Post 204: Khon Kaen, North Eastern Thailand
Sometimes for no apparent reason, things simply ‘Happen’. Plan as much or as little as you like, dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’, but always be aware that the spanner of fortune; good, bad or indifferent, will inevitably have the final word. There’s not a single thing that you can do about it, fortune is the immoveable object, …. so just sit back, do what little you can and let the rest just simply wash over you.
Each day I have to check in the mirror to make sure that I don’t have ‘Information Desk’ tattooed across my forehead, …… people just seem to come to me for their travel advice. I’m staying in a decent hotel, $19 per night and every facility that you couple possibly imagine, … and then some that you couldn’t, but save for a few stranded tourists, it’s practically empty. I’m here by choice and thoroughly enjoying every minute, …. but it seems that as usual, I’m in a minority of one. European’s here are frantically contacting their respective Airlines and waxing diffidently over the lack of accurate information, they’re becoming stressed beyond reason and pointing the finger of blame in every possible direction. They ask me when the airports will open, they ask me when BA and Thai Airways will resume their normal operations, ….. they’re frustrated with the uncertainty and lack of definitive answers. I tell them that I simply don’t know, perhaps they see that I honestly don’t care, …… after this many miles on a motorbike if my balls had been made from crystal they’d have shattered a very long time ago. ’Listen People, …… the Airports are closed and it’s not British Airways fault. Sit it out or jump on a bus, …. the choice is yours to make, ….. but in the meantime, please stop pi**ing on my pavement, I don’t have the answers that your looking for and I’m certainly not coming to your pity party’.
Anyway, …… I’ve reached the Northern Thai City of Khon Kaen, a few inconvenient days later than I’d planned, but I’m here now and that’s the most important thing. Initially it had been my intention to travel here, do what needed to be done and then to return swiftly to England without revealing the true purpose of the trip. That’s going to be difficult, … it looks as though I’ll be here for a little longer than anticipated, …. but please don’t weep for me, … I think I’ll survive the experience.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that while I need to work and earn money, the desire to keep travelling burns ever stronger, ….. to this end, for the past two months I’ve been making tentative inquiries in general areas of interest. Following the unforeseen offer of a free flight, the first plan was to come to Thailand and explore the possibility of a new journey, ‘Poor Circulation South East Asia’: Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia. On similar lines to ‘Poor Circulation RTW’ but with a little more support by way of funding in exchange for writing, …. and this time raising money for a local charity network providing safe shelter and education for street orphans. This is the plan that’s taking shape now, the above mentioned ‘Spanner of Fortune’ will determine it’s success, …… but I’ll keep you informed of any progress. To date, …… Nil.
So with time to kill in what I firmly believe to be the worlds most amazing and vibrant country, I went to dinner with my new friends, a group of eight teachers from the Kranuan Community & Industrial College. ’Oat’, the English Teacher to my right translated those parts of the conversation that he deemed suitable for my ears, whilst ’Tassaneeya’ to my left kept my heart pounding all evening with her stunning smile and eyelashes that could bridge a small stream. Perhaps she was flirting, perhaps I was living in a dream-world, ….. or perhaps she's just quintessentially ’Thai’, .... but I was just thankful to be there. It was a memorable evening, we ate alfresco beneath a smiling moon, the likes of which none of us had ever witnessed, the restaurant was filled with laughter and the ’sing-song’ chatter of the Thai language. I understood little of what was said, perhaps a lot of the laughter was at my expense, ….. but with everything that’s going on in this beautiful country, it’s refreshing to know that the people remain unchanged; warm, open, friendly and amazingly fine hosts.