Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jurassic Park

I slept from about 4:3o pm until midnight. I feel like the travel gods were being kind by easing me into this so well...either that or just really hoping to get a good laugh at me today when things are not so smooth. Midnight huh. Too late to join night activities, too early to go do anything else.

However, I can now report that this place (same one as last night) is at least a 3 cockroach guest house. A fact sure to be much less traumatic if not discovered when waking up groggy and disoriented at midnight, stumbling into the "toilet". There was one in the hall outside the bathroom, they other two were buggars were eating pooh that had not been appropriately "flushed" by dumping water on it to make it go down the toilet drain (or-I don't know, maybe you're not supposed to do that, but I do).

Ugh. So I took 1/2 a benadryl, having slept through any night adventures, jazz bar or otherwise. Never been a night persona anyway. But I love live music and it probably would have been a great place to get travel tips from other falang (foreigners). Given my plight, I cozied up to Chris Trapper and John Mayer who did a wonderful job of keeping me company until sleep came again.

And then it happened....

I think it was around 5:00 a.m. when I woke up to something landing o me. COCKROACHES?! Maybe. It seemed slightly larger than that. And warmer....-Maybe that last part is just my imagination. Either way, I awoke, managing to stifle any over reaction and hastily swatter, at which point it scurries, yes scurried across my abdomen. Ack! That felt worse than even knowing something was on me! I've seen rats and mice around, so that's a possibility. Given, shape, size, uuuughhh may have been a small rat, or a moderately-sized mouse. In Hawaii I heard that if a gecko lands on you it's good luck. So I'm going with gecko. That's what it was, a gecko. I hope.

It's 5:30 a.m. after all the commotion is over. Well, that's close enough and I'm not going to get back to sleep any time soon. (I have to admit that I have a small fear of something crawling in and living in my ear (i.e. Broken Down Palace, for those of you who've seen it), especially with the hole still present in my left ear drum. It could eat all the way to my brain! (I blasted half of my eardrum away jumping off a cliff in Hawaii-it's still not healed. It was especially obvious on the plane when my right ear would plug and pop as normal but I would just feel a "whoosh" of air in my left ear. Kind of surreal, but just like you'd imagine it would feel with nothing blocking the air pressure change.) Anyway, so I sleep with my headphones in. Also, it helps drown out the ever present noise. I'm a pretty light sleeper, so I'm surprised it doesn't bother me more.I guess one just resigns herself to that just being how it is here. A mentality that helps things go smoother. (I'm so much calmer and less annoyed when I travel, especially here. I attribute it to the magnificent people and hope it rubs off more than just a little.)

I decide to take a the same room with the "toilet" and cockroaches. Fortunately, the roaches are gone but a rather large frog decides to join me. Yes, one just like from the market yesterday, except not dead yet. I spray him with the cold water before spraying myself. I must say that with that chilling hit I was again pleased with my ability to stifle a yelp.

After my Jurassic Park tour last night and early this morning I went out and about to see if I could find the least expensive way, without burning all of my time, to get to Cambodia. (As I will be doing most of Thailand at the end of my trip with a group my goal is to get out of the country quickly to have more time elsewhere.) A woman at an internet cafe wrote two bus stops for me in Thai. One to the city center on a minibus the other with the name of the Cambodian border crossing I needed to get to.

I spent the next little bit (it's barely 7:00 a.m. at this point) flashing my little pieces of paper around town, being guided and sometimes escorted, to the correct minibus stop. The other passengers, unannoyed, helped me pack all of my gear into the tiny bus/van. In order to not be charged for two seats (which the driver tried) I sat in the same seat as my pack, not an easy feat. No one complained or got frustrated, just seemed pleased that I understood how to pay less money.

A young Thai college student, studying English education :), offered to take make sure I got to the right bus to make my connection. Awesome! I'm sure it helped to solidify the correct price as well. I do have to note that I haven't run into too many problems with people trying to over-charge or scam me as yet. For the most part I would say the Thai are generally more honest than most.

I didn't' realize it until she got me all set up, but I think she even got off on the wrong stop just to make sure I would be ok. She mentioned she had class at 11:30 a.m. and had to go. It was only about 8:30 a.m. at this point.

I am now on a bus traveling safely to the Cambodian border. happy and enjoying the journey. We all could certainly learn a lot from how awesome and un-intimidatingly kind the Thai people are. I saw a man give up his seat, respectfully, several times for monks entering the train. It was a no-brainer. I need to a have a brain that has more no-brainers like that. I hope by the end of this trip I will have learned a thing or two.

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