10 Mar

Going it alone.

Today we continued north-west into Thailand.

Bike now repaired we passed through the ancient town of Sing Buri, and though the ruins are interesting the residing memory will be the ape attack that occurred. As i sat eating cake by a roundabout an invasion of hundreds of apes cantered down the street in front of me. The residents didn’t look twice as apes climbed up buildings, swung along electricity cables,  jumped into the back of trucks re-appearing with empty bottles and food scraps. It was extraordinary to see and fascinating to watch. I briefly wondered if this was happening over the world and the human race was being taken over. But alas, no.

From Sing Buri the other guys wanted to press-on, happy taking the dual carriageways north, but i wasn’t content with seeing Thailand from its motorway services so turned left and set off alone into the green wilderness.

The Thai economy is a noticeable improvement on our Asian adventure so far. Much bigger and border-marked farms appear with new equipment and more comfortable dwellings surrounding. The road surfaces are great and even the numerous smaller paths that split off in all directions are rideable and each one a tempting adventure. I rattled along them picking routes at random, following rivers, mountain foothills and vast fields, passing schools and workshops, farms and temple after temple after temple.

Having stayed out a bit late I ended up sleeping on the floor of a temple where the monks had kindly allowed me to rest after a good 15 mins of necessary explanatory charades. Sitting around a fire under the stars reading in silence was quite magical, them with ancient manuscripts, me with a kindle.

The constant fame in Asia is extraordinary already, but about to get a lot worse in the coming weeks as we head west towards India. Sitting having my lunch today I wondered if this is how it feels to be Robbie Williams.

It’s odd being the only non-Thai person in a rural town. Every one wants to look at you. It’s weirdly lonely. People run to windows to get a look, dogs bark (could also be the smell), people wave, or the most enthusiastic will shout ‘hellogoodbye’ and smile and laugh.

I walk around town with a smile. Firstly because that’s nice but also because if you keep smiling at people they will keep smiling back. People generally seem to want to smile, if I kick off the process they quickly follow.

Having negotiated my lunch dish I sit now in anticipation for what I might have ordered. I tried making a pig sound, but she pointed at a squid and we are many miles from the sea so that’s not really what I’m up for.

Robbie Williams wouldn’t have this trouble.

Not long later a delicious plate of chicken noodles arrive. As always It tastes delicious but I can’t fight the deep resentment that my pig impression appears as a chicken.

I vow to practise alone when no-one is looking, but when that will be I know not.

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Two elephants.


My buddhist hotel.



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