoying the posts. watch out for those crafty road signs,keep safe.
Simon

'Blue 88' said...

Big Geoff .... it was at least an hour mate .... no records broken yet ;-)

Duke ... yes we will meet up mate. I'll drop you a private message on Facebook about the other ... still sore at the centre and around the edges. Oh .. first dive in 18 years yesterday ..visibility was shit, but I was far worse ;-)

Will do Simon .. but paying fines is just part of the rich tapestry out here.

'Blue 88' said...

Duke .. you've vanished from my Facebook ???? ... And I can't find your eMail address

Anonymous said...

Sorry dude, left facebook because I didn't like the new format, you can send me a kite on dukebof69@yahoo.co.uk though..it's one of several I use...thinking of you..take care.
Duke.

Anonymous said...

PS: glad you got to dive, shame about the viz though...oh well, at least you are keeping your hand in..