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Bang Cocky

November 21, 2012

I had a nightmare; We emerged from the steaming heat of Manchester in late November into the cold windy damp unpleasant winter weather in Bangkok,  realising we had made a total foul up with our packing. Thankfully, it was just a dream and what had really happened was that the air conditioning at the Sheraton was blowing waves of cold air to counteract the night time heat and needed turning down.
The Emirates economy areoplane experience was so superior to the appalling Virgin Atlantic, with whom we flew to Cuba earlier this year. Great food, particularly praiseworthy for an airline, courteous staff, very good in-flight entertainment. and they did not run out of wine 3 hours into a 9 hour flight, as the hapless Virgin had on the way to Havana. After about 30 hours of travelling since we left Arundel on Monday morning, we were understandably a little ragged by the time we reached Thailand. At one stage, when I made a suggestion about what I should wear, I was told “when  I want your opinion I will give it to you”. This was a little after I had been vindicated for refusing to iron already ironed clothing before packing. The good news was that our personal butler would, indeed, be happy to undertake any ironing we required.

Sheraton bangkok picture

Sheraton Bangkok poolside

First impressions, admittedly gained from the trip from Bangkok airport after dark, was that it was far more developed and civilised than I expected. We have three days of exploring and planning which will begin after I have finished this daily missive, and have finalised the details of another, soon-to-be happy customer for Currencies Direct. Yes, as usual, this a working trip, certainly as far as my accountant is concerned. I favour a quick walk round followed by a massage and lunch but suspect I shall be over-ruled.

On the way, we had a brief stop over at Dubai, which was one of the biggest airports I have ever seen. It took about half an hour to drive from the plane to the transit terminal, and around a mile of walking to reach the executive lounges, where I decided on a Bloody Mary, which was a bit of a mistake as it was prepared by a charming chap with a squint.  I think it was just after I had finished mine that John “Chuckle Brothers” Surtees (with whom we are travelling along with the gorgeous Rachael), upon noticing my slight discomfiture, brought on my a slight excess of tabasco, outlined the local habit of eating with one hand and using the other to, well, need I go on? Anyway, after getting back on the plane, another half hour transfer, and a couple of hours sleep, I felt better.

Too pooped to venture out of the hotel, we had a nice, but expensive, Thai meal in the Sheraton. I had earlier expressed my love of Thai food and was told by John with a straight face that I could expect a lot of it in the coming days. Clearly, working with the Chuckle Brothers has honed his wit and repartee to a fine point. Discussions inevitably turned to the forthcoming Australian leg of the trip and our combined lack of preparation to play cricket in Adelaide next week. However, we have resolved to look the part at the Golden Oldies Cricket Festival opening ceremony, and parade of nations, by wearing our long white socks with pride and the pizzaz that can only come from being old-fashioned, English and thick skinned. I think my splendid handle bar moustache , when carefully waxed, as it will be for the reception on Sunday, will help make a statement. I am not sure exactly what that statement will mean, I just know it will be a statement.

Chris France


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