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balance (2): run

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

run

on a wild manic bent i awoke this morning at a painful 4am, and gathering scattered dream remnants and a disheveled 'o', hopped into a speeding taxi in pouring rain towards morchit for the government bus to aranyaprathet. or more specifically, cambodia. what a luxury to leave bangkok, with countryside laid out like a buffet to sample along the way. huge expanses of deep green rice fields. fruit farmers with laden trucks offering juicy pickings. kittens and dogs and chickens and birds. plump clouds hanging sparsely in a cartoonish blue sky. a stray ox. wooden shacks. fresh air!!!! the trip is 4 1/2 hours each way, during which i decided dean r. koontz really isn't such a bad writer after all, and snored on 'o's shoulder.

cambodia is dusty and plaintive and busy. poipet is no longer the no man's land it was once though, and no scruffy children yanked on my sleeves and tried to charge me for holding the umbrellas they were following me with as in days of yore. i tried to explain to 'o' what a hassle it used to be to get through the border, but he looked skeptical as he perused the street of (relatively) polished shops. the only indication that poipet was the same old poipet were the sweaty, overdressed men pulling large horse carts full of goods, and the little ladies with the scarves and brown skin sitting with baskets of fresh french bread loaves. one polite man did insist on following us with excessively friendly chatter, and i kept having to snap at 'o' to stop being so damned trusting. but then somehow i managed to get into and out of cambodia (sadly, without 'o', whom i wanted to give a peek, but his visa turns out to be just as expensive as mine) and the usually mean customs official just gave me one discerning eye down his nose and stamped my passport without extorting the usual illegal fee. i have no idea what's going on over there. i even sat down and had an iced mocha something latte...

grumpy because he had to stand like a forgotten puppy on the thai side while i frolicked in cambodia, 'o' pouted at my visa stamp and made me promise to buy him a souvenir checked scarf (they wear them on their heads in cambodia). we scoured the large market on the aranyaprathet side in the boiling heat... stumbling across fried spiders, secondhand t-shirts with chinese drawings on them, stalls full of assorted weapons, and piles of shoes. we headed down one of the small sidestreets at the peripheral of the market and found ourselves in a weird ghetto, with a dirty boy in oversized shirt and pajama bottoms throwing us suspicious side glances and sneaking sniffs of some sort of turpentine from a greasy plastic bag in a shady corner. the other shy, brown faces eyed us curiously and marveled at my white skin. we had just sat down to some fried rice and a huge bottle of pepsi in a dark tented area, when we realized it was time for the bus back, and hurriedly grabbed a tuk tuk to the station right as a huge storm came crying down.

sweet sleep in the rain, thai music overhead, free cookies in the belly. 'o' and i vow to move out of bangkok at some point soon, whether it's together or otherwise. 5 hours later including the 2 buses home from morchit, and we fell exhausted into a bed, feeling as though we were still dreaming nice dreams.

3 Comments:

Blogger NICole_LA_LA said...

You know that is starange. I was in Aranyaprathet<--sp? :P and anyways, i was with a few friends(Thai friends) They wanted to Gamble in Cambodia and because they were Thai they could cross the boarder free..no charge. It was opposite because i had to pay to cross (obviously with visa charges)
So i stayed in Thailand to aviod the extra charge and they went along without a problem. I don't believe that "O" had to pay to get in so what's the deal?
And wha' the freakin' hark? they didn't charge you? weird man?

3:42 PM  
Blogger NICole_LA_LA said...

You know that is starange. I was in Aranyaprathet<--sp? :P and anyways, i was with a few friends(Thai friends) They wanted to Gamble in Cambodia and because they were Thai they could cross the boarder free..no charge. It was opposite because i had to pay to cross (obviously with visa charges)
So i stayed in Thailand to aviod the extra charge and they went along without a problem. I don't believe that "O" had to pay to get in so what's the deal?
And wha' the freakin' hark? they didn't charge you? weird man?

3:43 PM  
Blogger elocin x said...

there is an area between thailand and cambodia where thais (and as far as i know foreigners too) can get in without a visa to go gambling at the casinos for the day. it's when they actually leave that area and try to cross into cambodia that they have to pay for a visa. ;)

2:54 PM  

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