Ade & Jos adventure day 19: Frère Jacques
It’s the weekend! We get up quite early for a Saturday as Jo has an appointment at the local hospital for a diabetes check up, so we get in a taxi and have a short ride to Samitivej hospital, there’s some confusion when we get there (it’s our first time at a hospital in Thailand) here appointment seems to have been cancelled and jo’s been given a form that shows what tests she needs and how much they’ll cost (for medical care here we pay the bill and then our insurance pays us back… Not ideal but it’s just they way things are done) the bill is looking quite expensive, which isn’t great.. We sit in the waiting room for a while before being told to go over to a second building, which we do.. There a nurse tells Jo she doesn’t need all the tests on the form we were given, she just needs a blood test (which thankfully should reduce the bill dramatically)… One blood test later and we go back over to the first building… This where our trip to the hospital takes a strange but pleasant turn…. Have you ever seen a man playing a grand piano (let it go from Frozen to be precise) in the reception of a hospital before? No? Neither had we.. Until today.. He played “Tale as old as time” from Beauty and the Beast next…. Lovely. We had to wait an hour for Jos blood test results so we went for a wander around the hospital, I made some joke about how i’m surprised there isn’t a mall here, being as there seems to be malls in every bit of free space in Bangkok….. We went down an escalator looking for a cafe and there you go.. Found a mini mall…. The bloody things really are everywhere!
We end up in starbucks having a drink, Jo said I look miserable about being stuck here at the hospital so to make it up to me, we’l go to the Toy market Salisa (our relocation liason) told us about.. I tell Jo i’m not actually miserable… It’s just the way I look.
After Starbucks we venture back up to the main hospital building, there’s a cafe there so we get something to eat… Passing (as you do in a hospital) a small garden with a string trio playing music that’s being piped through the hospital sound system into the waiting area….So, i’m eating a steak and cheese bagle listening to “The blue Danube” followed by “My heart will go on” from Titanic…. Brilliant! By now i’m not only “not” miserable i’m properly enjoying myself…..
Jo finally gets to see her Doctor after about an hour of waiting, then it’s over to the main area for medicine collection and bill payment…. Just over £200 lighter we leave the hospital and head off back to the hotel (to drop Jos pills off) before carrying on with our day… To the toy market!
To get to Megaplaza (where the toy market is) we’ll have to get the BTS (Bangkok Train System) to the river , then hop on a boat for a trip to pier 6, before finally making our way to Megaplaza….. The BTS is quite busy today, lots of people tightly packed on the train… We get off the train at Siam and make our way to the river boats… Two options today, we either get on a nice slow boat and have a gentle cruise up to pier 6… Or we do the tourist thing and hire a dragon boat….. Dragon boat it is! Dragon boats are long, slim boats with an powerful motor on the back, for a couple hundred Baht they’ll take you to any pier along the river, getting into the boat wasn’t exactly fun, the boat man steadies the boat (sort of) as you have one foot on the dock and one foot in the boat.. Before finally stepping in (thankfully not falling in the river) Life jackets are available on the boat… Which we put on straight away.. The boat pulls away from the dock and goes straight up the river.. Fast! Jo thinks we got to about 60 mph at one point.. Bloody hell those boats can move! I loved the boat ride.. But as we came toward pier 6 i’m started to worry about actually getting out of the thing. These worries came to a head when we arrived at the pier… To get out of the boat you had one foot on the side of the boat and one foot on a tyre that was nailed to the pier… The boat is bobbing up and down, there’s no hand rail.. just the pier, your foot and a tyre…. I’m trying to work out the safest way of getting back on dry land so opt for the “bugger it Ade.. Just crawl” approach… Not graceful… I’ll probably end up on “You’ve been framed” at some point in the future.. But at least I didn’t fall in the river… Being a gentleman, once I was off the boat I helped Jo get back on the pier in a far more graceful manner.
According to google maps, Megaplaza is about a 15 minute walk away… After about ten minutes of walking we realise we don’t seem to be making any progress so decide to get a tuk tuk… One insane tuk tuk ride later (lots of ducking inbetween traffic and near misses) we arrive near Megaplaza… It’s in a different part of Bangkok then we’ve visited before… It’s grittier… Dirtier…. But still not scary.. Still inviting.
