Tag Archives: Mekong

Ups and downs

5 Jul

As I climb down my toothpick ladder from my top bunk of my second class sleeper car and stumble-feel my way down the pitch black hallway of the lurching train, step over the child-sized-crack between the two cars and pry open the heavy metal door to the bathroom, then spend the next few minutes teetering between stepping into the hole and on to the rushing tracks or tottering off the two-foot tall raised metal platform that one must perch upon. I look down at the urine stained floor and wonder what I have got myself into by returning to this curious part of the world. Was this the right decision?

The answer did not become any clearer when I find out that the reason for the three hour stop at 2 AM was because we hit someone.

But then, we take a cooking class and its a fabulous day. Great food, great company, great conversation. It’s wonderful.

And the next day…Charlotte runs into a tree on a morning jog and we spend half the day in the hospital filling her face with 17 stitches.

Followed by a full brass-knuckled punch to the face by food poisoning. We moan our way through the next day, knocked flat on our backs with some version of the 24-hour flu (I blame the fermented tomato), Although, it could have been anything… in a year and a half of traveling, neither one have us have ever been so sick. We spend lots of time applauding our stomachs of steel and scoffing at the nervous folks who refuse to try street food. Shoot, i prefer my fruit to be unwashed, sitting next to pig heads and cut by a woman who had previously been separating organs from guts. It is perfectly fine I tell you.

So despite the lovely cooking class, I can’t help wondering if Thailand really wants me back on its turf. It seems to be doing a pretty good job of scaring me off.

But then Charlotte and I are pulled off the street by two Norwegian girls and asked to join them on their elephant day trek. We obviously agree, scratching our previous plans.

And then we spend two days floating down the Mekong River, marveling at the incredible scenery and chatting with like-minded travelers.

Mostly there just doesn’t really seem to be an answer to whether or not I am making the right decision. While I would kill for a little fairy to pop out occasionally and give me a thumbs up or a shake of the head, she has yet to be appear. So I think it is best to take decisions not as good or bad, right or wrong, but just as decisions. (Unless it involves eating a fermented tomato…then it’s just a stupid decision.)

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Morning coffee view of the Mekong River

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