An early start this morning as we headed back to Bangkok, Sharon driving the Camper Van again. There were only meant to be the three of us, but Eddie the wonderdog seems to have figured out how to get out of the beachhouse despite every visible exit being locked. As a result, she ended up coming back with us as well. A little pointless as she only ended up going back down again with Nacho and Joy later in the day!
In Bangkok, the search began for a monkey suit for me as we were heading for a St Patrick’s Day (almost) ball in the evening. Fortunately, I’m a similar size to Nacho, so I was able to borrow a shirt, cufflinks and jacket. I had my own shoes and trousers with me. But we were missing a bow tie.
Louise knows her way around Bangkok, but it was too late to sort out a tailor so we headed for the Emporium shopping centre at the end of the road. Within this, we spent about 20 minutes walking through the main department store with no luck at all. Finally, I spotted a shop which sold suits and so forth.
We popped in and explained what we wanted. Initially, Lou bought a cumerbund/tie combo set then realised this was just shy of Â£200… so cancelled and just bought the bow tie. For Â£75. Then we got back to the house and found one anyway. I think we managed to locate the most expensive clothes shop in all of Thailand.
So, that evening all monkey-suited up, I headed for the Marriott hotel and a 3000Baht dinner/dance thing. Anyone who knows me will appreciate that I felt utterly like a fish out of water. I mean, me. In a suit. Going out. Yeesh.
The ball was organised by the Bangkok St Patrick’s Society who’ve been doing this for 50 or so years. They started in the founding members’ homes but had to move to bigger and bigger premises as the society got larger. Sadly, the last founding member died earlier this year. A fair bit of money is made for charity with a slice of the ticket price and donations being collected over the night.
The entertainment was top notch and varied. The openers were a choir from a school run by real Oirish nuns who received a fair bit of the donated money. Then were was a harpist who played some well known tracks. A traditional Irish band of sorts – one farang and two Thais as far as I could tell, but it was irish music. Next was the same Beatles cover band we’d seen the week before – The Betters (which I think is how a Thai pronounces “Beatles”). They were much better this time than the previous week and played for a good 90 minutes.
Finally, there was a DJ who apparently used to be quite big back home, but who now lives in Thailand doing functions like this. The food was superb, but I’m glad I don’t like fish as they ran out… The lady I was sat next to ended up with lamb anyway, and the guy on the other side of Lou was being served by the time everyone else was on dessert. He really wanted fish, so the staff had run down to the seafood grill on one of the lower floors and sorted him out a salmon steak!
I think we left sometime around 3:30am. Given that the wine and Jamesons was included (I think) and the person who invited us refused to accept our money for the tickets, it was surprisingly a cheap night out. Except for that darn bow tie!