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Wednesday 21 May 2003
Bangkok, Thailand

Matrix Reloaded!

Sent off my (now FULLY packed) bag into storage again this morning - thats a SOLID 85 litre BRICK of a bag now... but thankfully Ive offloaded a lot from my travelling backpack and now have a half-full bag to last me on my last 3 weeks travelling...

Yes thats right... Ive only got 3 weeks left. This I discovered when I checked my ticket this morning. Wasted a bit too much time in North Thailand... Alas this means Im going to have to give Myanmar a miss (I wanted at least a month). Im also quite exhausted at the moment from all the travelling (and the antibiotics) so I think I might just head south for the rest of my time and chill out on Thai island beaches...

Spoke to the folks today for the first time since I left (yep has been emails only since Ive been travelling.. gotta save money somehow!) and all is well. Mum found out from Quantas that it SHOULD be possible to change my flight from Hong Kong to Singapore for free because of Sars. Will find out tommorrow.

Decided to check out Matrix Reloaded in the cinema today (the movie has been out here since the 15th.. but still not out in Ireland yet) and its outstanding. Easily as good as the first, but with THE most intense fight scenes Ive EVER witnessed.

Before the film began, we all had to stand for about 5 minutes while they played a short film in commemoration of the King of Thailand. Was a bit unusual.

The cinema is in a VERY rich part of Bangkok along Rama 1 street (frequented by the rich Thai as well... all dressed in their best fashions despite the heavy rain!). This is quite similar to Picadilly in London and has some great department stores that seem to stretch on for 2 - 3 kilometres! I bought a pair of jeans in Tokyu for only 15 dollars (50 % reduced price) and they is damn nice.. I didnt feel like such a backpacker anymore, walking around in my grubby shorts.

Ill check out a few more shops tommorrow... might be able to find a good deal on cameras, although if I head to Singapore I reckon Ill find the best deals there.

Coming back to Banglamphu (where my guesthouse is) on the local bus I see the lady who lives in the cardboard box, covering the tin roof with black bags to stop the rain coming in. Beside her are kids sleeping in phone booths to shelter from the rain. Alas that is Bangkok: a city of extreme contrasts with very little middle-ground.

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