Day 121 & 122 - Bangkok - London - Manchester
Not so much of a lie in this morning as we have to pack, check out and make the most of our last day in Bangkok and of the trip :(
After packing and checking out we jump in a taxi back to Khao San Road as Si did some research on a tattooist near there who has been very highly rated, he draws everything freehand onto you and will never do the same tattoo twice, even if you take him your own picture he will draw it onto you and change it slightly.
Its very hard to find down a back ally but the pictures of the guys work in the window is amazing you would never know that it was done free hand definately one of the best I have seen. We hop in and show him the picture that Si would like and he explains that he may change it when drawing it on and that he does not use stencils etc. We confirm that we already know this and ask him for a price, he says he will not know until he has seen on Si what he will be tattooing.
Si has to take his top off and get the top of his arm shaved and this guy whips out a pen and starts drawing ... and hour and a half later he's finished the outline and lets Si have a break while he thinks on what he wants to do for the back ground. The drawing that he did was really good, I then showed him a colour picture of what Si wanted and he got very excited saying he had just had loads of new ideas and kept merging between thai and english so we only understood some of it but the general gist was that he was going to make it really good :)
After the break he does a bit more drawing, we talk timescales and he said that since we have to leave tonight he would only have time to do the outline and that Si could have the colour at a later date (we sort of guessed that would be the case anyway) and he then quoted us a price ... a very high price and was actually double what the guy in Chiang Mai wanted. Si decided to pass on the tattoo as he'd probably be able to get it cheaper or for the same price at home.
Anyway we jump in a taxi and head to the MBK to do the last of our tat shopping. Again we grab ourselves some good bargains and leave when all the stalls start closing. When we are getting the taxi back to our hotel we mention to the taxi driver that we are flying home tonight and we negotiate a bargain taxi ride to the airport for later :)
Back at the hotel and again we've had a late lunch so just sit in the bar having a few drinks to pass the time before we have to head to the airport.
Our taxi man hadn't showed at the agreed time so rather than wait around we flagged 1 down and managed to get it for the same price.
As we headed along the freeway we took 1 last look at Bangkok all lit up and realised that we are actually heading home now .. no more cheap beer or food, no more crazy Tuk Tuk/taxi rides on the wrong side of the road, no more strange squigly writing and no more smiley friendly people :(
We arrive at the airport both feeling glum, check our bags in and make our way through security for the final time. Si was a bit nervous when his bag was being scanned as it had quite a lot of knock offs in it but they didnt bat an eye lid guess they're used to it by now!
Unfortunately the shops in the airport aren't like the rest of the ones we've come across in Bangkok so all the stuff appears to be real and very expensive so rather than try and barter with them we decided to spend the last of the baht on some sweets and a bit more tat. We grabbed some food as we dont know what time we'll be eating on the flight and couldn't believe the price we paid for the food and beer we may as well already be back in the uk!
Its soon time to board our flight, we find our seats and get settled and as comfy as possible as this is where we will be spending the next 12 hours. We were scheduled to leave 10 minutes early but actually ended up leaving about 30-40 mins late. I told Si I was going to try and stay awake until it was night time in the UK to try and help sort my body clock out but I failed and had already had a nap before we took off and then again as soon as we took off .. never mind :)
Anyway a couple of hours into the flight and our tea is served, nothing special just your usual airplane food. I did contemplate going back to sleep but decided to watch Letters to Juliet instead which is an ok film definately one for the girls. We only had one pair of working head phones between us so after the film I handed over the head phones and caught some flies. Si claims he only got about 20 mins sleep but I woke up a few times when I was rolling over and caught him out for the count. I feel a bit sorry for the guy sat in front of me as at one point I woke up and realised my leg was wedged up his arm rest ha! A few hours sleep and before we knew it there was only 3 hours of the flight left, I figured they would be bringing breakfast round soon so didnt see the point in going back to sleep. Si continued to watch silly programs like 2 and a half men and I played on the phone for a while until breakfast was served. I dont know if Si was sleep deprived or just being messy but he kept dropping bits of his breakfast on the floor :)
We landed in Heathrow about an hour later than planned but not to worry as we have booked the train tickets for a couple of hours later to allow for delays. A few train and tube rides later we arrive at the station where we're getting our train back home to Manchester, we booked ourself first class so we got to use the lounge and made the most of the free coffee and shower facilities whilst we waited for the train ... feeling very strange to be back in the UK dont think its quite sunk in yet.
The time eventually comes and we get on the train back to Manchester where it all began ... very strange sitting on a train and not seeing cows and goats run off the track!
Just over 2 hours later and we're pulling into Manchester where the very kind Miss Crook is picking us up, thankfully its not too cold but boy is it depressing being back. Its not long before we're back home being greeted by a very excited puppy called Abby that my mum got while we were away.
A nice sit down before the dreaded unpacking begins and the preparation for work on Monday morning .. now theres something to look forward to!
As sad as it is thats its over we've both had an amazing time, shared so many memorable experiences and done so many things that most people only dream of ... just a shame that it had to come to an end.