« pulau pinang | Main | iain sinclair - lights out for the territory »

bubble and scrape

I'm in Hua Hin, Thailand. There's no cloud, just a haze of smoke from somewhere or other. I can't read any of the signs (which, interestingly enough, means I lack enough context to know which ones to take photos of. Maybe I'll have a better idea tomorrow). At a waterside restaurant I was lunching at, a monkey had wandered in and started eating a bamboo plant until a guy came up with a catapult and some small stones to chase it away. In that naive touristy manner, I'd just assumed it lived here, or something. At least until the waitress ran off calling for her co-worker to get rid of it. Most of the tailor shops have signs on the windows saying "Wie Sprechen Deutsch". The dogs here look healthier than in Malaysia (they seem to be owned by people in shops, here - in Malaysia they were lean, hungry, and hung around food courts). Oh, and if you've got a thing for girls on motorcycles, you probably want to come to Thailand (I forget if I mentioned this already, but the motorbike has to have been the most significant invention for Asia, I reckon).

Probably my most embarrassing moment so far highlights that it's my first time in an almost completely non-English-speaking country. I hopped off the train at about 6:15am, in the dark. Predictably, somebody hassled me on the platform asking if I wanted a taxi. "Actually, yes!" I tried to explain where I wanted to go, showing him the name of the place (which was in anglicised Thai) on a piece of paper because I was too scared to try and pronounce it without screwing it up (and causing mortal offence). He couldn't read it, and showed it to a friend who spoke English. She asked me to read it, and eventually I swallowed my pride and made some kind of pathetic attempt to pronounce "Baan Duangkaew". It worked! After a resounding "ahhh!", I noticed the sun suddenly coming up as I packed my bags and hopped into the back of the taxi. It was probably just some kind of weird coincidence, but I guess you never know...

Lastly, there haven't been heaps of birds around - you know, actual birds - though I did spot a few Kingfishers (related to Kookaburras, only smaller and more colourful) hanging around the railway line just before the train got to the Malaysia/Thailand border.

* 21:20 * travel