Standing Room Only

30 Jan 2008

This isn't me. This is madness.

We'd seen this coming and headed for the front of the arriving ferry early, but we're less willing to shove our way through than the other travellers, and we reach the port nearly last. By then the waiting saengthaews are full, each pick-up carrying three in the front, ten in the back on two rows of benches, and a roofrack full of backpacks. We could wait for them to come back, since the round trip is an hour at most. We could wander around to find alternative transport. We could find a room here and sort it out in the morning.

Instead, I wave at the driver and he asks me where I'm going. When I answer he sizes me up, as if wondering if I'm going to be able to hang on that long. Obviously I make the grade as he waves me on board. With no more room, Lyn sits on the back bumper with her feet inches from the road,and I stand next to her, gripping the bars that support the roof and trying not to lean too far out.

It's not even that hard, until the pick-up heads up a steep slope. Lyn's slowly sliding out of the car. My biceps are burning. We're both relieved to jump off at Hat Sai Khao, less than half way to Lonely Beach where the other passengers are heading.

It's not just - admittedly moderate - risks that suddenly seem reasonable. The next morning sees me up early, running up and down the beach and swimming before coffee, let alone breakfast. It's not so crazy, but it's crazy for me.