Ended up getting about three hours sleep last night, which was more than I expected but I was exhausted so was able to nod off for small whiles at a time. Was wide awake from 4am though, and instead of taking 14 hours the train took 17. I don’t know how they can get these times so wrong. They stop for ages, seemingly for no reason, and are then two hours late pulling up to the destination.
I was so glad to be getting off the train that the idea of spending the next eleven hours sat in Bangkok station seemed almost enjoyable. And that’s what we did. I don’t have much to say about this. We did think about dropping our bags off for ฿80 each and having a wander around town, but we were both shattered and skint so we left it. I was just sat there in the same chair for most of the day just looking at the people around me and getting annoyed by them. I do this a lot anyway, but I was super tired and bored so everything was irritating me more. There were horrible, grotty cracked heels that I saw being put onto chairs, a disgusting tramp that spat phlegm into a bag, I was being gawped at unashamedly…this kind of stuff. The feet thing really grinds my gears. I don’t even have a strong dislike for feet, but the state of some of the trotters here are unreal; they make me sick. I reckon cos they’re all barefoot a lot their feet just go manky. And it’s not a small few: it’s most of them. Once they get to about 40 they all just look like haggard corpses with decaying feet. Haven’t seen an okay-looking older Thai, and I have developed a dislike for this generation. And they have this horrific habit of always putting their feet on any object they can, smearing their filth onto every chair in a four-foot radius. I heard that it was rude in Thailand to point your feet at stuff and you shouldn’t do it. Evidently they didn’t get that memo. One guy had a big dirty bandage on his toes dragging about the floor, and I was like, dude have you heard of shoes? I reckon I could tell a Thai just by their feet. I didn’t realise how much resentment I held on the subject until I was stuck looking at it for thirty hours or so.
Another thing is the staring. I keep noticing people looking at me in the corner of my eye, and when I turn and catch their gaze half the time they don’t even look away. It’s mostly kids which is fair enough. I suppose they don’t see many whites, but the older ones do it too. It’s only the 10-35 kinda group that don’t do it and have more social normality. I know people might think I’m complaining and having a pop at a culture saying about the meffy feet, ugly over 40s, staring and spitting in bags, and maybe I am. I know it’s their culture and they’re free to do and look as they please, but I’m also free to say I think it’s stupid.
Our ticket for the sleeper train that we got was ฿700 but that included a bus at the other end too from Surat Thani to Krabi, but it was still quite a bit so I just ate brioche all day as a pack was only ฿15. There was also a shop in the station that sold you a pot-noodle-type-thing and gave you the water to make it too. Neat. Lauren tried to buy a pad Thai but the woman shouted “FINISH, FINISH” even though there were people working chopping stuff behind the counter. I feel an undercurrent of mild racism here to be honest, whether it’s stuff like that, foul looks, people trying to rip you off and laughing at you or openly charging you more for things. I just kinda get the impression that it’s not us they want there—it’s just our money. Lauren pointed out that most of the friendly Thais we’d met had been in a position where they were or could have been taking our money and I couldn’t really say she was far wrong to be honest.
We got on the train at 18:30 and looked out the window a while before bed. There were loads of people all playing about on the tracks—having meals, chilling out, looking after kids, the lot. Weird place to spend your time. They have shacks that back up onto the tracks though, so I suppose it’s like their garden. It’s crazy how there’ll be a really nice-looking set of apartments and literally spitting distance away is a load of families living in tin huts. Some woman on the train was annoyed ‘cos she had to move her baby out of someone’s seat. It was nice to lay down after so, so long.