This is starting to get silly. Getting stranded in Bangkok once may be regarded as a misfortune, twice and it’s starting to look like some kind of stage production.
Occasionally something happens which makes you realise that in some small way we’re all connected, that there’s a thread that’s holding us all together, guiding our thoughts and our actions. And today some prick in a travel agency in Athens cancelled my Vientiane – Bangkok ticket – a ticket I’d already paid for – and the airline desk staff wouldn’t let me on the plane without paying again.
I love being in Asia, really I do. Back when I lived in Hong Kong I bought four cans of gin and tonic from the store. When I got to the counter the lady paused and asked if I wanted to go get one more. I waited, expecting her to explain the offer, but she looked me in the eye, shrugged, and just said “five is more than four”.
I mean, for stunning, breathtaking, forceful logic there’s no beating that.
When I was in Sapa last month, the Hmong women would hoard around you asking if you wanted to buy something, and when you said no they’d ask “why?”. I never quite came up with a good answer to that one.
It’s just that everything is so damned inconvenient! And old, and decrepit.
Of course, that’s why it’s charming. Where else could you board KING OF BUS?
Earlier today Adam and I headed South to Vientiane for our respective onward journeys. KING OF BUS was not our bus. Oh no. Our bus looked like a cross between a victorian funeral parlour and – well, no, it just looked like a victorian funeral parlour.
We took a break and came across this in the middle of the building. Is it a water pump? A piece of art? A joke the locals play on visiting westerners? My guess is that it’s been there for decades and nobody knows what it does any more, but they leave it alone in case it brings everything else down with it.
So look, things aren’t so bad, really. I’ve got 8 more days on the road and then it’s back, blinking and yawning into the real world again.