Over the hill and through the woods

Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
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Sunday, December 9, 2007

wow life can get screwy really quickly if you are not paying attention to the details as they go whizzing by.  its been a few weeks since my last post so i apologize to all of you whose life is not complete or fulfilled without reading my ongoing misadventures (of course I'm kidding because i can barely stand to read this drivel either).  Ive bounced around quite a bit in these last few weeks, starting with the snorkeling trip with the kids and then straight up to the girlfriends village (8 hours north of bangkok) for some relationship issues better left private and with my therapist.  it was strange though because i was a bit up north, the weather was much cooler this time of year and i was experiencing temperatures in the mid 60's (16-18 degree Celsius for you English).  it was funny to see the Thia's running around in their winter jackets and scarves when it was still quite warm outside.  i experienced the same thing when i was a kid in phoenix growing up.  i couldn't understand how people could dress so outrageously when it was so warm outside.  i mean shit, i was swimming in a pool on Christmas day my first year in Arizona.  of course after a couple of years in the heat, i was one of the fools wearing a winter jacket when it dipped below 70.  the interesting part of this trip was that i arrived during the rice harvest and ninny's family believes it is better for the land not to use what amounts to a combine.  so one day i found myself in a drained rice paddy with a hand scythe with the rest of the family, harvesting rice as they joked and laughed about this and that.  ninny spent the time digging up these rice paddy crabs that dig holes and go into hibernation when the fields are drained.  apparently they are quite delicious in the papaya salad but i passed on this delicacy.  the work wasn't too bad mostly because i wasn't doing it for 12 hours a day over the course of 10 days.  i felt decent after doing the bend and stoop for about 2 hours but the next morning my back was screaming bloody fucking murder.  ninny's mother found this particularly amusing.

after only a few days up in the village ninny and i packed up our stuff and took the 8 hour bus ride down to bangkok and then after a 12 hour lay over in a hotel room, jumped on the 10 hour bus and 2 hour ferry to ko tao.  it was nice to get back on the island and relax in my own little home with my TV and my xbox 360 (yes chad and i bought a video game system lol).  to get to my bungalow you drive down a well paved road then have to turn down my driveway so to speak.  the driveway is about a 20 degree incline over a very worn and washed out dirt road.  i get off the motorbike that i rent and let ninny drive it up the hill because i dint want to die.  the day after arriving back on the island, i walked down to the bottom of the hill and ninny was driving the motor bike to the bottom when the breaks went out on the bike.....on a huge fucking incline.  she came screaming down the hill (both vocally and with speed) and at the time of her wipe out she was probably going about 25-30 mph.  the bike went flying as did her body across the pavement where the driveway met the road.  amazingly she only suffered a scrapped elbow and a scrapped leg.  it could have been much much worse and it scared the living hell out of me but she is OK and didn't even shed a tear.  the girl scares me.

the day of the accident was the day that ninny was planning on going out and finding a job and even despite the setback of wiping out she still went and talked to a few hotels and was soon offered jobs by 3/4 of the places she applied to.  unfortunately there is no rest for the wicked and my friend was getting married in Cambodia to a nice Khmer girl so i had to get my happy ass traveling again after only a week back on my island.  back on the ferry i go and then back on the bus to bangkok.  i had a brief skirmish with a french woman because she didn't want her children watching the violent movie that was being shown as on board entertainment.  you have to understand that this journey is knee deep in "backpacker" territory.  these bus trips are not for families and i have only seen kids on these buses a few times over the years.  the fact that this woman was trying to impose her parental responsibility on 45 other people because she wanted to take her kids on a cheap ass holiday really pissed me off and i was more then happy to tell her this.  eventually resident evil 3 was turned back on and her children were hopefully scarred forever.

so the bus arrives in bangkok at 1am and my bus to trat (near the Cambodia border) left at 8am.  no need to get a hotel room, ill just have some dinner and use the Internet and try and avoid the transsexuals that troll the waters of khao san road late at night.  it was a long 7 hours but i eventually found myself on a very rundown bus and we made our slowwww progress towards trat.  after 7 hours on the bus we pulled into a ferry terminal that led to ko chang (where every other passenger on the bus was going).  i was still 30 kilometers from my destination and i was told in broken English, tough shit.  i phoned my travel girl and she assured me she would reimburse me for my $2 taxi ride to trat.    upon arrival to the back water town of my destination i immediately jumped into a mini bus for the 2 hour continuation ride to the actual border crossing.  I'm just exhausted now, going on almost no food and no sleep for over 24 hours.  it was 6:15 when i got to the border crossing and the border closed at 6:30.  i am usually very patient and calm during travel, even if it is a little stressful but the driver of my mini van had been going so slow and fucking about so much i actually had to yell at him to hurry the hell up so i could cross the border and not be stuck in the middle of nowhere for the night.

upon arrival in Cambodia i had to wait a half hour for my visa because 2 of the border police were out eating dinner.  after getting my proper stamps and visas i jumped on the back of a moto taxi and went to the nearest hotel and passed the hell out.  flash forward to the next morning and I'm now on a very sketchy ferry in rough waters doing the 4 hour crossing to sihanoukville which is Cambodia's only real beach resort town and the site of the wedding.  i was soon on dry land (thankfully) and on a moto taxi to my hotel where i dumped my bags and then jumped back on the moto and went to find my friends hotel.  i will continue this story in a day or two because it just gets funkier and I'm tired of typing at the moment.  no worries though, I'm safe and sound in Cambodia and will be back in Thailand very soon i hope because the girlfriend is going through Neal with drawls.  cute eh? 
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