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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Scott and I had just finished a bowl of that fantastic northern Thailand curried noodle dish, Khao Soi, at our favorite joint just a few blocks down from our place at Chez Steve (may his beard grow ever longer, and chest ever hairier), when we decided to lay into the task of getting to Laos.

A woman who had been sitting near us eating a little Khao Soi of her own had overheard our struggles and decided to step in. Soon the three of us were deep in the world of Thai bus service websites, and making calls. The train was certainly sold out by now, since we were looking to leave the Friday before the beginning of the week and a half holiday.

We needed to get a bus, and those were filling up fast as well, she assured us. Finally we were able to find a bus line and a number to call, and with the help of the fine stranger, we were able to secure the last two seats on a third-class bus headed for the border town of Nong Khai. It was too late to pay over the phone, or via the usual method, which is to go to 7-11 and wire funds through the cashier. In order to pay for the ticket, we would need to go to a giant central mall and find a movie theater on the top floor, which would have our tickets waiting. Fair enough.

The parts for Scott’s bike had still not arrived from Singapore, but this was our last chance to get into Laos in time for the New Year, so we had to take the chance. We told our new friend to go ahead and initiate the sale.

We offered to buy her a little green tea ice cream as thanks.

While the three of us enjoyed the celebratory treat, I could not help but think what would happen if the parts did not come tomorrow? Or what if they came, but there was not enough time to perform all the repairs to Scott’s bike in time to catch our 8:30 pm overnight bus? Would we ever escape Bangkok?

Stay tuned dear reader, stay tuned.


  1. Johanna | April 29th, 2010 | 12:29 am

    Given all the questions and your pensive posture I thought that the bottom photo of you, Woody, had thought bubbles. I see now it is the lights. Amazing.

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