What a day! On my second day in Bangkok I took my laptop out of its sleeve. I opened it up and pressed the power button. Then I started crying. My screen was completely shattered. Shattered like a phone that has fallen on the edge of a rock. I started praying to all the gods to please make my laptop work. It seemed promising, but when I wanted to log in, my keyboard wouldn’t work. Damn! I did just back up some stuff before I left home, but did I miss anything? And besides, what would I do without my laptop? How can I blog? How will I store and edit my photos? My stories?
So instead of sightseeing, my third day in Bangkok consisted of organising things and riding the buses. First I had to arrange my night bus for the next day. I got some vague instructions for a bus stop from which a bus could take me to the bus terminal in Thonburi. Wow! A mission. I didn’t find the right stop straight away and ended up walking across the river to find the next bus stop. When I arrived, my number 511 wasn’t there! But luckily some lovely Thai people assured me that it would stop there. Getting on the bus in Bangkok is a bit different from at home. Buses don’t come to a complete stop, but instead slow down to a crawl and let people exit and enter. As you rush up the small steps the bus starts driving again and the doors close. Timing is key here!
Of course I didn’t know where to buy a ticket, so I was already bugging the driver when I heard the friendliest lady behind me. She saw I was stressed and told me to take it easy and find a seat. Finally seated, she asked me where I was going and then charged me the huge amount of 15baht, less than 50 cents in euro or dollars. As we drove I kept looking around me. I had to remember the stop, so I would know it for the next day. That was pointless since the bus station was the last stop. It was actually a petrol station and when I looked confused the friendliest lady smiled and pointed to a fence. Some other people were heading for the fence as well and I discovered there was a small opening. On the other side awaited more buses, big, small, minivans. You name it. There were lots of people with little booths and I wondered which one would sell my ticket. When I asked around it turned out to be none of them as there was a big ticketing office inside the big building. Getting the ticket was surprisingly easy. There was no line and there were several people asking me where I was going. I booked my ticket and hopped back on the bus. “You?” said the friendliest lady. Yeah, me again. Ready to go back.
After picking up the old laptop in the hostel I made my way back to the main road to take a bus in the other direction. This bus was not airconditioned and that made a huge difference. Also, there wasn’t a friendliest lady or any other form of ticket seller, so I felt bad for not paying. Later it turned out that the bus was free, probably because it was on route to the royal palace and all the people go there to pay respect to the deceased king. I was so happy I could follow the blue dot on my map on my phone until I arrived in Siam. Siam Square is a shopping mecca. You’ll find almost anything here in one of several big shopping malls or the shops surrounding them. Almost anything, since finding a laptop repair guy or even a computer store, seemed pretty much impossible.
I started in the MBK, which has 5 or 6 floors and sections that are dedicated to certain goods. Firstly I picked up some tampons, since they had mysteriously disappeared from my luggage during the flight. After that I walked up and down and around. I saw dozens and dozens of retailers for cellphones and cameras and asked some of them for laptop repairs. Some had a look and then shook their head. I had to go somewhere else. I asked the ladies at information, but they said that all the computerpeople had moved out. Great. Through the skywalk I crossed over to another shopping mall. And another one. And another one. I seriously walked more according to my steps app than I had sightseeing the day before. Eventually I found a big department store with some computers and an IT store. In the IT store they had three laptops I liked. I’d already been thinking of buying a new one anyway and in the shop they said there was only one store that could fix a Toshiba and it wasn’t them. I was tired and fed up off walking and backtracking, but couldn’t make a decision.
I had read about an IT mall called Digital Gateway, but it was nowhere to be found. I had the location on my online map, but I walked past a gazillion times and it still didn’t appear. When I asked the doorman of the Centerpoint mall he said it was the same place. This place had two names. So I walked through the whole Centerpoint mall, but there was still no computershop to be found. I guess this IT mall didn’t work out so well and they had started filling it with food stalls. Back up to the Siam Paragon then, where besides clothes by Prada and cars by Maserati, I found my laptop with a smaller price. The only thing was the strange plug that came with the laptop. So I went back to the MBK to buy a multiadaptor that would fit every single type of plug. Every single type apart from mine. Guess what the mission for tomorrow is? The way back home was a bit more hectic, since it took 45 minutes for the bus to appear. It was Bangkok rush hour, so we stood still a lot, breathing in the hot air and fumes coming off all the cars.
I made it though. I’ve got my bus ticket and I’ve got my laptop. I had a delicious meal at the end of the day too. Hopefully next time, shopping at Siam will be a bit more relaxed and more fun.