Monday 24th of November 2014 and they called me at 3 o'clock and I was up and about when I received my back-up wakeup call 20 minutes later. I was reading Bangkok Post on line while enjoying one of my diet drinks that I had bought yesterday.
The three finger salute is yet again making the headlines. Read the article by clicking HERE
I was in the restaurant for breakfast around 9 o'clock and it was a nice breakfast buffet. OK, the tea pots were not very big and the fried potato was a disappointment. I asked for bacon and egg with fried potato
- No French fries, home fried potato
- We have fried potatoes
She brought French Fries and I told he that I had asked for fried potato and NOT French Fries
- This is not French Fries
- Yes it is
- French Fries are smaller
- French Fries is deep fried potato! Nothing to do with the size!
Never mind, I never ate the potato. I returned to my room and I packed my new Samsonite bags and I really grow to like my new Samsonite bags more and more.
I left African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel just before 11 o'clock bound for Johannesburg International Airport. I was really happy with the hotel and if I ever come back to Johannesburg I will stay at the African Pride Melrose Arch Hotel.
The Driver dropped me at Terminal A but Thai Airways departs from Terminal B. But it was only a few minutes’ walk to Thai Airways check-in. And my new Samsonite passed this test with top score. I was soon checked in and I went to the tax refund and they stamped my receipt from the bag shop at Nelson Mandela Square.
And as soon as I had passed immigration and security I went to look for the tax refund place.
I ended up in a queue and it was soon time for me to get my cash. I was a little bit worried, none of the people ahead of me had got any cash and I was soon to discover why. They gave me a Master Card that I could start to use in 3 days. My tax refund was 41€
Yes, I got a MasterCard with 41€, pretty smart? Yes, for the South African government! Imagine how much money they save every month. How many tourist claim the tax refund every day, 1000 tourists? And how to use this card, to buy something that cost exactly 41€, next to impossible to find something within the expiry of the card.
And let's say you want to buy something for 50€, use the card for 41€ and the rest in cash. If you shop in another currency and the amount is 1 cent above 41€ and the card will be rejected.
So you will have to try the card for less than 41€ and whatever balance remaining on the card when the card expires will go back to the South African government. So imagine how much money the South African government save every month from this way of refund the tax to the tourists.
Well, ANC needs all the money they can get. During apartheid the Swedish government supported ANC and Dr. Mombasa and whatever had nice houses and luxury cars thanks to Swedish tax payers. Well, anyway, I have received cash at all other airports and now I have another stupid card to keep track of.
Less than one hour to boarding and no use to go to the lounge, and I was not very impressed by the South African Airways lounge last time at Johannesburg International. It was OK to spend a few hours, but to go there for less than one hour was pointless. I walked around the airport and I bought a few “souvenirs” for my friend in the TAX FREE shop.
The TAX FREE shop was next to gate 5A where Thai Airways flight TG 992 will depart from. I can't say that there was very much exciting stuff to do at the airport so I might have been better off in the lounge reading Bangkok Post on line. There was a diamond shop next to the gate and I went to have a look, 22,000 US for a pair of ear rings and it would have been much better to spend this money on a safari.
Boarding at 13:00 and no sign of any boarding and the PA system at Johannesburg International Airport and it was impossible to hear anything when they made their announcements.
So I took another round around the airport with my new bags. Still no sign of any boarding when I was back at gate 5A.
It didn't look like there were going to be many passengers on board TG 992 to Bangkok. The less the better for me, of course, not for Thai Airways. And I have heard that Thai Airways will stop the Johannesburg service. How will I be able to go for my next safari?
We started boarding without me having heard any boarding message, but suddenly I discovered that the passengers started to go through the gate.
The place reminded me of Don Mueang Airportin Bangkok. We had to walk down to the gate and the jet bridge (gangway) was very old. So yes, I was reminded about Don Mueang in Bangkok.
I reached the aircraft and the Stewardesses were smiling at me, most likely because of me wearing “FULL” safari uniform.
Including the helmet as I didn't want to destroy the helmet by checking in the helmet. They managed to damage my helmets on Lufthansa when I was flying to Copenhagen from Dubai. So I didn't want to take any chances as I might end up on future safaris, the next planned is for three national parks in India in December. But this safari is in danger of being cancelled. The tour operator say it is better to go in January as it is quite full in December. The future will show how this turns out.
