We took a road trip on Tuesday to a little town a few hours away from Bangkok. We were loaded down with bags, which include six huge bags of dried fish and three big bags of curriculum. Whatever we once called normal is over. This was only the beginning sign that our journey would be full of traditional Thai road trip experiences.
It was a long nine hours turned into twelve due to stops. One of those stops was to a most delicious pizza place that we visited a year ago and have talked about since.
It was thoroughly savored.
Another stop was to a lovely little English bookshop that was also very worth making us late. But we arrived to our destination about ten o’clock at night, exhausted.
Due to budget constraints, I had told Yim earlier that we should look for a guesthouse for 500 baht, but 800 baht was okay. Five hundred baht in Mae Sot is on the low end, but can still get you a very decent room. At one of our favorite places in Mae Sot, its a little artsy, clean room with a comfortable bed and delicious breakfast.
But in this little town, asking for a 500 baht guesthouse was a mistake.
It was a mistake for a couple reasons. First, we had two twin beds, both covered in a bed skirt. Not a blanket, not a sheet–but a bed skirt.
I made a second mistake of lifting up the bed skirt to look underneath, which is just not a good idea. Ignorance is bliss, and knowledge makes it hard to sleep.
I’ll just say we pulled out our own bedding that we had brought for the jungle and used that a night earlier than we expected.
It had both a urinal and a Western toilet, so I guess that is a win–until Stephen flushed the urinal and water came out the bottom. The purpose felt a little defeated.
While in the bathroom, I discovered there were rats crawling above us as well, which hindered sleep a little bit.
The shower was hilarious. The bathroom had a slanted ceiling, and the shower was at the low end of the slant. I had to duck for both the ceiling and the shower head, nevermind Stephen having to bend over at his waist. There was also a large tub of water right under the shower, requiring you to lean over the bucket while ducking. If it wasn’t inappropriate to include a shower photo, I would have.
And then we were off, running errands around town before heading into the middle of nowhere for a few weeks, determining we’d find a slightly better accommodation on our way back through.
The last leg of our journey was a long, steep hike. Some of the students came to meet us at the bottom of the mountain and patiently hiked at a white person’s pace. I had been using Karen with the students as we went, or at least trying to. We joined the entire group of students toward the end, at which point I was exhausted and wasn’t really paying attention to their chatter. Until I heard the male student right behind me, who had been walking with us the whole way, tell the others, “She understands Karen! She’s pretty,” obviously correcting them to not insult me since I’d understand! Awesome.
We have now arrived at our destination, where it is actually cold, ladies and gentlemen! We are layering and drinking coffee for warmth, and it is lovely! Stephen is pretty much thrilled. The bucket bathing is much less enjoyable when it is this cold, but everything else is quite a bit more enjoyable. It is even making my soul feel a bit more wintry.
I would say more, but this blog has already taken me hours, as the internet is slower than dial up. Maybe you’ll hear from me soon, and maybe I’ll just settle for a book in the middle of the jungle.