We ate a sumptuous buffet breakfast. Kayeng ate hotdogs for the first time. He ate 5 of them. We accompanied Dori to his medical appointment.
After the appointment, instead of heading immediately to Bangkok, we drove south from Pattaya to Sathathip, where there are many quiet beaches. Pattaya beaches during the day are filled with wall-to-wall umbrellas. The water shore is dangerous for bathers and swimmers, because speed boats and jet skis are permitted along the beach shores.
We found a very quiet beach and had a seafood lunch. Kayeng loved the feel of the warm sand. Holding his Dad’s hands, after each few steps, he would spread his legs and sink his feet into the sand as deep as possible.
Kayeng collected more shells. He shared them with us. He told us that he was going to take them home for his Grandma.
We went swimming while waiting for lunch. After lunch, we changed and began our last leg of our trip to Bangkok about 150 kilometers away. The Thai motorways are wide and smooth. Speed limit for automobiles is 120 kph or 75 miles per hour. We made a few wrong turns, much of it having to do with my forgetting to exit on the left hand side, since driving in Thailand is like driving in the UK (in the reverse to Laos, the United States), so one enters the highway on the left side, exits on the left side, passes on the right.
Signs with pictures of cameras and the speed limit appear as often as mileage markers on US highways. They forewarn drivers that cameras are connected to speed detectors. When a driver exceeds the speed limit, a picture is taken. Random police checkpoints are common in Thailand. Three lane highways converge into a single lane. Policemen check their clip boards, read the license plates on one’s car and waves you to the side or waves you on, when there’s a match. We were stopped once. Once reviewing my passport and my international driver’s license (expired, but manually altered to extend the expiration date), we were waved on.
Arriving in Bangkok during the tail end of the Bangkok’s rush hour was challenging. U-turns are generally prohibited. It was dark out. I drove through a shopping mall to get my bearings right. The police stopped us for driving in a bus lane unbeknownst to us. He instructed us to go to the Lumpini Police Station to pay a 1,000 baht fine. We begged forgiveness. We took advantage of Kayeng and said in unison that we were a poor nonprofit and were taking Kayeng to Bumrungrad Hospital (only ½ kilometer away) for an operation. The police pointed his flashlight towards Kayeng. He let us go. We owe Kayeng 1000 baht.
We purchased our dinner at the local street vendor near the hospital and crashed. The day at the beach tired us all. Tomorrow is the big day. We will look for Dr. Nattawut, who had recruited a number of doctors to examine Kayeng.
We were keeping our fingers crossed that the examinations would go smoothly, that Kayeng would cooperate.