The Fifth And Final Time


This blog entry about the events of Wednesday, February 02, 2005 was originally posted on February 08, 2005.

DAY 473:  Twelve days before, just two minutes before my introduction of Noelle as a “character” on the Blog in Bangkok, I ran into a recurring character one last time:  Paul from Manchester, who I had met on the Everest Trail in Nepal (before my unfortunate near-fatal incident), and again, by chance, in Delhi International Airport en route back to Bangkok.  Our third encounter was also by chance, but in a way it was no real surprise. 

“All roads lead to Bangkok,” I told him.

“Yeah, that’s right!  I remember you saying that on your website,” Paul said.  “All roads lead to Bangkok.  Really, you can get anything you want here, as long as you have the money.”

Bangkok was our southeast Asian hub city as it was for most travelers in the region.  This fifth time in Thailand’s capital would be my final one, a short layover day to plan and book the next leg of my trip around the world.

AS PAUL SAID, “You can get anything you want here.”  True; from bootleg movies of films still in the theaters to sex shows involving vaginas smoking cigarettes, it was all available.  But what I needed this time were train tickets and I knew they would be easy to come by, even without any advance notice.  As predicted, two berths were indeed available for the southbound overnight train to the southern Thai hub town of Surat Thani (air-conditioned car only though) and Noelle and I snagged them that afternoon by booking them at one of numerous tour agencies in the backpacker district.

Nothing really exciting happened that fifth and final time in Bangkok, unless you consider sitting in front of a laptop all afternoon in a Starbucks to work on Blog duties exciting — although drinking a Grande Rhumba Frappuccino was mildly exciting when it gave me a brain freeze.  Khaosan Road was the same old scene with its backpackers wandering around in Von Dutch t-shirts and flip-flop sandals.  The 7-11 convenience stores were still getting my business every time I went in to get a yogurt drink (a staple of mine since Jack got me into them in Spain).  High-speed internet was readily available as always, and it was our gateway to upload the latest for our Blogs.

By six o’clock, Noelle and I were in a taxi to bring us to the train station (picture above).  We got to our assigned berths with time to spare so that I could continue to work on Blog duties by hand (after staring out the window for some time) and Noelle could continue and eventually finish reading my copy of Deception Point before switching over to a copy of Entertainment Weekly.  We ate dinner later that night, served to us by our flamboyant ladyboy waiter, and shortly afterwards we settled into our respective bunks.  The train sped southbound away from Bangkok and towards Surat Thani through the night and straight on until morning.

Bangkok faded away into my travel history for the fifth and final time on my sixteen month trip around the world, but I knew that as long as all roads continued to lead to Bangkok, it was merely my fifth and final time — for now.


Next entry: Volunteer Work

Previous entry: Staring Out The Window

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Comments for “The Fifth And Final Time”

  • Does Manchester Paul ever leave Backpacker Hell BKK, or do your itineraries simply share pitstop dates?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  01:03 PM

  • yogurt drinks are yummy….but they can make your tummy go to the bathroom…easily…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/08  at  01:28 PM

  • you know Tdot, that is a damn good question!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/09  at  12:20 AM

  • TDOT/SCOTT:  Man. Paul was in Australia and Malaysia the entire time since the second encounter… Just chance occurances..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/09  at  02:00 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today,, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
Volunteer Work

Previous entry:
Staring Out The Window


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.

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