I got up yesterday expecting an email from a man who I thought could sort my insurance out. At 9am it wasn’t there, nor at 10am or 11. I was sick of sitting around waiting, I had itchy feet, a scratchy bum, I had to do something ’cause i would have pulled out whatever hair i have left.
So at 11.10 I jumped on the back of Dot and raced south, back the way I came two days ago in the direction of the Malaysian border. There I was certain I could get insurance, I read as much on a website that I really ought to have looked at before I sailed past the insurance office oblivious to its necessity.
But never mind. Looking at the map it was a 6 or 700 km round trip, which at Dot’s pace would take about 12 hours. And give or take a minute or two it did. I got there at five, bought the insurance, had some chicken curry annd a poppadom and rode back the way I’d just come, making it back to Krabi just as the big hand stroked midnight. Drama over. Problem solved.
And what a great trip it was. Spending an hour in the border town riminded me just how much I love being away from the tourist trail. Here people were themselves, locals, living life their way without the interference of backpacking nancies who come and demand everything their way, the only way. And so you find in tourist towns locals who no longer are quite themselves. They may be greedy or fed up with the foreigners rudeness as we traipse through the country with a foreign tongue.
Being here then was a reminder of just how much I love being away from that trail. I think that’s why, in hindsight, I actually liked Indonesia. It was raw and authentic, for better or for worse. Here however the vibe is different. Manufactured, pedicured, preened and groomed, so what you have left is a smiling pastiche of a county that probably now cannot remember a time without tourism.
That’s why I love riding through the day and now the night. You see so much more. The day in its various stages. The morning when people are waking up and showering and sweeping, the afternoon when the siesta starts and then through to the evening and night when the games of badminton and tinkering of bikes in the garden change to scenes of sleeze and those good time girls bouncing on the lap of excited gentlemen who work in the factories over the road.
Feeling now all chirpy and cheery I’m just about to pack up and carry on north to Phucket. It’s not my kinda town but I thought just one peek before I head to the very top of Thailand to have a look around the head and shoulders of Thailand, up around the Burmese border.
And with my insurance complete I can now happily flatten as many kids and chickens as I wish along the way. Happy days.