Thinking On Your Feet

Arriving back in KL we caught the bus from the airport terminal to KL Sentral Station, a tube to KLCC (by the Petronas Towers) to grab some lunch, then as we arrived back in the tube station we saw a giant snake of people stood waiting for tickets. We had 45 minutes to get to the bus station, it was at least 10 mins on the tube and a good 15 mins walk from the tube station to the bus station. This wasn’t looking good. 20 minutes later we are still in the line of people and seemingly no one in the line had thought to get the money out ready for the tickets and we had to wait patiently while everyone rooted around in their pockets for the right change, whilst Al and i had had the right amount in our hands for the last 15 mins.

By this point “Angry Dave” was creeping out, he doesn’t come out often but when he does he’s like a volcano erupting. I was getting increasingly irritated by the stupidity of the people in front of me using the ticketing machines and in the end made no attempt to be quiet whilst moaning on to Al about it. Finally making it to the front of the line we purchased our tickets about twice as fast as everyone else had, ran down the escalators and dived onto the tube train.

5 stops later we stopped at Pasar Seni our stop, we piled off, pushing and shoving to get out as quick as we could, ran down more steps and marched/ran to the bus station. We had 10 mins to do a 15 min walk, I was just hoping my watch was fast and that we actually had more time. We arrived at the bus station with seconds to spare piled onto the bus sweat pouring off us and switched the air con on full blast. We’d made it.

Arriving back in Singapore we were dropped off in Little India, we were wondering how easy it would be to find accomodation, this close to NY but as we walked down the street we saw two guys waving at us from the Prince of Wales hostel where we had been drinking on our first stop over here. “you guys have stayed here before right?” “We’ve got two beds if you need them?” Perfect. Yet again Dave and Al had landed on their feet!

What i didn’t mention to you all is that since booking our flights to Vietnam, way back when we were in Phuket, we’d been trying to sort out our visa’s to get into Vietnam. Vietnam are probably the most awkward country in S.E.Asia and you need to pre apply for your visa and need fixed entry and exit dates before you can apply. Very difficult to know when your backpacking, you can never be sure exactly when you’ll end up in a certain country.

Anyway, we’d booked our flights and the plan was to be in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) for NYE and then head to the Mekong Delta and catch a boat up the Mekong to Cambodia. There was nowhere in Borneo that could sort the visa’s out though and to be honest we were always busy doing things and didnt really have chance either. When we landed in KL the first time we spent a whole day trying to work out a way of arranging one. Only to discover the embassy was closed for the weekend. We then flew to Bali, where again we looked and found that the embassy was closed for the Christmas holiday. It wasn’t looking good. We did come accross a way of doing it online though and so applied and awaited confirmation. It never arrived though. Arriving in Singapore the other day we checked again, nothing. The following day we both woke up feeling ill, both of us had been sick and generally felt pretty terrible but we had planned to fly to Vietnam the next day and we still had no visa, so it had to be sorted out. Feeling shit we went to an internet cafe, I got on the skype phone and called the Vietnamese travel agency we’d been emailing… nothing, tried the embassy… nothing. I finally got through to the travel agent and she said it would be fine and that i should email her the details again and then she’d email me confirmation.

An hour later, i recieved the email. Only it didnt say what we wanted to hear. it said that they couldn’t help us and that we should cancel our flight. Stuck in Singapore again… that wasn’t going to happen, spending NYE here would have cost us far too much money and so we looked into plan B. Although we didnt have one!

We looked at every airport in Malaysia and Singapore that could fly us to Cambodia or Laos (where we could get visa’s on arrival) but it was all going to cost quite a bit. Realising that we wouldn’t get a refund on our cancelled flight to Ho Chi Minh i checked the website anyway just in case and i noticed that you could change your destination up to 4 hours before the flight. Suddenly there it was… plan B. We wouldn’t be wasting the flight at all we could just change it. When i looked at the list of destinations leaving Singapore, most were in Australia, we weren’t going there though, that was a bit extreme. However there was one that stood out as a possibility…. Bangkok! That would be perfect, we could spend NYE there and arrange our visa’s through one of the millions of travel agents on the Khao San Road. Al got on the phone straight away and within 10 mins we were booked to go to Bangkok.

So we head to Bangkok in a few hours for new year, the plans have changed yet again and we still hope to get to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. It just might end up having to be in a different order. It would seem that between the two of us we are pretty good at this thinking on your feet stuff. It always seems to fall into place one way or another. Besides which, i actually think New Year in Bangkok will be pretty fun! Having said that, there were bombs in BKK at New Year last year….. hmmmm!

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