Losing My Drive

15th October, Bangkok & Damnoen Saduak, Thailand

Ian writes:

I have a system that makes it easier for us to update this diary. It basically means typing any given day's events as soon as possible. That's right, typing. Most travellers would not want to take a laptop with them around the world, but I knew from the outset that if I commited notes to paper, I'd never type them up when I get back home; in fact, I'd probably not write much, as I am a quicker typist than I am making scrawly hand-written notes. Because I have the laptop, it also means that I can use it for editing video that we've taken so far, and storing all the photos so far. All very handy ... but what if it got stolen?

If that were to happen, sure I could claim on insurance, but you can't replace those pictures or videos. Well, you can if you have a backup, and being the organised sort that I am, I have just that - a portable drive that I regularly back up all of the above to just in case the laptop went walkies. The only thing is, of course, that I have to ensure that the two items remain apart. No good putting the backup drive in the same bag as the laptop. Yesterday, though, I excelled myself. I managed to keep them separated by a a good 60km. With something of a jolt, yesterday evening I realised that in my effort to ensure that the two items remained apart, I'd placed the drive in a hidey-hole in the hotel room that was a little too well hidden. Out of sight, out of mind.

Today we had planned to strike off a few more places to see in the centre of Bangkok, but instead I found myself waking up at 5:40 am to catch a motorbike taxi to the main road, a taxi to the southern bus station, then a bus to Damnoen Saduak. Again. Three hours later, I arrived and the bus conductor helpfully stepped off the bus at the same time as me to show me where the floating market is, but was a little surprised when I walked in a different direction, repeating the word 'hotel'. Moments later, she hopped into a songthaew (a mini-bus, used for short distance rides, not in any way plush) to catch up with the bus that she'd just got off, no doubt wondering about where I thought I was going.

I reached the hotel, and pulled out a hand-written note (in Thai, penned by the ever-helpful Am) that explained that I'd left something in the room and was coming to collect it. I could see the room key there, but the guy behind the desk wanted me to wait for the manager. Moments later, she appeared with a bag, from which she pulled out the hard drive. Crikey. I had really shoved that out of the way and out of sight on the top of a cupboard, but somehow a cleaner had thought to check up there (and had been honest enough to hand it in).

Ten minutes after arriving in Damnoen Saduak, I was back on a bus bound for Bangkok. Two hours after that, I was back in Bangkok's southern bus terminal, looking for a nearby ATM so that I could get some money for the taxi back to Bang Sue district (Stef and Am's home). I asked a lady there who, upon turning round, must have been very confused to see the very same 'farang' she'd directed to the floating market 5 hours earlier. And we think that the Thais do some confusing things at time. Who knows what she made of me?