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Running away from Home

So long, Chiang Dao and Chiang Mai

THAILAND | Thursday, 4 February 2010 | Views [505]

The cab from Malee’s to the bus station is 150 THB, so R and I decided to share a ride and split the fare. After breakfast I said my goodbyes to V and to Malee who held my hand in hers all the way to the cab and commented on how cold it was, like a concerned mother. The UK expat was there and I said goodbye to him and he gave me the oddest of looks. The cynical Melissa says that the look was pity for someone as naïve as myself to be heading out into the big bad world. The egotistical Melissa (whose voice is very faint) says that it was a shade of regret. I have seen this look once or twice before when a guy knew that something special was slipping away. Oh, who am I kidding, he had a spunky little Thai girl who was at least 10 years younger than me to keep him company, so let the old pervert choke on his pity. I don’t need it.

The morning bus to Chiang Mai was a lot less crowded and when we got to the bus station, R disappeared in search of a bathroom and I jumped on a sawng thaew to the train station. It was so chaotic, I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. So goodbye R! Bon Voyage! There, I feel much better now. I managed to get a train ticket for a second class sleeper berth. It was on the top bunk, but I was willing to give it a try. The train left at 4:30pm, which gave me five hours to wander around Chiang Mai.

I stopped for snacks and a large bottle of water before going back to catch my train. I have had one meal on a train, and it was a miserable experience. Maybe it was because it was a western breakfast involving toast. Regardless, I didn’t want to have another meal on the train. I was anticipating a quiet ride alternating between writing in my journal and reading my new/used Leon Uris novel. This plan was shot down by a little girl who decided to make me her playmate for the duration of the train trip. She looked to be about five and she was a regular little monkey. She wanted to climb on me and impersonate me and share my yogurt. I would play with her for a while and then she would get bored and go away. Then I would feel a tickle on my left shoulder and that was the signal that she was back for another round. At one point she was eating rice for her dinner and she decided to wipe her mouth on my shirt. That’s it. I had been a good sport up until now, but I don’t like it when people use my apparel as a dinner napkin. By this time, I had remembered the Thai word for enough. I had to say it dozens of times with a very stern look on my face before she got the hint. I think that her mother heard my tone because she called her daughter to her. A little while later, the attendants came around and converted the seats to bunks and we all settled down to get some rest.

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