Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Thailand 2016 Day 9. The last day

Today was my last day and of course I am running low on money. I had not thought much about it because here there are money exchange kiosks all over the place. Ah, but today is Sunday so none of them are open. Rats!

OK, so I have like 650 baht, which I believe should be enough for breakfast, dinner, and the taxi to the airport. However, that means I have to fill the day with free stuff. OK, walking aimlessly around costs absolutely nothing, so I spent 110 baht in breakfast and then walked to the Ping River people watching around the area of China Town. I found a bookstore, so I spent a good time browsing, and then asked for a Thai bookstore and spent a goodly amount of time there selecting a book for Ronnie (90 baht), so one of these days he can proudly display his international collection of kiddy books.

By midday I felt the time had come to return my scooter to the place I had rented it from. And not a moment too soon, because the engine was beginning to sound a little ragged after my 1,300 km trek (nothing that a tune up could not put aright, so I have no qualms in my conscience). On the way back I did resist the temptation of visiting the dozen of temples that I passed when going back to my hotel, and once there changed into my swimming shorts, grabbed a book from the hotel’s bookshelf, and spent a couple of hours reading in and by the pool. I was totally relaxed. And then I went inside and the nice girl at the reception informed me that the taxi to the airport was going to cost 350 baht, because 5 am is still considered as night duty, and she would have to collect them right away to make the reservation. Damn. Let’s see 650 minus 110 minus 90 minus 350 left me with exactly 100 baht for dinner. I was going to have to be very careful if I wanted dinner tonight.

The moment you know you don’t have money for food is exactly the moment when a terrible hunger gets hold of you. I tried to hang in there, quenching my hunger with tall glasses of water, but to no avail. Finally at 6 pm I couldn’t hold any longer and went hunting for food. I figured my best bet was one of the hole-in-the-wall Thai eateries, where the cook has the pots out for the inspection of whoever feels like lifting the lids. I did exactly that and saw what looked like a tasty stew, and was delighted to know that a bowl would only be 30 baht, but then of course you have to have steamed rice with that, and the specialty of the places seemed to be spicy green papaya salad (one of my absolute favorite Thai dishes) so I had one of those as well. Half way through the meal I had a panic attack, thinking what I would have to do if the tab came to more than 100 baht. Would they accept a few dollars to make up for the deficit? Or maybe I would have to leave my watch as security while I went to beg for a few baht in the street? Well, none of these draconian measures were needed, because the total came to 70 baht. Never has a meal had a better aftertaste!

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