On my way to the airport from Roseville (how lovely Roseville sounds and it is, a leafy flowery suburb of Sydney) I stood on the train platform in the bright, breezy Autumn sun and watched the myna birds pivot on the track-side bushes, the cockatoos flap like rags, rosellas flash and spark in noisy conversation, the world was alight colour. It was at that moment that I realised I could make Australia my home.
I had left my lovely other half to buckle down to her demanding new job at the Royal North Shore Hospital; she wanted to go home to re-establish her links to Australia and I needed to get home to sort a few things out to do with my visa, so it was adieu for four months until we would meet up again in The UK and return to Australia for October. I missed her almost immediately, but missing someone can be a good thing and it wouldn’t be for long.
I had worked hard on a few websites whilst in Australia so I didn’t exactly tour the country, but I figure I will in the future so no hurry. The websites I created are busily being massaged by Google, so hopefuly they can start to create revenue soon, but for now it’s a slow boat back to the UK.
I decided on a stop-over in Thailand to get my teeth fixed and take a peek at laos as I had never been there before. In Australia it was a hundred quid to simply get a filling, in Thailand you can buy a small village for the same cash so here I am typing this, teeth fixed, in bangkok waiting for the train to go to Vientiane in laos.
I didn’t have any particular dentist in mind when I arrived, I simply took a look around and opted for the one that looked like they could do the job best. First off I followed one google’d recommendation to the Bangkok Christian hospital, a hospital on the fringes of Patpong or Phatphong, one of Bangkoks oldest sex areas that I assume was set-up to fix some of the damage done to thai girls by their late night jobs.
The dental department in the Bangkok christian hospital is at the top of the second building with surgery rooms surrounding a central waiting area. The first thing I noticed upon walking in were the blood-curdling screams of a child who obviously didn’t like dental work, the second thing was that the place looked old, like one of the dentists I might have visited as a child.
I waited anyhow and was given an appointment right away with a delightful and tiny Thai girl who looked almost apologetic that she had to treat me. She had a quick look in my mouth and completely missed, understandibly, the fillings pointed out to me by an x-ray in Sydney. So after I gently pointed this out she asked me to get x-rayed.
The x-ray machine looked like one of the machines that gives you a lethal does of radiation, so after sitting down I politely made my excuses and left. I went to apologise to the lovely young dentist who was sitting, waiting outside her surgery room watching a T.V. She looked like a child looking up at the screen, mask on, legs dangling with her hands between her knees. She smiled and bowed and I smiled and bowed and took my leave.
The next place I tried was completely the opposite. Again it was a referral from a Google search, but this time it was a purpose built building with what I can only describe as an infinity pond in the middle, a little cafe and an immense amount of soothing light to keep any nervous patient at ease.
I was seen immediately, had an x-ray, was told I needed three fillings and some root planing, had the first appointment after an hour and went back the next day for the rest. Result. The other nice thing was the price, all of that work done for little mor than a couple of hundred pounds, which wasn’t bad as they needed to operate to make one of the fillings because it was on the root of the tooth. Ouch. Here’s a link in case anyone needs it www.dentalhospitalbangkok.com
As for Bangkok it’s hot season, so it took a week to simpoly acclimatise. I do love Bangkok though so I made my walks around town, ate some delicious food, took some crazy arsed boats around the Klongs with drivers that think they can drive a 20 metre long boat like a rally car, took a look at the freaks on the khao san road, travelled up and down on the skytrain and snuck into air conditioned shopping centres whenever it got too hot.
Jim Thompson’s house was a good place to visit. For 100 Baht you have a guided tour then get to hang out in the pleasant gardens, enjoy a meal in the cafe or take pics of the very tasteful soft furnishings. Indeed Jim Thompson who ‘always lived alone’ had a very nice taste in interior design.
Nobody knows what became of Jim Thompson after he disappeared in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia just after his 61st birthday. The person giving us the tour told us that Thompson had been told that 61 was an unlucky age by an astrologer, don’t get your chart done is what I say.
As for the hotel I am staying in I am in that old world charm art deco swimming pool packing freak of a place, The Atlanta. It’s a haven away from the madness, I am sitting here in the foyer listening to the calming jazz, the 1950′s decor yellowing, gold and red tiles lending an age old charm to the place. All of this in a place that is one street away from Nana Plaza, one of the sex areas of Bangkok. That’s Thailand!