Wednesday, 23 October 2013

I don't appreciate my friends as much as I should.

Let's face it. I can be a real asshole. I can be worse than that, especially to the people I love the most, like my sister.
This week should me how lucky I really am. I have the luck of the devil.

It started off pretty good. I was all full of vigor and ready to take on the world. Instead of taking a tourist package, I was going to go out on my own to obtain the all elusive Thailand Tourist Visa. If you are from a First world country, you can fly in to Thailand and get a 30 day visa waiver. It's not actually a visa, just permission to fuck around for 30 days. If you travel by land, you get the same thing for 15 days. There is no limit to how many times you can do this. However, leaving or flying out every 30/15 days is a real pain in the ass.

There is another option. You can actually apply for an actual visa that allows you to stay for 60 days. If you you pay extra, you get another 60 days. If you go to the Thailand Immigration office in Bangkok, you can get up to another 60 days, so in total, you could stay up to 6 months. Leaving every 15 days, compared to every 6 months, is a no brainier.

So off I went, on my own. I went to the most southern border of Thailand/Cambodia. What a desolate shithole of a place. I hitched a ride on the back of a motorcycle for $1 and caught a bus to a place called Sihanoukville. Half way through the trip, the bus broke down, so I found myself with my fellow travelers on the side of the road waiting to get another bus. Eventually it came, but not before the perishable goods in the Styrofoam containers, perished.

Sihanoukville is on peninsula and is the the only beach area in Cambodia. Lots of old perverted men owning bars, running brothels. I rented a moto for $5 a day and got rip roaring drunk and rode all over town for a couple of days. There are cops doing ride checks everywhere, but they don't care if you't drunk, only if you have an international driver's license. I didn't have enough money to pay them off, so they let me go. The next day, my host got stopped by the same cops (with no license at all), but his bar employee was in the process of delivering coffee to the cops, so after a few words, they let us go again with no consequences.

Always the entrepreneur, I met a couple of perverted bar owners and did a couple of jobs that paid for my trip. US dollars is the norm in Cambodia, and expats pay US prices. Non of this "you're in Asia, you should be paid what we pay the Asians" BS. A lot of good that did me when I left for Phnom Pehn.

I took the night bus. To help with the trip I bought a 10 pack of Valium for about $0.50 I think I took too many, because I ended up 500 Km past Phnom Pehn and had to take another bus back. All that money I just made was slowly being wittered away. When I finally got the Phnom Pehn, I went straight to the Thai Embassy, but was late to submit my application. I let some Tout do it for me, for an additional $40 dollars. I had no intention of paying him $40 dollars. I just agreed to it to get it down. Then I went to sit out the weekend at a guest house. For the whole adventure there, read the previous post.

When I got my passport back, I had $10 US to my name.I got a bus to Poipet. I had $2 left over. I crossed the border and started walking the 6 km to the train station. A dude drove by asking if I need a ride. I said, " sure, if it's free"

A few meters later, the same guy was sitting there waiting for me and drove me to the train station for free. I could not be more thankful. I got on the train with my last $2, and suffered though a 8 hour train ride that was actually only 300 km. I went back to my old hostel in Bangkok. I told them my adventure. They gave me a couple of beers, some smokes, and a bed to stay in. I have no money. I don't know why or understand why they were so kind to me. I contacted my recruiter and a few more friends. My friend is going to meet me tomorrow to lend me a couple of bucks to get through the week. My recruiter, tried to send me money through Western Union but had a hell of a time, and had to leave town for the week. When she gets back, she has a couple hundred dollars for me.

I'm glad I'm back in Bangkok. I thankful that even though I can be a real prick at times, I have some of the best friends in the world. Friends that overlook my faults and bend over backwards to help a man in need. I love you all, even if I don't say or show it enough.