So here are my pictures of Bangkok! What an amazing city…. I spent 4 days there before heading to India. The things that I did… well, as stated before it all started off with a great airport pickup by The Peninsula Hotel driver. He was quite a nice guy named Domrong and intent on asking me if I was single. When he found out that I was, he also pushed for me to hire him to drive me around town and show me the sights. I didn’t do that (I got another guide), but he did go on about the women and what was “available” in Bangkok. He also made it a point to tell me that The Peninsula was one of the only hotels in Bangkok that didn’t charge and extra fee to have guests. But there was a notice in the little key-holder you get when you check-in that says “All unregistered guests are required to leave by 12 am”. I found that yo be very interesting :o)! But I should state emphatically that I did not partake in any “hotel guests” or anything of that sort…. I did go see Nana Plaza which is like a giant plaza/mall for a mans sexual appetite. And just like any mall throughout the world, pretty much anything is available. I just walked through though and a friend dragged me to go see a show…. It was kind of like going to a strip club back home but a bit more interesting (read “shocking”). While I can’t describe the whole thing in a public writing/forum, I can say that a woman was a great dart thrower and she didn’t use her hands… you do the math :o)!
Anyway, what else did I do in Bangkok? I got clothes made! I got a great deal on a butt load of shirts, some slacks, shorts and a couple of blazers. And the entire lot was less than half the price of a blazer that I had been looking at at home… so I think I got a bargain even though I am sure that they saw me coming and had “Tourist” written all over me :o)!
I also went and saw the sights… The Golden, Emerald, and Reclining Buddha (three different ones). All were quite impressive! I toured the royal palace, and even took a long-tail boat ride through the canals. That was a total trip. Basically it’s a 16 meter long skiff with a V8 engine attached to a long drive shaft with a propeller at the end. The whole thing is moved by the driver to steer the boat, engine and all. Think of it as a V8 on a stick! What a concept, and the things move, not to mention the rooster tail they throw up as you skim across the choppy river!
Most of the rest of my trip involved getting the clothes made (initial order/measurements and tow fittings, all done in 48 hours) and relaxing…. Then came the incident at The Peninsula! The rooms are totally computerized… quite cool. There is this console by the side of the bed that deal with it all. So I get back to my room one night and take a shower to get the humid stickiness off before bed (it was winter and it was 96 F during the day with about 88% humidity (rising in the evening to the 90’s)). I am naked and about to get in bed and I go and push the button on the console to turn off the lights and half of ’em stay on…. Now being the computer geek that I am, I try a couple of different things, test the wall buttons, etc. and nothing! So I push the “valet button” and wait… 15 minutes and nothing. Now I am sure that the system has freaked out! I call downstairs and they send the valet to my room who reboots that system and tries to get it to work to no avail. He then calls a guy from engineering who does the same things and more, even rebooting my room from a closet down the hall. They then explain that they have to replace the CPU card in the system closet and that will take a bit. I say OK as I sit in a bathrobe at 1 am in the morning reading my book with these guys trying to get my room to “work” (get the lights to turn off)! Well, after an hour of this, the valet calls the night manager and they have come to the conclusion that they will have to move me to a new room. The night manager (he introduced himself as Mr. Paul) wants to speak with me on the phone. I tell the valet no, he can come and talk to me in person (lazy bastard)! So he comes up and tells me that he is going to do something (and I am quoting) “very special for me”. So he moves me to a suite, all the while still telling me (even after moving me) that he is going to “do something very special for me”.
Come a couple days later when I am getting ready to check out, I am still waiting for that “something very special”. What can I say, a room upgrade isn’t “very special” in my world (sorry, but I’m spoiled… admitting it is the first step towards recovery, but I never said I wanted to recover)…. Anyway, I told the woman at the front desk and said since I was still waiting “for something very special” that I wouldn’t pay for the night that I was totally inconvenienced. That wasn’t going to fly with her and she didn’t have the authority to do that so she had to go check. She did and said sorry, but the upgrade was the “very special”…. Well, I kind of lost it at that point! I told the nice lady that Mr. Paul had promised something and not delivered and that the upgrade wasn’t “very special” in my world! She seemed a bit embarrassed and then went to go talk with Mr. Paul in a back room or something and came back… again not willing to comp the night, I gave her the choice, she could give me one night for free due to their room computer mishap or I would walk on the bill and they wouldn’t get anything…. Well, after that, she talked with Mr. Paul again and I got that night free! It’s not the money, it’s the principle. He said that he was going to do something and he didn’t… he didn’t even want to come to my room when the problem was going on, he wanted to talk with me on the phone. That is not what The Peninsula Experience is supposed to be about :o)! I think next time (and if you are going to Bangkok) I might stay at the Oriental…. So if anyone from The Peninsula is reading this, remember it! Service, service, service!