Published: July 21st 2012July 21st 2012
Whilst I was last blogging you all it started to rain. When I finally got out of the cafe and wandered back to my hotel it was still pouring down, and I had fun heading slowly back to my hotel, hiding under cover after short sprints when the rain died off for a minute. By the time I had got back to the junction before my hotel, instead of a road I found a river. The water had probably risen a foot in less than an hour. It was novel to watch the waves caused by cars driving through it lapping up to the shop door that I was sheltering at. In the end the rain stopped, and there was nothing for it but to wade through the river to get back to my room. The downside of this is that ever since my sandals stink... No really, more than they usually do. I have resigned myself to leaving them here when I leave.
I stayed in Phnom Penh until Saturday and then took a bus back to Battambang on Sunday. Ready to jump across the border to Thailand. When I got to Battambang, I really couldn't face another day
on a bus so I decided to stay their Monday and booked a ticket for Tuesday morning. Whilst there talking to a tuk-tuk driver I found out that they are closing the Bamboo Railway, and I was one of the last lucky few to get a go on it. I also found out that the railway wasn't in fact disused, but due to the state of the track the few trains that do run along it can go no more than 15 kph. Thus giving the bamboo drivers time to get off the track if a train does come along. In there wisdom, the government have decided to repair the track, and a Chinese company is going to run trains along it at upto 80 kph, thus making it a bit unsafe to have the bamboo train still running on the track. Health and safety gone mad I say! I could foresee lots of fun to be had with that.
Whilst in Phnom Penh, I found out that they still give you the option to shoot cows with rocket launchers. 350 pounds is the going rate by all accounts. Obviously this was something that I was not interested in.
I think that I would have turned it on the buggers leading the cows out if I had given it a go. I also forgot to mention that you should watch out for the bin men whilst there. Coming back from the killing fields I was surprised to find a man sitting in the passenger seat of a dust cart brandishing a pistol at me. Luckily the tuk-tuk driver also noticed this and decided it was probably best to overtake on the drivers side. I find it strange that I actually forgot about this, until I was leaving the country and thinking about all that had happened.
I liked Cambodia, but am glad to be back in Bangkok, it almost feels like home to me now. I am not going to go on about my journey back too much, as it was bloody awful. Just a quick summary. Due to a balls up at my hotel, I missed the 6 o'clock bus and was therefore stuffed in a taxi full of locals at the hotels expense. I was then dropped off at the tourist transit centre at 08.30 and told that I had to wait until 11.30 for the next bus to Bangkok. At 10 I was stuffed on a mini bus to the border and told to head through the border and we would be picked up the other side. Needless to say there was noone waiting at the other side and we were given incorrect and conflicting information by the people we tried to talk too. Finally after a couple of hours we managed to get the Thai police to help track down our company, and waited another hour until a mini van was available to take us on to Bangkok. After finally setting off we drove ten minutes down the road and stopped for food for another half hour! Finally getting to Bangkok just in time to hit the evening traffic. So what should have been a nice six to seven hour journey, ended up taking thirteen hours. Luckily I had decided to by one last book about Cambodia the day before, which at least filled in some gaps. It also had the benefit of meeting alot of nice people on our bus, who I probably wouldn't have talked too quite so much otherwise. See there is always a silver lining.
I have been back in Bangkok three or four days now, and have done almost nothing. I spend my time laying by the pool or at a cafe reading books. I went out for dinner the first night with one of the ladies from the bus and her four year old son, which was pleasant. The next day before she left I even managed to poke her son in the eye with my thumb. Showing him the imprint that his eye left on my thumb, luckily distracted him and stopped him from crying. Maybe I shouldn't have been letting him use me as a climbing ladder, but it's a fun game.
I also managed to pick up two of the oldest prostitutes I have ever seen. I was slightly drunk at the time, and had to make a speedy get away. I ran round the corner and stayed with the owner of Oh my Cod that I had met before, until they finally tracked me down and I declined their kind offer. Advising them I was going to stay with my friend and have a drink or two. Finally ending up in an internet cafe at 2 in the morning, writing nonsensical comments on facebook. I would like to apologise to anyone I offended.
At present I am not sure what my plans are. I am happy to sit and take it easy in Bangkok for a while. Maybe I will motivate myself to go somewhere, but not sure where. Possibly back to one of the islands in the south to sit around on the beach for a while.