April 3rd 1984

posted in: The way back | 0

A few after-effects to report.  First, we awoke very late, but this was hardly surprising when we had been up so late.  Second, I still felt stoned, but fortunately this soon passed – there’s not much worse than still being under the influence the morning after.  And third – Hans as well as Bas had been sick overnight – I had even felt a twinge or 2 of the same myself, but luckily managed to keep it under control.  However, neither of us were in any state to do what we had intended + go for another walk, along a different trail, into the hills.  We were still determined, however (or rather I was) to head back to Chiang Mai today, tempting as the place was.  We couldn’t be sure that they weren’t becoming nervous about our continued absence back at the guest-house, + had alerted the Police to launch a nationwide search for us, especially since, so far as anybody knew, we had gone west.  So instead of our walk, we had a lazy morning.  Bas, however, unloaded his domestic problems.  He’s been married for 6 years to a Thai woman, formerly a prostitute, it would seem, but his marriage is going thro’ a bad time.  Plus there are 2 kids to complicate matters.  Plus, it would seem, he is having a lot of difficulties trying to work out which direction he is turning his life.  All very distressing, but I must say I found his outpour very embarrassing.  It’s what comes of being British, I suppose.  After all, we barely know him, + I think a shared drug experience is only superficially deep, if that isn’t too oxymoronic.  Eventually, he nearly broke down completely, + Hans, fortunately alive to our discomfort, took him for a walk.  This was the last we saw of wither of them (tho’ we have their addresses, + intend to keep in touch.)

At about 1, we said goodbye + caught the minibus back to Traton.  Again, I sat on the roof – there was no crush, but it’s the most pleasant place to sit.  We had a drink in the local café while we were waiting for the bus to Chiang Mai, one of a pair of young Buddhist monks introduced himself + started chatting – as usual with such conversations he wanted to practise his English (which was, actually, very good.)  They both travelled on the same bus as us as far as a little beyond Fang, the next town, but he told us he was shortly returning to Bangkok, + invited us to visit him at his monastery there.  I would like to do so, if possible.

To Chiang Mai, the ride was long but fairly uneventful, but our real problems came when we arrived.  We had foolishly lost our map of the city, + couldn’t really remember where the bus station was in relation to the guest-house.  We tried asking, but weren’t really sure of the name of the place, + in any case it was unlikely anyone would remember or know it.  So in the end we bowed to public pressure + our own fatigue + took a taxi-truck – a shop-keeper who spoke a little English was good enough to direct the driver for us to where he thought we wanted.  Once again, tho’ there were problems – we thought (because of what our landlady had told us) our guest-house was near the night-market, so that was where we were taken.  We discovered, however, that the night-market was a good distance away.  At least, tho’, we now knew where we were, + after a row between Val + I in the back of the truck, we finally agreed to pop into the front + try to direct the driver.  This didn’t work either, since she wasn’t able to cope with the one-way system, so we got out anyway.  We knew where we were, + it wasn’t that far back,  but we’d had to pay B10 for the privilege, + the experience hadn’t put us in the best of moods.

 

 

 

 

Back at the guest-house, it seemed my worried about them being concerned for our safety were entirely misplaced – we could very obviously have been gone a month, + they wouldn’t even have noticed.  We collected our bag, checked into a room, + went immediately out (sorry, after a shower) to have some dinner.  It was off to Daret’s again – I had my heart set on another steak, + Val was going to do the same.  The meal was, however, disappointing – generally the case when you build something up in your mind.  I had a beer, which I didn’t enjoy in the slightest, I’ve gone off the stuff.  And the steak was alright, but not as nice as I remembered it.  And, the meal over, I was just in the process of paying the bill when, of a sudden, I knew I was going to be sick.  I dashed out the back to the toilet, + made it just in time.  Whether it was the beer, or a delayed reaction from the opium, I couldn’t be sure – I’d reckon the beer.

After our adventures up in the hills, back to (relative) civilisation, in the shape of Chiang Mai. Our flight out of Bangkok has been booked, so really we are just killing a bit of time until that time arrives.

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