We find Megaplaza and go inside… Lots of stalls here most of them selling models, toys and action figures… Heaven! I’m on a mission to find a Godzilla figure, i’d tried to find one when we visited Bangkok before but had failed… Today I was hoping to finally get one for my toy collection, the first stall we look at I find Godzilla… He’s the perfect size for my shelf, he’s the classic Japanese design (not the new American design) he’s pretty much perfect… Except for the price 800 baht (close on £20) So I leave him in his glass cabinet and carry on searching… The next stall has lots of Godzillas.. But the colours are a bit much (orange Godzilla? No thanks) and to be honest they’re just too big… So I carry on… We find a stall filled with all manner of toys… Dolls, cuddly toys….A Godzilla (American version tho) and an Avengers infinity war Iron Spider, Spiderman figure…. He’s priced up at about 400 baht (about £9.50) he’s a Chinese copy but he actually looks pretty good… The lady who owns the store tells us she can sell him for 30 baht (about £7.00) as I say he looks pretty good so we tell her we need to get some cash from the ATM and we’ll be back… I get some cash and head back to her, via the first stall where we found the first Godzilla… He still looks amazing so Jo asks the store owner what price they can sell him for, he’s priced at 800 baht (£18)… Jo offers 600 (£14)… The shop owner (turns out he’s not the owner as he’s now sending photos of Godzilla to the actual owner) says he can do 750 baht (still about £18).. I think he’s taking the piss so I give him back Godzilla and we walk away…. So Back with the Iron Spider… I’m just about to buy him when I spot a box on the shelf with a Predator figure in it, he looks brilliant so I end up walking away with the Iron Spider and a Predator for 1200 baht (just under £30)… I did leave behind an Iron man figure tho… The box looked ok but the actually figure was a really low quality Chinese copy (Chinese copies of action figure can either be really good or absolute rubbish… Iron man was rubbish) We walked around lots more stalls…We found a shop that deals in really high end comic book collectable statues… I’d seen videos of some of these things but i’d never actually seen one “in the flesh” before… This shop had them EVERYWHERE! Totally out of my budget and honestly way to big for me to even consider displaying them but they were things of beauty.. Absolute works of art.
a bit more walking and I found an “Incredible Hulk” figure he looked brilliant, a nice looking figure, big and bulky and priced at 900 baht (about £20) I was already sold on him when the shop owner appeared and said “50% off everything in shop” So I walked away with an amazing Hulk figure for about £10.50… Bargain!
A spot of lunch in the food court followed by a little look around a really odd store… It was full of really high end action figures.. Some really expensive but good quality collectables… And then some over priced, expensive throwaway stuff… or example when Justice League was being shown in cinemas in England, our cinema were selling drinking cups with the figures of the characters on the tops (I know.. I got a Superman one) This shop was selling them for stupid money… Question is…. Were they over priced? Or… Being as my collection is made up of European editions of action figures/toys.. Is it worth a small fortune here being as it’s now classed as imported? Hmmmmm
We finished off the shopping trip with a look around a stall that was filled with bags of mini figures, cheap Chinese copies of action figures.. And awesome Transformers toys… I walked out with a bag full of Justice League figures, a Groot desktop penholder… And….. GODZILLA! He’s not the classic Godzilla… He’s actually Shin Godzilla (2016 Japanese movie).. He looks great, he didn’t cost a fortune and I can’t wait to put him with the rest of my toy collection… All in all I had a great time looking at all these stores and I will be coming back and spending my money on more toys…. I love being an overgrown kid… Remember folks, growing old is unavoidable… Growing UP is an option.
We decided against getting a boat back to the BTS so we got in a tuk tuk to the MRT station instead… Maddest Tuk tuk driver EVER…. But I loved it… In fact i’ve loved everything about today so far, it’s been brilliant. A short ride on the underground to the BTS, followed by a quick BTS ride to our station… Jo got on the hotel tuk tuk I had to walk (no room for me thanks to some rude Japanese folks rushing the tuk tuk as soon as it arrived)… Yeah Japanese people.. You may have a seat on that tuk tuk…. But i’ve got GODZILLA!
