finally here!

Ko Si Chang Travel Blog

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this screen made my day, er flight.. but check out the "time to destination"

Hello there from Thailand! I am on the boat right now, writing from my computer in the salon (who knows when I’ll be able to send this).  I left Boston on the morning of the 14th and flew to JFK (and sat next to someone who goes to St. Mike’s, go figure).  I had a couple of hours before my flight so I had some food (my last bagel for a long, long time) and then decided to make my way to my terminal to catch my connecting flight.  Ha!  I don’t think they could have made it any more difficult for me, and I consider myself a fairly seasoned airport traveler.  The signs for the skytrain were poorly placed, when they existed at all, and didn’t actually point to anywhere in particular when they were there, so I had to ask several security guards along my way.

Argo anchored off Ko Sichang
  What I didn’t realize at first is that the skytrain that connects the terminals is outside of security! How silly is that? So after lugging my carryon bags all through the airport and finally finding the train, I was happy to sit down on it and relax in the couple of minutes until my terminal.  Except that at the next stop, a guard got on and said that the train was out of order and we had to wait for another.  So after ten minutes or so the train finally came, I got to my terminal, checked in again, went through security… again.  I got to my gate with a half hour to spare until boarding, which was fine, but my trek through the airport was a little frustrating!  However, my (direct) flight from New York to Bangkok was delightful, all seventeen hours and ten minutes of it.
isn't she pretty
  I had my own personal tv screen in front of me, nobody sitting in the seat next to me, and my big bags were in the upper storage space so I could stretch my legs out in front of me.  Honestly the flight felt like about three hours.  I watched four movies- High School Musical, The DaVinci Code, Stick It, and something I can't remember now, and I fast forwarded through several other movies to watch my favorite parts.  Then I watched a little tv, took a little nap, listened to some music… all in all it was a very positive experience.  We were running about twenty minutes late though and I was already cutting it a little close to be able to make it to the boat that evening, so I rushed to immigrations, only to find that I had stood in the wrong line (who knew that group of stations didn’t ‘have the information for Thai Airways’??) and then made it to baggage claim and loaded my bags on a cart.
salon
  I decided in the interest of time to not declare anything in my bags, which I was later grateful for because otherwise I would have missed the last ferry of the night.  But anyways, I was rushing a bit so I found a taxi at the airport and told him where I wanted to go and we negotiated a price.  It’s a bit of a long trip so I was surprised that the first cab I asked was so willing to take me.  So I loaded up my bags, handed over an exorbitant amount of money for tolls that I know don’t cost that much, and I was off… except that two minutes down the road the driver pulls over and says he needs to go to his office for five minutes.  I was a bit mad… I was in a rush and didn’t want to turn down some back road so he could apparently tell his boss where he was going.  We argued about it, quite forcefully on my part, for about ten minutes.
galley
  I told him to call his boss on the phone, but he didn’t have one.  I told him to call on the radio, but he showed me the area where his antenna was supposed to be.  Eventually I gave in, not pleased at all, but I was slightly relieved by the armed security guard at the entrance to the road his “office” was on.  So we pull up and all sorts of things start happening with multiple people, and soon I gather that he never had any intention of driving me to Si Racha, he was bringing me here to transfer me to another vehicle, which happened to be unmarked.  I was still at this point arguing quite forcefully, trying to decide if I was being totally taken advantage of, or only slightly so.  There was much talking in Thai, and large amounts of money changing hands between the various drivers.
my bunk
  After much deliberation I got in the new car, one of the conditions being that I could use the driver’s phone to call my boss, so I called Boomer and told him that if I didn’t show up tonight that I had been abducted by the taxi people.  I’m not sure he knew quite what to do with that information, but I felt better that someone else knew it (don’t worry Mom, everything was fine).  So anyways, I got in the car, kept a vigilant eye on the road signs to make sure we were in fact going to Si Racha, and arrived there quite happily about an hour and a half later.  Only the driver had no idea where the ferry was, so we spent a good twenty minutes driving around the town and asking people for directions when we finally stumble across a boat that looked ferry-ish.  It turned out to be the right one, and my taxi adventure ended peacefully.  The ferry was a bit of an adventure too, a suspicious looking wood structure that looked like it should capsize at any moment.  There was a reassuring sign stating that all passengers were required to wear life jackets at all times, only when we left no one put them on.  I had a good laugh over that with a Canadian couple who were the only other foreigners on the ferry.  They were very interesting and we talked about Thailand during the forty minute ride, it turns out they live kind of near where we used to and have been to my favorite noodle place.  Shortly after I arrived on the dock Chantale pulled up in the dinghy, and we had a slightly choppy ride out to the boat, which I could see all lit up at anchor.  I was welcomed by Boomer, Kevin, Mike, and Tommy and escorted to the salon, where there was a welcome drink waiting for me, and… a bowl of plain pasta!!  We hung out for a while and then I went to bed at around midnight.  It have the bunk I was hoping for all along, which made me very happy (top bunk in the charthouse).  I slept pretty well last night and this morning we went over some schedule and orientation stuff as a group before going on some errands in town.  While Tom and Kevin got fuel and laundry done, Chantale and I ordered lunch at a local restaurant for takeaway back to the boat.  We walked around town a bit and it was really cool to see a more local style of Thai living, as opposed to being in the city.  One complaint though, the dogs aren’t very friendly L  Oh well… After lunch I unpacked the rest of my stuff and we had another meeting about program stuff.  Now I’m busy burning all of my pictures onto discs in case my computer crashes again, a long process but something that desperately needed to be done.  I expect I’ll write more before this gets sent out, so bye for now.

 

Ok I got to internet sooner than I expected but Eliot has my camera cord so I can't upload photos for about a week or so.

Amanda says:
Have such a great time! I can't wait to see pictures!! Keep us updated!!
Posted on: Sep 16, 2006
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this screen made my day, er flight…
this screen made my day, er fligh…
Argo anchored off Ko Sichang
Argo anchored off Ko Sichang
isnt she pretty
isn't she pretty
salon
salon
galley
galley
my bunk
my bunk
Ko Si Chang
photo by: bede17