Tuk tuk to Tescos and Train through Thailand

January 30, 2009

This is an extra because I found it so funny and we thought that Ruth would appreciate the alliteration in the title.
We left the Beau Rivage Hotel on the International Bus which would take us over the Friendship Bridge into Thailand and from there we would get the overnight train to Bangkok.
Everyone told us that when we got to the other side of the Bridge we should get food for the train and there was a Tescos which had just opened and it was the only place that did anything like sandwiches to take on the train. So we followed advice and actually did get a tuk tuk (a motorcycle with seating on the back….sounds foul, lots black smoke) to Tescos…it was surreal. We knew we should be trying to eat Asian food but its so meaty. Anyway, there was something so ridiculous about asking this old, Thai tuk-tuk driver to take us to a western superrmarket. He smiled, nodded, delighted to be of help., knew exactly where we wanted to go which is why we weren’t surprised when he dropped us at a lovely market on the other side of the Mekong. (There we saw a western man and his Thai wife with their twins…one blonde like him, the other Thai like her – amazing. Makes a change from seeing large, overweight middle aged men with young Thai women on their arms….disturbing. And did we tell you about the older western couples with very new Vietnamese babies?) However nice the market, no food that wasn’t a dead animal but with the help of a lovely Thai lady we finally got to Tescos , bought a picnic and took another tuk tuk to the train.

This was a sleeper train – 2 seats face each other, they become one and the bunk above is dropped down too and there you have our 2 sleeping berths. The attendants put the beds down early and everyone retreated to their berths. I was on the bottom and all night my berth shook violently accompanied by the creaks and clatterings of this elderly train. In not so much a cocoon but a  blue curtained claustrophobia , my fractured sleep led to disturbing dreams and uneasy awakenings. I worked out that anyone over 5’6” could wedge themselves into their space but I was tossed around like a rag doll, my aching body getting an unwelcome aerobic exercise. I’d occasionally be teased into thinking we were slowling down to a respectable pace but no…this was an express train and it was damn well going to speed,. Someone nearby had a wet,bubbling snore that was eventually overwhelmed by the backpackers skateboards slamming against each other. I eventually tracked the aggressively whining mosquito (that was lurking at the bottom of my bed and kept me alert and tense for a ridiculous time) to a mysteriously vibrating riveted metal plate… I sprayed it with repellant anyway.

As I tried to go to the loo I discovered that the door at the end of our corridor was locked and on the other side of it the connecting door swung back and forward with malicious glee. I tried to ignore the incessant banging by sorting out my rucksack so that it filled space in my berth and I wouldn’t be thrown about so much…..then sat up with a jerk…the door was locked!!!!…surely that wasn’t right…what would happen when we finally left the rails ?(and it was only a matter of time). The absurdity of my thoughts at this point made me giggle. So I had a biscuit.

I was still wide awake at 4, then I dozed. Eddie woke me up at 6 – ‘”That wasn’t too bad was it?” he beamed.



blue is the colour

blue is the colour


One Response to “Tuk tuk to Tescos and Train through Thailand”

  1. David Says:


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