In case you hadn’t heard. I was unable to ride through Burma. Snow, my BMW F800GS and I are flying from Bangkok to Kolkata (me tonight, and her likely next weekend). Although it’s going to take longer than expected, this was a foreseen event and was planned for accordingly. I plan to ride back east through Bangladesh and hopefully the Burma/India border before turning towards Sikkim, the small Indian state in the Himalayas (K2) on onwards west through India/Nepal.
Started out again early yesterday morning. That meant braving Bangkok traffic again, at peak hour alas. Riding with panniers on this at one point had me parked in the middle of a four lane main road, sitting on the verge in the shade waiting for the lights to change. I made it to the airport all smiles of course for what I knew would be a long, tedious process. What I didn’t expect was to at one point be driving around the free zone cargo facility in the back of a federal police car. In the end and four hours later it came to nothing, the guys at Thai Cargo sent me off to brave the traffic again to a recommended freight agent, all the way over in the city no less (and another 1 hour driving). I found the agent in a multi-story in the centre of town (as if Bangkok even has one) and made the necessary arrangements. This is seemingly all good apart from the fact that Monday was a public holiday, this Thursday and Friday are hols, next Monday and apparently the following Friday hols too. What this means are that getting paperwork like a aviation dangerous goods cargo clearance and certification are going to be delayed. The upshot is that although I am going to be flying out to Kolkata tonight, Snow won’t be joining me until at least the 20th or 21st. Indian customs is already expected to be a nightmare so it could be about 2 weeks before I am riding again. A huge consolation (if I can call it that) is that my beloved, Donna happens to be in Kolkata at the moment so I will get to spend time with her and say teary goodbyes…again. So I spent 5 hours at the freight agent dismantling, draining fluid and packing Snow up for air travel. I am back in there this arvo to check on the crate that’s being built for her. All in all yesterday was rather productive, the only thing I was peeved at was paying 1000 baht to a fine young member of the local constabulary as is custom. When I was at the agent I had to drop downstairs to move the bike 50m across the road to the warehouse and and didn’t bother to take my helmet. The officer seemed to take offence to that and the fact that I was driving in a bus lane and trying to illegally manoeuvre around a u-turn. After paying up the officer and his boss seemed more than happy to hold up a 6 way intersection and about 500 cars for me to turn around…without my helmet on. Bangkok.