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The journey to Hua Hin

{ To get to Hua Hin from Bangkok, we decided to take the train. }

I am married to a man who is a researcher by heart. This saved us from doing many stupid (and probably illegal) things while on our trip, for which I was grateful for him. (Feeding elephants in Bangkok = $300 fine, possible jail time. Feeding elephants in Phuket while on a guided elephant tour in the jungle? Priceless.) He had our train schedule printed off and had everything figured out a week before we even left for our trip (I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants, "if we make it, we're meant to!" kind of girl).

We slept beautifully the night before, and got up a couple of hours before we were supposed to meet the train. We left our luggage in our room, because we were going to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant. When we came back to the room, our key card wouldn't work. Ty tried a few times, but it just wouldn't open. We went down to the hotel lobby and asked the desk clerk to have someone try to help us into our room so we could get our luggage and get to the train station on time.

They sent the handyman up to look at it, but the battery had died in the door; we're still not entirely sure what had to happen for us to get in the room. All we knew is that by the time we were back in and had our luggage, it was almost an hour, and the train we were supposed to be on had left the station when we were getting into a taxi to go to the train station.

Now, if you remember, this is the train station from the earlier post about Bangkok:

Pretty, isn't it? It was exciting when we got inside--lots of hustle and bustle, but a very friendly information desk that had English speaking workers. They helped us get our tickets for the next train, and told us our train was on Track 7, and we could board anytime it was there.

We excitedly went to the tracks, and found Track 7. The train was already there, so we stepped on and found a seat. It wasn't that comfortable. And the windows wouldn't come down, so Ty said we should get off and get in a different car. The SECOND we stepped off the train, it started moving.

{ It was not our train. }

I have no idea where it was going, but I'm glad Ty made us get out! We waited around for a bit, walked and looked at whatever we could find to keep our interest, and then I felt nature calling.

I have to say, Ty warned me. He did. He said I shouldn't use a public restroom (remember, he researched EVERYTHING before we left). I tried to listen. But I also knew it was a 3 1/2 hour train ride to Hua Hin, and I didn't want to sit cross-legged the whole time. Ty laughed, and we went to find the bathroom. Once again, he warned me. I was two steps in the bathroom when I had to return and ask Ty for money. It was 2 baht (about 6 cents) to use the facilities. (At least I wasn't the only tourist who had to go back and ask her husband for money!) I marched back in, ignoring him chuckling behind me, stood in line, and almost died. Literally. If you are able to die of the smell of ammonia and human waste, I am pretty sure I saw that distant white light. Finally, it was my turn to run and hide in a stall. I closed the door behind me, looked around, and almost cried.

I am spoiled. I really am. I have toilet paper. I have hot, running water. I could drink the water out of my bathroom faucet or bathtub if I really felt like it. I have a clean bathroom. I selfishly expect a clean bathroom. I am spoiled.

I was humbled at what I saw. A small, dirty (very dirty) toilet, with no toilet paper, only a very...used... bidet. I am ashamed to say, I cried a few tears, turned around, and left. I went to wash my hands, and couldn't even dry them. No soap. No towels. Only a long sheet-like towel laid across the sinks that was sopping wet and dripping water onto the floor. And a line of native women behind me who had no problem with what I found in that humble restroom.

I am spoiled.

(Yes, I crossed my legs the whole way there. It ended up being almost a 5 hour train ride)

Our train finally arrived, and we got on board.

We found a nice wooden seat, kind of like a pew, that no one wanted, so we happily set our things down and settled in for the journey. I got my camera out, and Ty bought some food from a woman selling it, walking up and down the isle of the cars.

At the first stop, a small old man with a foot-long hair growing out of his chin came and sat across from us. He saw us open the Saran wrap on the food we bought, and held up his hand. "No good! No eat!" he told us, making a face and holding his stomach. We decided to trust someone who has been in the country for more than the 2 days we had been, and didn't eat the food. He gave us a satisfied smile, and proceeded to tell us the name of every station we stopped at. He would make Ty say the name over and over until he was close to getting it right.

 We spent a lot of that ride in quiet thought. It took quite a long time to get out of Bangkok, and we got to see a different side of the city than the skyscrapers and tourist areas. 

{  Mmm.. makes you want to go swimming, doesn't it? }

The thing that interested me the most about Thailand is the amazing beauty, with stark poverty, and often trash, right beside it. We saw people trimming hedges, sweeping streets, shaping trees, and planting flowers, while walking over trash and not picking it up.

 (We thought this was a marijuana field, but now that we can see the plants better, we don't think it is)

(Yes, that's trash)

What normal livestock looks like when they are allowed to roam, aren't fed hormones, and bred to be humongous... And probably not fed much.

 Everywhere you look, even amidst all the poverty, are beautiful shrines

{ We saw children playing and living under this bridge }

We couldn't stop staring at the window on the long ride to Hua Hin, and met some really amazing people. We ended up being grateful that we missed the faster, earlier train, because of the people we got to meet. Including one man from Washington state who warned my husband not to go near the monkeys.

Obviously he doesn't know my husband.

{ Next: Hua Hin }

One Response so far.

  1. Ann says:

    Wow...I'm speechless. I am going to go and used my not very clean bathroom right now, and be grateful. :)

    Beautiful...I'm loving reading about your experiences.


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