No rain for weeks. Not a speck. Then, eight or so kilometers from the border crossing at Poi Pet, the sky suddenly releases its pent up anger. Torrents upon torrents of rain, enough to collapse roofs and tear away the leaves of palm trees. And as luck would have it, it’s time for another open air border crossing with sprints through a meter of sewer-infested rain sludge between checkpoints. Luckily I bought those spare shoes in Vietnam. And after a thorough soaking, a two hour wait at the Thai side while me and around two hundred other wet and festering souls gasp for a fresh bit of air in wait for the rain impaired servers to come back online. Then, a blast in a bus through some particularly slippery bits of pavement towards the shimmering lights of Bangkok.
Bangkok. Very few cities evoke as much imagery with their name alone. The place has a very strong brand, which I wasn’t able to correlate during my short stay. Sure, my stay was probably coloured by a sudden bout of sobriety which I felt was in order after the slushing nights of Cambodia and Laos. Sure, the city has bars filled with minkey ladies and dirty alleys full of perceived danger. But in large parts you can find those things in any Asian city, or any city for that matter. This is a meeting and melting pot, a crossroads in Southeast-Asia, in the same vein as a Berlin or Moscow. Great food and all, but slightly soulless in the end. And don’t get me started on the traffic. At least China had functioning public transport.
But luckily I need not stay here for long. Only a few days of buying provisions for my next leg. Island hopping in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, in search of my next hammock in paradise. Let’s do another night train.