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

Post 317: Back in Blighty ..... bugger

The flight back to England with Etihad Airways was uneventful. No delays, four empty seats to myself, access to the 1st Class Lounge and not even a hint of volcanic dust. The only pain was the fact that I was leaving Thailand behind me. For obvious reasons, this journey didn’t turn out as initially intended, but then anything that I've planned seldom does. I’ve been away for three months and I’m really not looking forward to returning to England. Despite all that has happened, or more importantly all that hasn’t happened, I’d still like to make Thailand my permanent home. There are however some things that I wont miss, Google Blogger in Thai being one of them …. mai pen rai

Heathrow is just as gloomy as when I left it. Down in the tube station before midnight, one operational ticket machine that’s not giving change and one open window that is. A long queue for a ticket. Frustrated would-be travellers standing in line. Trains enter and leave the station. I shuffle forward. The third Piccadilly Line train enters the station. A girl in front of me, the last barrier between me and the barrier. She’s heading abroad, she’s impatient. She scolds the minimum wage ticket seller for being slow. She’s been standing in the queue for more than twenty-five minutes. If he doesn’t hurry up, she’s going to miss her flight. She wants a refund for the remaining credit on her Oyster Card …. £1:09.

At Braintree railway station, I open the door to the first taxi on the rank. ''Can you take me to ....... ''. I don't get to finish my sentence, ''Coldnailhurst Avenue'' the driver says. ''How did you know where I was going?'' I'm confused. ''I picked you up from there and dropped you off here on the day that you left''. I was impressed, the guy had a really good memory, and I told him so. He seemed to find that quite amusing ........ ''Besides which ...... you've been my next-door-neighbour for more than a year'' .... mai pen rai

For some reason best known to Triumph, the Tiger fires into life on the first push of the button. It’s stood outside in a garden, unused since the 7th of February. It’s now the 12th of May. It’s a little smoky and the fuel pump whines, but it settles down onto tickover and it’s almost as if we’ve never been apart. Unfortunately, the spring rain and sunshine has done wonders for the weeds and it’s a daring ride through brambles and nettles to reach the back gate. If only corn grew as fast as nettles, then the world would never be hungry … mai pen rai

Down to Silverex Engineering in Braintree, the tiger needs an MOT. Bloody hell, it’s a lot heavier than a Honda Wave and the gears are upside down. The front brakes are binding but a few alternating pumps and kicks seem to sort the problem out. Twenty minutes later, I’ve got a new MOT and not a single ’Advisory Note’. Same as last year.

I’m heading up to Peterborough for the BMF Show. £14 for entry. I get in free with a ’Show Pass’, but I can feel the paying customers pain. £2.00 for a coffee and now I’m feeling my own pain. I filled the Tiger’s tank on the way up here. £20.00 and it wasn’t even empty. Conclusion …….. Keep on moving ….. mai pen rai

1 comment:

alan thomas said...

good to have you back. unfortunately corn does grow as fast as nettles and is therefore used in pretty much every item in the supermarket in some form - food or not! high fructose corn syrup is one of the main ingredients in fast food and soda's and is thereby a main cause of the diabetes epidemic!

ok - off my high horse but do check out 'king corn' the movie.