15 Dec Leaving Bangkok; a night at the police station
Leaving Bangkok from near the airport was not a big deal, but first on the list is finding the local post office and mailing all of our winter gear and some other items that we will not need.
As soon as we pull into the post office parking lot we become the local show. One of the postmen starts chatting with us even before we get our bikes parked, wanting to know where we come from and where we are going. That was all it took! He began telling everyone within hearing distance and even the workers inside. We go into the post office with our items to ship and as easy as ordering from a McDonalds menu we are set. They quickly retrieve a box for us, inspect the items that we are shipping and help us pack and seal the box. They have us fill out a shipping document, weigh it, and pay! So we ship around 5kg of stuff back to our house in Florida and buy a box for all under $35. In comparison, we shipped less from Spain to Germany and it cost us nearly $100 and took over 3 weeks to get there. We say thank you to the staff and walk outside where we are greeted by the first gentleman that began talking to us before we had our bikes park. He buys us all a snack from the local vendor and wants photos of us together with him and many more photos of just us. After all of this we are back on the road and heading north.
Nothing too exciting happens during our ride until it is time to find a room. Either we found the most expensive places in the middle of nowhere or we look like suckers. The first place we stop at wants 3000, 2000, then finally 1000 BAHT per room. Yes, we kindly say “no thanks” and continue down the road a few more miles. Upon entering the next big town the local fire/rescue teams directs us to the next and only place in town. In fact, one of them has us follow him as he blasts down the road on his scooter–complete with flashing lights and siren. He only blasts his siren once, but it is cool! We arrive at the next place only to discover that all the cheaper rooms are unavailable, but the lady has 2 rooms left at 800 BAHT each.
We offer less, but since it is about to be dark, she holds firm, so we get back on our bikes and continue back into town. After arriving in town we ask for directions to the police station. Here the charades become even more fun. We must have had 5 or 6 on duty and off duty policemen helping us with our request. We thought it was pretty clear what we wanted, but something was lost in translation until Randy types it in his smartphone. All we are asking is to pitch our tents out back behind the police headquarters. At first they must have thought we are totally crazy because they all start laughing and pointing while saying, “sleep here, tonight?”
We laugh along and say: “yes” until one of the gentlemen walks around back with us and asks again
“Yes, this is great!”, we respond!
“Let me talk with Captain”, he says.
A couple minutes later the Captain walks out and asked us where we were from and Ron says, “Florida” which is his typical answer. Most people look real confused by this, but some know of Florida. Luckily for us the Captain has heard of Florida. Anyway, that was it, nothing else is said and we follow the gentleman around the back of the police station, where we proceed to set up camp. However, before he takes off, he makes sure to show us where the restrooms are. After setting up, Ron stays with our stuff while the other 3 go across the street to pick up some food. In the meantime, one of the off duty police officers plugs in a light for us at the little Tiki-hut out back and another gentlemen brings us a huge bowl of cut up watermelon. We eat and pass out in our tents shortly afterwards. Well 3 of us do, Randy continues setting up his camp for about another hour before finally calling it a night.