The train finally departed, 10 hours later I would be in Bangkok central.  A few hours into the journey and after it had got dark I took a seat in the restaurant cart for a light meal and some drink.  A small TV behind a counter flickered with the Bangkok news.  It was all in Thai but I only needed to see the pictures.  It was of course all about the current state of the unease in the capital.  I saw tower blocks on fire, smoke filling the air.  Streets ablaze, tarmac melting from the heat of tyres burning.  The military were fighting the insurgence of red shirt protesters.  Bodies were piling up along the side of the road.  What the fuck was I heading into.

A short while later I had finished half of my meal, the other half I had noticed was being eaten from the bottom by tiny insects.  It was enough to put me off.

Suddenly the train came to an abrupt stop just short of a town and still a while yet from the capital.   The staff were all racing about talking on their radios and trying to assess what the problem was.  A little while later I was told there was a fire on the tracks ahead and the train could not pass until it was removed.  Had this anything to do with the protests, I did not know but it was just another worrying thing to happen on the way to what ever was awaiting me in the city.

That night I somehow ended up staying in the restaurant cart with the staff drinking into the night.  I was about to leave when another traveler a Thai man had bought me another large bottle of Thai beer. I really didn’t want another but felt obliged to accept it.  He told me it was a way of saying sorry to me for the trouble that was going on in his country.  I said thanks and told him he had no need to apologise.  We spoke of the current situation in Thailand and of the problems with the present government and Thaksin.   I managed to have a good sleep that night after the many beers.

I woke early, my head was pounding.  I had not drank so much in a long time.  Two Nurofen and a bottle of water soon sorted that out.  Looking out the window I could see I was now heading into Bangkok.  The train was due to arrive at the station in around 20 minutes.  It was around 6.30 am when I finally got to the station and there was a slim chance of any riots at that time.

I made my way to the taxi ranks and asked to be taken to Soi 6 off Sukumvit Rd, the place I had stayed before on previous visits.  The taxi seemed to be taking the scenic route, I knew the hotel was not this far from the station but I assumed it was because of the road barricades, or at least I thought this would happen as a perfect excuse to get more money out of the newly arriving fellang.  I tried to take some photos of the devastation along the way but the taxi would not slow down at any point.  I missed most of the main spots, such as the Stock Exchange building.

Around Soi 6 were barricades and a military presence, so where I was going to be spending the next couple of days was very close to were some of the riots were taking place.  I could only imagine what it was going to be like on the night.

I arrived at the hotel around 7 ish and after checking in I collapsed on the bed and fell into a deep sleep instantly.  I awoke much later feeling still sleepy and exhausted.  I knew my friend from Pattaya was due to arrive at some point but I had no word from him as yet, so had a little to eat and drink from the mini bar and fell straight back into another deep sleep.

I woke late the next day and checked the news, the riots had ended the day before I had arrived and nothing had happened since then.  The curfew was still in place however and was the reason my friend could not come to visit me.  It was time to make a move, I had no other reason to be hanging around Bangkok, and the accommodation was too much for me at this point.  I spent a few hours trying to get a good deal on a flight out to Bali.

I booked a flight for the next day at around 6am.  This meant because of the curfew I would have to find a hotel closer to the airport as I would not be allowed to leave Soi 6 between 9pm and 4am.  The hotel staff sorted this all out for me, hotel near the airport, flight to Bali the next day.  So long Bangkok.

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