Trials of a traveller

Today I got on a public bus where I became the centre of attention for a little while as one particular person starred at me for a full 10 minutes. Sometimes I really enjoy being stared at. I sit and wonder what is so fascinating and what is going through the mind of he person who is finding me so ultra interesting. All I can do at these times is smile at the person staring at me, just sort of my way of saying “Hi”. This situation can happen at any given time and it always fills me with wonder. I think this is mostly because I don’t believe I am that interesting to make a person spend a large number of minutes looking at me to take in. I am amused.

The bus had to stop briefly for a bit of emergency repair of the window wiper, only in a place like Thailand they would fix these things with cable ties. You have to give it to the Thai people they are a resourceful bunch. I am surprised that they don’t carry gaffer tape constantly to fix anything that might be threatening to break. I am very amused.

What I forget is that sometimes I am travelling in places where they may not see a lot of westerners or maybe westerners like me. I am not one of those singlet wearing, bald headed, clean shaven, fake ray ban sporting travellers.

Singlet wearing idiot
Typical…. Image taken from http://menwtw.blogspot.com

How anyone can wear one of those singlet things is beyond my comprehension oh well, to each their own. Throughout this trip I think I have become more comfortable with who I am. I may not fit in but this is the thing I am great at. I can shock people who now me by morphing into a person they never expected me to be and I don’t do this just to prove them wrong. The fact is I do like a lot of things and can adapt if I want to. But I was thinking that maybe its a skill to stick out and be proud of it when other people try desperately to blend in.

When I got to my destination Surat Thani I knew that the train station is in a different town about 12km away. I was approached by the usual over friendly tuc tuc driver who insisted I didnt want the train because it didn’t go to Kao San Road, after convincing him I knew what I was doing he told me he would take me to the train station in Phun Phin. How much? I ask before even getting on, 400 Baht he replies. Somehow I managed to not laugh in his face to try this, “too much, 100 Baht” I tell him. He declines, telling me it’s too far away. “Fine i’ll get the bus” which makes him drop his price to 200 Baht, okay now we are talking but it’s still way overpriced so I stick at 100. Again he gives me the speach about it being far away and refuses to come down to my price and in the end he gives up. Ten minutes later I jump on a bus to the same place 20 Baht. Tuc tuc’s and taxis will always try to get as much out of you as they can, it pays to persevere in Thailand, something I deeply dislike about this place.

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