I arrived in Bangkok and my backpack popped out right away at baggage claim, so I have a good feeling about Thailand.  I ask the information lady how I can get to Southern Bus Terminal and she said by taxi or bus, but the bus you have to wait a long time. It was already around 8pm with a 3 hour ride to Pranburi.  I asked another information desk and the guy said Bus terminal is an hour away, best by taxi for 400 baht.  Or I could take the train, blue line until the end and then take taxi.  So I did that.  Amazingly the trains are modern and very efficient running above the city.  I noticed there are no advertisements, simple and clean.  The last stop came after about 30 minutes and I follow the people get off the train, and get on ground floor.  I grab a taxi, but the guy doesn’t speak English and doesn’t know Southern Bus Terminal. I let the taxi go.  After another 5 minutes I grab another taxi, a younger gentleman probably in his late 30s and he doesn’t know either.  I say “Bus, bus” repeatedly and show him Southern Bus Terminal in writing.  Finally he gets it.  It should have been an hour from airport, so I assume it’s a good 30 minute drive.  It was long.  I drift in and out of sleep, wandering if its ok to trust the taxi driver.  We pass many little temples, and a gorgeously lit big temple.  We drive for what seemed an hour and finally get to the termianl. About 220 baht.  I am greeted by a fellow who speaks to me in Thai.  No entiendo...I walk past him and another younger guy greets me.  I say Pranburi.  He motions to follow him.  I follow him into the building, upstairs to a booth.  He introduces me to another guy.  I get a ticket from the lady behind the booth.  I’m skeptical as wether they really understand Pranburi or if they just took my 200baht. So I follow him back downstairs, and I said I need to make a phone call.  He gives me his cell but out of credits. He buys 100baht worth of credits from 7-11.   We rush back outside and after 3 minutes of skepticism, the bus arrives.  A 2nd story bus but everthing is dark inside.  The guy I followed jumps in the driver seat and another man escorts me to the very back seat and gives me a blanket. Too dark to see the scenery outside, I fell right asleep.  We stopped for a rest stop, but I couldn’t leave my belongings, and didn’t need to use the restroom so fell right back asleep.  The man who escorted me to the back of the bus taps me and says Pranburi.   I pack everything and my backpack was stuck since the man in front of me was leaning his chair back.  I yank as hard as I could and I hear something fall....I search the bottom and nothing. I continue packing, clumsily put on my shoes and rush to the front seat.  The earlier guy who helped me get the ticket was still driving and he said  Pranburi. We passed the city sign and I see a bench, where the bus stopped.  All shops closed, no one around.  The bus takes off.  I have a 5 baht and 10 baht coin and try the public phones to call Jay.  Nothing. Doesn’t work.  I see I’m near Phakoot Hotel....I try again, nothing. I’m scared to walk alone, so I cross the street to Phakoot Hotel, where I ask if I can use the phone.  The lady looks confused, I point to her cell.  She calls a Thai man....who speaks little English. I have no idea why she called him.  She hangs up and calls J’s number.  Jay picks up and I am so relieved to hear his interesting English accent. (Later I find out he's from Sweden.) I fell bad it’s so late, but have no idea what time it is. I wait for Jay while being bit by mosquitos, reach into the pocket to see if I can offer the lady some money and fuck.  My steel wallet I just bought at HK airport from Mujirushi is gone. I had about 1800 baht. I feel so mad, as I felt I lost an mp3 ipod nano earlier.  ERRRRR. If I’d lost that much I could have taken taxi for 2500 baht. dammit. Negativity negativity....but it's only money.....and an mp3 that can be replaced.....I've been mugged before in Brazil and money and mp3 can be replaced, safety is important, lives cannot be replaced....I fight my thoughts. 5 minutes later Jay comes picks me up in a Toyota car.  It’s good to see some modernity. I feel relieved, that I made it.  It was pas 1am.  We drive a bit, dodging many stray dogs and finally get to a house where greeted by the house caretaker.  J shows me to my room, where there are 4 rooms total and living room.  Shared shower and bathroom with Jans, a Canadian-Jamaican who lives in Korea. 




I hit the bed and turn off the lights, I toss and turn and good night Thailand.

 


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