Monday, July 7, 2008

On the semi constant nature of the urge to flee

The urge to flee came, as it always does, suddenly. The woman we were cursing not twelve hours before for burning us on the visa deal came up trumps on our status inquiry Wednesday morning and so it was with a hurried and buoyant excitement that we packed our meagre belongings and fled the charismatic town of Kanchanaburi and headed right into the belly of the beast.

Neither Adam nor I wanted to go back to Bangkok, which would sound as normal as neither Adam nor I wanted to shave our heads with rusty cheese graters to those who know both us and that city. A minibus driver who didn't so much suffer from bad judgment on the road as rejoice in it takes us to the west side, near the famous Khao San road. Here is where the problem lied, we needed to get to the far east, 80 minutes in that traffic, and right back again to the train station without being killed. It's with great pleasure and the relief of not boring you, dear reader, I hope at least, with another recounted tale of being abused by yet another bastard behind the wheel of a cab. This guy was actually quite nice, took us all the way across town, waited for me while I grabbed those wonderfully comforting wine coloured documents (our passports, I mean, lest you conjecture) and took us back without screwing us (or over charging, bad dum bum). Note: He did stop on the opposite side of the road from the agency though making me cross that insane road alone, under pressure for time, so I am now one of those battle hardened people who has survived crossing the street in Bangkok without dying, though I swear to God a little bit of wee came out.

Anyway it was all aboard the night train after a grevious wait in the station, pictured below, and an encounter with something masquerading as chicken in the KFC beside it. No air con and 9 hours very much non non stop (it stopped often and long) from Bangkok to Chumpon and then a three hour power snooze on the hard tiled floor of the lay over area (reached by piling gullibly into the back of some Thai fellas pickup truck - not the first time I've done that since I got here) and a two hour ferry to the wonderful island of Ko Tao.

I swear, despite the unfathomable fatigue induced by almost 24 hours of frantic travelling it feels like we've finally arrived when we get to the pier. There's no half measure required to describe this place, it's paradise.

Future updates will include further details but - Fun Fact: I am now a qualified open water scuba diver!

The truly unpleasant interior of the truly unpleasant train station of the truly unpleasant city of Bangkok. I know, why are they all sitting on the floor, why not put chairs in if you can't move anyway, I know, why?

Turtle island, or as the thais call it Turtle island. (Which is Ko Tao in Thai)

This picture is specifically added for my previous work colleagues, because even in paradise there's a way to say Hello Tomorrow! (don't ask)

A funky little bar where I ate dinner not an hour ago, ten feet from the slowly lapping waves...

Another shitty day in paradise. Well the first actually, and the rain only lasted an hour :p

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