trails & tribulations

by Jakob

I step into a roaring, smoky, slow, old bus, which hopefully will take me near Charan soi 40, I just arrived in Bangkok and try to find my hostel. I also could have taken a taxi, but actually I find it much more entertaining this way: you’ll get into contact with the people, acclimatise much faster, more adventures, cheaper a.s.o. I get a signal from the driver when I’m almost at my destination, I get off and actually I have no idea where I am exacly.

I ask several Passers-by ask how to walk to Charan Soi 40. A motorbike taxi stops and asks where I want to go, he brings me to my destination, service, free of charge! My hostel “The Overstay”, a reggae-like place, dreadlocks, many grafity on the walls, sanctuary, hangout … I love this place!

the overstay

the dormroom in hostel the overstay

The famous backpacker street Khaosan Road looks close by on the map, but still it’s nearly a one hour walk, fortunately not a dull walk: numerous, especially snack stalls, occupying the pavements, where you can consume a whole meal for 30 Bhat (about € 0.70). The water of the Chao Phraya river is really very high and only countless sandbags can prevent Bangkok from flooding, nevertheless a lot of water is seeping into the street. Before I got on the Rama III bridge I have to walk throuh the water. Probably it will not take long before parts of the city will be flooded, large parts of Thailand are already under water …. Bad timing to visit Thailand.

the sandbags close to the Rama III bridge, soon proved to be insufficient

“Hey sir, want to buy suite?”, A suite? me? Really not! this question is asked to me sevaral times, maybe it’s because of my camouflage longshorts and flip flops. Or: “tattoo?” … “No thanks, I have allready” … “Take one more sir” … “Maybe later” And of course: “Sir, where you going?” … “That’s up to me, thank you”. Yes, Khaosan Road is a tourist spot, but for a while quite entertaining, even in the night: it’s quite a long time since I’ve been in a disco and had probably didn’t go there if my hostel roommates didn’t ask me to join. Anyway, I went along and it was all quite amusing. Later on the farm somewhere in Sumatra, in the middle of nowhere, maybe I’m going to miss this …

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