Thai Days: Hugh in Bangkok not Vietnam


Hugh Paxton’s Blog can’t tell you about Hanoi. Because I’m in Bangkok.

A quick resend. Nothing’s going right. And my computer has joined the party. Remember Hal in 2001 Space Odyssey. Rather like that. I’m receiving emails sent weeks ago. And I’m not sure if any emails I have sent are sent. Looking on the bright side the computer has yet to try to kill me. But if it did I’d thank it!

The Nam affair was an expensive and tiring fiasco. Read on! This email I sent to Midi and I’m too knackered to re-write.



Hope all’s well! Bit of a cock up at this end.

I should be in Hanoi right now. But I’m not. Khun Den rolled up at 3AM with his wife and child and I’d stayed awake and was all packed and ready and we got to the airport after a lengthy debate about Jesus. Khun Den has stopped being tentative about his faith and has fully converted to Christianity. But not in an aggressive fashion. After half an hour he confessed to being a Red Shirt sympathiser.

Everything seemed to be going perfectly. Khun Den our Red/Jesus lover didn’t crash the car, I cleared the Air Asia lines and was then told that I didn’t have a visa. Absolutely correct. I didn’t. I had been informed that I could get one on arrival. I toured various help desks and was eventually given a telephone number for the Viet embassy. 5 thirty AM Sunday? Yes, I thought, those guys will just be itching for a call!

The final Thai woman said “You must prepare yourself, sir.”

I said “Do I get a smile?”

Got a sneer. Fair enough. I can’t think of anything worse than handling Air Asia complaints at 5 AM in that dismal flood stricken airport. I gave her a Hugh smile and her face lost thirty years when she smiled back. Flagged a cab (with a driver who wasn’t using crystal meth and didn’t want to practice his English or teach me about Jesus) and came home uneventfully. Khun Mee had locked all the doors but I eventually managed to climb through a window she’d missed in her security spree. Breakfast options were limited. I’d given everything in my fridge to Khun Den. Everything. Khun Mee turned up to walk Buggly and almost had a heart attack when she saw me. Hardly surprising. Mere hours earlier she had waved me off to Hanoi. And here I was – the Incredible Re-appearing Man – who had incredibly misted through her locks and security and was busily mopping dog urine off the piano.

Khun Den arrived and looked similarly dismayed. I think he thought I was a homing ghost. I didn’t ask him to give me all the food back or for a loaf of bread and five fishes ( a Jesus miracle I had been reminded of by Khun Den) but I managed a humble request for milk. Fortunately I hadn’t given away all our cereal.

So instead of an Air Asia feast of pre-ordered chicken with basil and sticky rice followed by a leisurely cuppa in my Palace hotel in the Hanoi Old Quarter I ate Alpen surrounded by the wreckage of books and newspapers newly provided by Buggly. Can’t fault that beagle for laziness. He’s busy.

Tomorrow I’ll try and sort out what I can and hopefully Air Asia will be merciful and re-heat my chicken and basil.

They probably won’t.

A Five Star cock up. But maybe things will go well when office hours commence tomorrow.

They probably won’t! Everybody is having an election and a riot.

A tired Hugh in Bangkok

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