Sunday, 31 July 2005

All Aboard The Night Train

Great day yesterday marred by the fact that I knew I was going to have to get on the overnight train to Chang Mai ... I met a Dutc mother and daughter heading the same way but their train was 15m after mine, which seemed very strange as I was told that there was one every two hours or so. Abit apprehensive especially when we got the train station and there were no signs saying 8.45 to CM and nothing about train number 11. And the only trains that turned up until 9 were rammed (by rammed I mean every seat taken, every bit of standing room taken and people hanging out the doors, kind of like the images you see of Indian trains with people sitting on top of the carriage). Luckily, it eventually turned up and some very kind locals told me that this was mine. A relief, for a little while. The journey was About 11 hours of being stuck in a tiny Thai sized seat with nowhere to put my feet and nowhere to rest my head. I drifted in and out of sleep being lulled by Phillip Jose Farmer's excellent opening novel of the Riverworld series (it kind of goes down after that one) and still have a massive crick in my neck as well as some rather nasty sunburn. I was assaulted by a series of tuk tuk drivers and hotel reps eager for my business and went with one of them ... I'm easily swayed by a smiling face. 'A', as he introduced himself took me to a very nice, very cheap house near the middle of town. They've got treks going from there but i 'm holding off until I catch up with some people I met in bangkok. Apparently on this trek wen up in the mountains you can acquire the blessed leaf, which might be a little bit f fun.

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