This was a lot less hassle than usual despite the inbound flight not issuing us with forms.
When I got there there was only one desk open and no queue so I requested my form. As I was filling it in a group of about six men just beat me back to the lone immigration lady, but they didn't take long to process.
So I duly arrived. More surprisingly so did my luggage. I followed the signs to the taxi rank and was then told I had to go back to the desk to get a ticket. Michael was right - 40 RM.
A bit of hassle when I got to the hotel - although most of my accommodation will be paid for via Michael they wanted a credit card to cover any miscellaneous items. Fine - I kept an eye on deskman and credit card (had problems in KL in 2003) and it didn't seem to want to swipe. Asked if I had another one he could try I stood firm. Another try and this time it went through. I am a little unhappy that they insisted on putting 1000 RM credit on it - assume I will get that receipt back when the actual bill is paid as I cannot see myself exceeding that limit.
Once I had settled into my room - I have actually put my T-shirts and knickers in a drawer as I am here for a week I set the alarm clock to allow myself a short nap. It took a while to get to sleep despite being so tired - have seen on the news that the situation in Bangkok is still ongoing and worrying about what to do if it doesn't get better soon. However, fall asleep I did and when the alarm woke me two and a half hours later I felt even worse.
I forced myself to get up and wandered down to reception to enquire about wifi rates. They are not too horrendous but I am writing my blog notes in advance - when I pay for the wifi access this is gonna be a cut and paste jobby. I then had a little wander about getting my bearings. The hotel is attached to a shopping mall – bizarrely this little section of the city is a duty free zone. I found this out as I decided to have a little aimless meander outside and got stopped by an official from my intended route. To leave you have to go through a customs area.
I haven't spotted any other scrabblers here yet. I guess Ed and David should arrive some time tomorrow. Don't know about Femi (usually last minute) and Harshan.
Well, it is 7 p.m. here now so I'm off for another meander and to get something to eat...
Back in room now, and my idea of getting a good night's sleep may be on hold. The design of the hotel is such that the rooms form a large square, and in the middle on the 5th floor are the restaurants and bars. Tonight (and I have no idea if, indeed, it is every night) there is live music. I have just suffered the most awful rendition of 'I want to break free' I think I have ever heard. Freddie will be spinning in his grave.
After several false endings the live band finally stopped just before 1 a.m. And then I fell asleep to be woken at 9 a.m, by the alarm. I was still tired and went back to sleep, finally getting up again around 10.30 a.m. after being awoken by the maid service. Having missed breakfast I went into the shopping mall and got a glass of orange juice. Back to my room and cleared my cardbox, wandered back down to reception to see if Ed or David had arrived and bought a 1 hour wifi card from the business centre. Decided to have the buffet lunch in the hotel – I was starving and having checked it out earlier knew there was plenty there I would like. Having forgotten to set the service light on my room as I went out it was still a mess when I got back, so I decided to take my book down to reception to allow my room to be made up and see if I spotted anyone I knew. After about 20 minutes Ed appeared in front of me. He had got in yesterday too so I have no great hopes of reception informing me of David's arrival...
Just got back from dinner and a few beers with Ed. David and Amy appear to have arrived but must have gone straight to bed. Maybe catch up with them at breakfast tomorrow. I should make it...