Wednesday 29 February 2012: Sun up over Bangkok railway slums
Sorry for the picture quality, taken through the latest filtering system - FTW - or Filthy Train Window for the uninitiated. Also sorry to inflict another slum photo on you, but these have to be seen to be believed. This looks a lot better than the reality. There are people living in stilt houses above stagnant storm drains which are no more than open sewers. Many of these people are from hill tribes, dispossessed of their lands. They are unregistered and hence don't exist, so there is no problem here!
Anyway, we arrived in Bangkok this morning from CM and tried to check in 5 hours early - no problem say the gorgeous reception staff : -
Problem - No passport. It was still in CM!!!!!! Everyone very helpful, and immediately phoned CM. Within an hour Courier collection was arranged, all for 500 Bhat. (£10)
Went for some lunch then to see Jim Thompson's house. Waylaid by a kindly gentleman who told us JT's house was closed today for a big Buddhist festival. He worked for Nissan and had been to the Sunderland plant for training. He suggested we might take advantage of the last day of a year long sale at a nearby Government sponsored export manufacturers store. He went his way, and we went to the store which turned out to be a jewlery manufacturer. No thanks, but let's just see where JT's house is, for tomorrow. Lo and behold, it was open, and the kindly gentleman was yet another wily oriental. I'll gie him Sunderland if I see him again.
So we went round the house - very interesting, but don't touch / photo. JT was an American entrepreneur who developed the Thai silk industry in the 50s & 60s. He disappeared for ever, in the Cameron Highlands in 1967 at the age of 61, an inauspicious age for whatever Thai / Buddhist "Sign" he was born under. I reccon he's holed up somewhere with Jim Morrison, Lord Lucan and a bevy of Thai beauties.
Not been propositioned yet!
To be continued: