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Post 292: The Road to Korat

The road was hot, uncomfortably hot for an Englishman. It had turned from tarmac to sand but thankfully the little Yamaha objected far less than it’s rider. I was choking on the dust and frying in the intense heat. It reminded me of the Amur Highway, just a little hotter and with Palm Trees instead of Birches.
I was 23 Km from somewhere, possibly Kantharorom (กันทรารมย์). It was difficult to tell, the signs are all in Thai and my map only shows the Anglicised names for the smaller towns. It was definitely the ‘2412’ though, so at the very least I was moving South on the right road.

Everywhere that I stopped, the waterholes were either full of vegetation or buffalo, and to be quite honest, I didn’t really fancy swimming with either.

Then, I came across a bridge and heard the sound of laughter coming from below. Beneath the bridge was a river and in the river were snail pickers harvesting the river bed. I turned around and found a rough track running down to the bank. Closer to the water it was a good ten degrees cooler and in the water, it was just absolutely bloody perfect.

The snail pickers all looked at me and laughed as I swam around trying to cool down in the murky waters of the unknown river. “Jor-ra-kay …. Jor-ra-kay“. To them it was the funniest thing in the world and to me at the time, possibly the scariest. They were pointing behind me, moving towards the riverbank and screaming loudly … “jor-ra-kay…. jor-ra-kay”. It took me a few seconds to understand, but from somewhere in the depths of my mind, I suddenly realised that “Jor-ra-kay” was the Thai word for Corcodile.

Never let it be said that Thai’s have no sense of humour ……. bastards ( bu-dtra-nok-som-rot บุตรนอกสมรส ) …… mai pen rai

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