Back at the hotel I start looking at my new toys…. Groot is ace, Godzilla just looks better everytime I look at him, Predator is amazing, Hulk is an absolute bargain… I drop Iron Spider on the floor as I take him out of his box. In slow motion he tumbles toward the hard wooden floor. He crashes onto the wooden surface… Thankfully I see no damage….. His spider symbol lights up and he plays “Frère Jacques” while lighting up the room… Now that was unexpected. God I love these insane Chinese toy copies!
Toys safely placed on a shelf until I take them over to the new apartment, we get ready to go out for the evening, we’re planning on going down toward Asok and drinking in “Otto bar” the rock bar we found last week… We get to Otto bar quite early, it’s quiet and seems the only people in there are the bar staff and the hostesses.. we carry on walking and end up at “the penalty spot” the German bar we went to last week, we have one drink (well I have a pint.. Jo has two white russians), the bar is not too busy.. Lots of working girls/hostesses here again… But again, it’s nicer here than at Soi Cowboy. Jo decides we should visit Khao San Road, the party road where all the backpackers end up, so a taxi ride later we end up at Khao San Road. It’s mad. It’s busy.. It’s noisy.. Street sellers are selling clothes, food… Scorpions on sticks (no thanks), there’s go go girls outside a couple of the bars plying for trade, folks are outside bars offering buckets of booze, balloons filled with laughing gas.. We end up at a bar, we order drinks.. My pint arrives, Jo says she needs the toilet to goes off to find it.. She’d not been gone 30 seconds when a very attractive young Thai lady appeared at my table, hovering…. The waitress appeared and put Jos cocktail down next to my pint (signalling I wasn’t alone) and the Thai girl made her exit… After a drink there we went to another bar, we shared a bucket of cocktail and left (mind numbing dance music does not make Ade want to stay in a bar).. We left and were immediately accosted by a man holding a sign offering “ping pong shows” “Chop stick shows” and various other sex shows.. He’s trying to get us into a tuk tuk to see the show, we say “no thanks” he carries on going on about “pussy” we walk off laughing… Sex trade is HUGE here in Bangkok.
We end our time in Khao San Road at a bar toward the end of the street, there’s a band playing and a girl who doesn’t know any of the words is murdering “I will survive” and “dancing Queen”.. We go in and sit down.. Not seats, but swings! we order drinks.. A bucket of cocktail for Jo.. A bucket of whiskey and coke for me….I’m in for a hangover me thinks… Plus this swinging seat thing is making me a bit dizzy.. We find the bar also serves food so we order some chicken fried rice and some chicken wings… The food arrives… Honestly, it was delicious.. I’d not got high hopes for it but the food really surprised me.. Brilliant bar.. Just can not remember the name of it.
We get in a taxi and head back to Otto bar.. By now the band is playing and the bar is full of people, customers and hostess/prostitutes (i’m not sure which yet… Hostesses or prostitutes) We order drinks I head off to the gents… Someone has a proper grope of my arse as I walk through the bar…Pretty sure it was a woman. We meet an Australian bloke called Gordon.. He’s having a proper good time and keeps shouting “METAL!” we like Gordon… The hostesses are really chatty tonight… One of them keeps trying to get Jo to buy her a drink.. She’s being a bit pushy which puts a bit of a dampener on things.. She buggers off and we continue with our night, two Jack and cokes for me… The band finishes it’s set and for some unknown reason the bar start playing generic pop music… Gordon is not having this so he puts some metal on… Good old Gordon. Another of the hostesses is chatting to Jo, saying how the bar was busier and a bit mad last night, Jo and the hostess are chatting away quite nicely as i’m finishing off my drink.. Jo pays the bill and leaves a tip (usually about 10%) the bill was under 1000 baht but Jo tipped 100.. Which our hostess decided Jo should shove down her somewhat ample and totally on display cleavage.. Money deposited between breasts…. Hostess decided she should put her face between Jos breasts… A hug from the hostess for me… Good night.
By now i’m drunk (i’m typing this up early Sunday morning… amazingly without a hangover) we walk back to the hotel (i’ve literally just had to ask Jo how we got back last night as I couldn’t remember).. Drink water… Bed.. Sleep.
What a day.