I think she likes my safari uniform
Snacks, better than a bag with 2 peanuts
And salmon, always very good salmon on board Thai Airways
I stepped in to the biz section and one of the Stewardesses called me. She showed me a seat and I told her that I was sitting in 15E.
- This seat is better, you are a gold card member!
- How do you know?
- I know you!
- What the
The airplane was almost empty, well, 100 passengers and we were 8 or 9 in the biz section. I had my dinner even though I was very tired, but I wanted to wait a little before going to sleep. We got snacks before dinner, and this snacks are way better than a bag with 2 peanuts. And imagine the impact on the environment with all this plastic bags containing nothing.
And as usually when flying with Thai Airways, the starter was salmon, and very good salmon. Steak for dinner followed by a cheese platter and a very good cake with tea to end it all.
Thai Airways, a safe bet and they brought me a big sized tea cup and I had two of them before popping my sleeping pill. It was around 8 o'clock in the evening (Bangkok time) and I felt asleep and I woke up 30 minutes past midnight. DARN! I would have liked to sleep longer.
I don't know if I managed to fall asleep again, but suddenly it was breakfast as we were approaching Bangkok. A very good breakfast and when I was ready I enjoyed yet another cup of tea and a cig. Yes, the e-cigarette is the best thing happened in a long time. No smell and no one notice me enjoying my tea and cigarette.
Fasten seat belts sing put in to effect - Time to land
Flying over Bangkok
Suvarnabhumi early morning and we can see that we have to go by bus
They open the door and it is nice to get off the plane
On the ground again
On the ground again
On the ground again
In the bus on the way to the terminal
Immigration didn't take very long and I was booking a car while I was waiting for the luggage. And when I was ready at AOT I returned to belt 12 and my bags came after a few minutes. And as all my luggage was on wheels I didn't need any of the luggage carts.
I left the belt and I walked through the custom where I greeted one of the female officers that looked like she was bored senseless.
- How are you?
She was good and I continued to AOT's Limousine desk outside the custom. I showed them my receipt for the car and we left to gate 6 and the cars. I was lucky, my car was waiting and I could get straight in to the car and we were soon on the way towards Sukhumvit Soi 23, downtown Bangkok.
Early morning and the traffic was light and we were soon coming down from the toll way to Sukhumvit Road. It is not often I'm up this early in Bangkok, well, a few years ago when I used to come home from the pubs after the sun rise. But those times are long gone. So it was nice to see Bangkok coming to life. Of course in 2 hours it is not so nice to be on the streets of Bangkok
Sun is coming up over Bangkok
Sun is coming up over Bangkok
Sun is coming up over Bangkok
And it was quite beautiful to see the sun rise over Bangkok from the elevated toll way. I was back home at 6 o'clock in the morning after a fantastic holiday, maybe the best holiday I have ever had. And if you ever plan to go for a safari in Botswana or Zimbabwe there are some of the companies that I have used that I like to recommend.
I have had a fantastic time and even though I like to complain there have not been much to complain about. But most of the time when I have complained my money have been refunded so I think it is safe to say that the below companies are safe to use, especially when you have to send away up to 20,000 US Dollars:
Made in Africa: www.madeinafricatours.com
So if you're having plans to go, check out their web pages and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you have via e-mails. And I would stay well clear of anything Wilderness Safaris and the Into Africa - Bush Cuisines. Take the Ra - Ikane Sunset Cruise on Zambezi River. We had a beautiful river game, highly recommended.
Our hero the Africa Explorer is back home again
Yes, it has been a fabulous holiday and I have seen some of the most beautiful animals. Will they be there for the next generation to see? As some religious groups say in USA: “God created the world and only God can destroy the globe” It is 2000 foocking 14! And they call me stupid, unemployed and a young male (I don't mind the last part) for voting on Sverigedemokraterna!
Well, anyway, maybe we're the last generation that have the chance to see these animals. I would not take the chance, so if you want to see them you're better off leaving sooner than later!
OK, December in Bangkok and we start the month by celebrating the King of Thailand and the Father's Day down at Ratchadamnoen Road and Sanam Luang. They are usually decorate the area and it is very beautiful. Nothing we want to miss and you just have to click HERE to find yourself in the middle of that adventure.
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra
Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!