Chaiyaphum and the Bus Ride Back to Bangkok

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I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Chaiyaphum. Of course it is very good to spend time with Pond and to see what his new life is like. He has been a great tour guide, driving me around the countryside to see temples and waterfalls. I've also spent time walking around town, shopping at the open markets and trying to avoid the many motorcycles in the street. (It sometimes seems as if every province outside of Bangkok has at least these things: street vendors, motorcycles, countryside, waterfalls, and temples).

On the way back from Chaiyaphom earlier tonight, I sat in the front seat of the bus. This gave me a clear view of highway traffic from the perspective of a big bus. In some ways, I wish I didn't see what I saw. My bus came inches from ramming the backs of various cars and trucks and other buses. I'm sure all busses do the same, but usually I am shielded from the truth of the road when I am sitting in the back. "Ignorance is bliss" as they say.

When we left Chaiyaphom for what was supposed to be a five hour ride to Bangkok, the bus was mostly full. But that didn't stop us from making numerous pickups along the way. In one town, an additional 20 people got on the bus. They were given plastic stools to sit on in the aisle. I was lucky to have a real seat, even though the view wasn't very kind to my nerves.

We finally made it back to Bangkok, arriving after six and a half hours on the road. As I walked from my house to MBK for dinner, I didn't even mind the noise and the traffic and the crowds. As I continue to live in Thailand for the foreseeable future, I will have to remember that a weekend trip to the countryside greatly aids my peace of mind in Bangkok's polluted concrete jungle.

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on March 9, 2004 8:25 PM.

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