yesterday Katy and i said goodbye to Cambodia and made our way to Bangkok.
for this we took a taxi ride to the border, which turned out to be much better than expected. whereas other travelers we’ve met said that they’ve done that journey in 9 to 11 hours, we did it in 4.5 hours. pretty impressive! the road was bumpy though, quite impossible to sleep and stand still for a minute. you just sit there and get whacked about – thank god for seat belts. when the road was good though, our driver saw it to be a good idea to go at 80km/h. this might not sound like anything to those back home but we’re talking about a skinny dirt road with tons of cyclists on both sides. the kind of road in Canada that we’d but a 30km restriction on. enough to get my nerves going.
once the border crossed (where the Thai are kind enough to warn us that if we’re caught with drugs, we get a life or death sentence), we headed to the train station for a journey longer than that of the bus, but cheaper, and well, more appealing. we had to wait 3 hours for the train to leave but that wasn’t so bad. the ride on the train was great: we had hard seats but they were a little padded, and we both had two seats to ourselves for most of the trip. this train was really cool, with fans on the ceiling and the windows completely down. i stuck my head out to better enjoy the wonderful purple sunset and its reflections on rice fields.
we arrived in Bangkok at 8pm, one hour later than expected. our journey from Siem Reap lasted 14 hours, but was comfortable and easy compared to the stories that we have heard. no bribing for a bus. no fallen bridges. no walking with our bags for many kms. no pushing a bus stuck in the mud. all well worth the extra money.
we then grabbed a taxi (tuk tuks were trying to rip us off) and headed out to Khoasan road, the infamous backpacker’s hub of Asia. i have to say that i was not expecting it to be like that, at all. i guess that no one can imagine what it’s like because it’s so out of this world. clothing stands, neon, hippies that look like they’ve been there forever, food stands, bars, Thai girls in skimpy dresses, tourist getting dreds done on the street, etc etc. and really that’s an awful description. complete madness. quite different though…
it was weird coming to Thailand. i didn’t feel ready to leave Cambodia and i wasn’t excited about coming here. this is quite peculiar to me because Thailand is the country that i most wanted to see on this vacation, from when i started planning it. I’ve been wanting and planning to visit Thailand for over three years now and now that I’m here, it’s just not exciting. i don’t know why. maybe it’s the fear of being stuck on beaches for a month, doing nothing. maybe it’s something else. who knows.
the city is a big, urban, developed one. it feels like “home” sometimes (not really, but the closest so far) and i guess that there’s no charm to that.
to add to the charmless I’ve spent my early afternoon at the emergency room of the “mission hospital”, a Christian medical foundation of Seventh-Day Adventist. i had to laugh though when our taxi pulled up to the hospital (the driver decided which one) and i saw that sign. Katy’s feet have become much worst from the “bites” that we’ve caught from Sihanoukville. mine are acting up as well, so we thought we’d better get it looked at again just in case. what was worrying us was the formation of trails between the bumps: it looks like the kind of things that would be caused by worms stuck underneath the skin (yuk). but the hospital staff insisted again that it was an allergic reaction to god knows what. i still feel like we’re being misdiagnosed because we are no longer being exposed to the allergen but yet keep getting more and more reactions from it, which seems odd to me. anyhow, i was given cortisone cream, antihistamines and painkillers to shut me up. Katy is going back to the hospital tomorrow morning to see a skin specialist (as they put it). her feet are quite nasty, infected, and well, i won’t get into it. but maybe that guy will have a clue… because it’s been 9 days now and it’s not getting any better, but only worst.
To give you an idea, here is how they were a couple of days ago – they look way worse now.
well, i am off to face Khaosan road again. there’s so much nice clothing there that i might end up spending lots of money getting a new wardrobe that actually fits and looks nice enough so that i don’t stick out like a traveler everywhere i go (i.e., looks good enough to go out in). maybe then I’ll stop resenting all of the girls that always look well put together and who are wearing fancy outfits. maybe.