3am local time. I’ve assembled the bike and I’m sitting outside the terminal building in a t-shirt. They reported the temperature as 25 degrees when we landed. It must still be at least 20.
I have a headache. I wasn’t able to drink any water at Beijing airport, and on the place when I asked for some water with my red wine the stewardess mis-understood me and gave me another red wine. And now I have the noise of the traffic from a busy road behind me.
I’m not sure if I’m going to cycle the 25km into town. The bike may be a bit shaky. If not got the brakes working very well, and haven’t really checked the rest of it properly. There’s a taxi stand here so I think I’ll just put it in a taxi. I phoned the hostel here and they have rooms available for 280Baht (£4) a night. If I get there after 6am I pay for tomorrow night rather than tonight, so I think that’s what I’ll do. It may seem a bit tight of me to be sitting in the airport for several hours just to save £4, but over here 280Baht is quite a lot of money.
I changed up CA$20 and got back 667Baht. All notes except for the 7. One 500, one 100 and three 20s.
I was worried about getting the laptop out but there are very few people around, and no sign of any con artists or thieves. One guy helped me a bit as I was assembling the bike. He spoke some English and asked me how many miles I’d done on the bike. I told him 4000. He said I must have strong legs. He was also impressed with the bike, noticing the small fat front wheel and larger thinner back wheel (which he thought was too thin). He asked me how much the bike was worth and I told him I didn’t know, which is true. I didn’t pay for it, though I know if I had I would’ve paid a lot, and translating a lot into Baht would’ve been even more. But I don’t know if that would be a fair translation. Some things, like food and accomodation, may be very cheap here, but other things may not. I don’t know. It never seems right to me to have these exchange rates for money. Having been poor in Canada now I’m suddenly quite wealthy. That doesn’t make sense. When tourists exchange money they should get what their money, they should get an amount that makes them as rich or poor in the country they’re visiting as they would be at home. That way they’d get more of an experience of what a place is really like. With money you can shield yourself from the more unpleasant aspects of a place. And that’s something I will probably find myself doing, for a while at least. If it’s 25 degrees at midnight how hot is it going to be during the day? I hate the idea of air-conditioning, but I might need it if I’m to get some sleep tomorrow. I’m not sure if the 280Baht hostel room comes with air conditioning. I may have to pay extra for that.
It’s now 3:41. A cleaner is nearby, emptying the ashtray. I have a few Canadian cigarettes left. I need to sit out here and smoke (and write) to keep myself awake. After the red wine I slept for two or three hours on the five hour flight from Beijing. Though it’s the 10th now, two days haven’t passed since I set off from Vancouver on the morning of the 8th. Crossing the International Date Line (which sounds like it could be a dating agency, but isn’t – it’s the line that is roughly opposite the Greenwich Meridian, in case you didn’t know) I lost a day, which makes of for the time I’d been gaining travelling across Canada, gaining an hour as I crossed each time zone.
Though the calendar says two days, it’s really only been one day. One sunset which went on for hours. Now just waiting for the sun to rise.
Dates and times are a bit like exchange rates.