We took our first tuk tuk ride today. Two separate people in the shopping centre urged us to go to the BIG “once in 10 year sale”. “You go, you go….not be solly!!” Both of them explained how much the tuk tuk would be and where to catch it. They didn’t march us out to their cousin the tuk tuk driver so we figured they were genuine.
Out we rushed to the street – it was 4.30pm and the once in a lifetime-10 year sale-finish today-you not be solly place was closing at 6.30pm. Two separate tuk tuk drivers pounced on us and we were super efficient. We asked the price before getting in. We insisted that the second one follow the first. “yes, yes must follow – get in, get in” they said!
So we did.
The drivers chatted with us and asked us where we were going next. Jono and I had our driver try to book us in for a floating market tour the next day which we politely declined. After a hair raising ride to the Local Thai Market we bundled ourselves out and they ushered us into the store.
Yes, a store.
A jewellery store.
And upstairs there was Thai silk.
But no souvenirs. No cheap shoes. No tacky fridge magnets and genuine copy handbags.
What the hell happened? Why were we suddenly politely declining $1000 (Australian) rings? Why was I having to smile broadly and talk through my teeth to Gert to “get us out of here!!”.
We scurried away from the jewellery man and went upstairs to the torturous silk. We made a show of looking at their handbags (all 12 of them!) and scurried back downstairs wondering exactly what had gone wrong. We figured the little buggers in the Tuk Tuk took us to the wrong place!! We got out the iPad map and it seemed we were where we were meant to be!
Our new friends the tuk tuk drivers were patiently waiting outside for us so they must have bought us to the right place. We just didn’t need expensive jewellery “to remind us of Thailand!!”
We figured the tuk tuk had been 50 baht all up (I had to confess that I coughed 30 to our driver ’cause I was too chicken to tell him 20!!) The train home was another 150 so we would ask the tuk tuk drivers to just take us home if they could do it for the same.
But they thought we should continue our day out!! “You want river cruise? You visit temples?” I pointed out that it was 5.30pm and was too late to attack the cruise and visit temples. They assured us you can visit temples until “very late!” The lying little s***s!!
Then we explained that we weren’t dressed appropriately for temples. “No problem, no problem. Thongs and shorts FINE for temples!!” At that point we should have given them their marching orders but we just ploughed on!
Next, I asked them how much to take us to our hostel but it was their turn to decline!! “Much better you go to train station”. How wierd that they didn’t even want to give us a price. I figured they didn’t want to stray too far from their base. (stoopid me!)
So we agree same fare to go back to the train station. Oddly they set off a different way to how we arrived. Across a different road and down a side street. Where they promptly pull over……and inform us that we have to make a stop!!
I still hadn’t realised that I was living exactly what I’ve read about on the internet about 600 times at this point and I wondered “does he need to go to the toilet? Maybe get some dinner?”
But no. They wanted to take us to their mother’s, brother’s, cousin’s, uncle’s tailor so we could “look”. No buy, just look for 10 minutes. 10 MINUTES????? Were they kidding us? We had just escaped from the 10-year-once-in-a-lifetime store! We weren’t going to another one!!
They showed us yellow cards for gasoline and loudly explained that they would each receive 5 free litres of gasoline if we would just help them out! We just kept repeating “no shopping, just train station!” “NO shopping”. “Train station please!” I offered to get out and find another tuk tuk but they were focussed on Gert (which was nice for the first time ever!!) Luckily he stood his ground. Both Britt and Kate chimed in also to say “NO shopping!”
(I’m not too sure how Kate managed to get these words out of her mouth as she lives for shopping!)
Finally they sat and sulked for a moment and looked at each other. I was trying not to giggle as it was absolutely hilarious and for the first time ever it looked as though our family was going to stand our ground!! I couldn’t quite believe that all the stories were so very true and we were right in the thick of it!!
As we moved off toward the train station the lead driver was really dirty with us!! At the next intersection I could hear raised voices from Gert and Brittney and they start making moves to get out of the tuk tuk!! I’m grabbing Jono and getting us ready to dive out as well as I know once we get separated we are in deep poo poo! I have all the money so the others would have to walk home! We have no phones and only Gert has internet and we haven’t organised a plan if we are separated (because we are the Pedersens and we only make these plans AFTER we need them!)
But we carry on merrily and our driver decides to have some fun and overtake the others. He barrels down the wrong way on a 4 lane road! As we go past I hear Gert say to me “only 20 baht – they’re trying to charge us 50!!” I giggle as I realise why there was nearly a mass exodus from the tuk tuk in front!!
Just a minute or so later we are at the train station and the driver ushers us out. Gert pays their driver (who hates us by now!) and I go to pay mine. I give him 20 baht and am looking for another 10 when Gert decides that ain’t going to happen!! 20 he loudly tells the driver and I scurry off before he can catch me!!
Which is when we discover that we are not at the train station!!! We’re on the opposite side of the road and WAY down several blocks!! The little t***s didn’t even take us where we asked!!
The rest of the night we had tuk tuk drivers pouncing on us and we all said with our mean voices “NO!!”. The last driver to receive this treatment looked knowingly at us and said “My tuk tuk different!”
It was actually Kate’s birthday today so this will be one she will remember for a while!!
You may like these!: