Thailand Continues With Familiar Faces

I was buzzing as I made my way to the main road in Phuket, ready to keep hitchhiking north deeper into Thailand. My next destination was a small village where a California friend was working and living at the moment.

I got my first ride quickly, we chatted for a bit and he got me closer to the edge of town. A taxi bike attempted to sell me a ride, then a farm pickup truck gave me a ride right out of town. I kept walking from there as I usually do, thumbing cars as they come.

A limo stopped and asked where I was going, then offered to take me there for 500 baht. That wasn’t happening, but he tried to negotiate something for a while until finally realizing nothing was gonna happen.

Shortly after, a young guy with his girlfriend on a scooter stopped. I did my best to explain what I was doing and where I was going when he asked, then he seemed to be offering me a ride. I looked at the little scooter and wondered how the three of us, plus my backpack, were going to fit, somehow we did.

We didn’t go far, he pulled over and handed me 300 baht explaining that a bus would arrive shortly in this spot and was going where I was going. I thanked him as much as I could and then waited for the bus, he hung around for a little while too.

The bus was just 95 baht, leaving me with some extra food and beer money to work with on top of it all. The bus cruised up and then stopped short about 20 miles. There was some confusion as to whether the bus would keep going, if there was a transfer or a new price to pay and so on. Instead of waiting around I just stuck my thumb out and caught a ride in the back of a pickup truck the last little bit of the way.

A shop keeper let me use their phone to call my friend, soon enough she was rolling up in her bicycle to meet me. We stopped by her office and then to her apartment where I was happy to shower and take a nap before meeting her back at her work. We cruised the market for good food and by night we had a beer or so while catching up, Thai soap operas on the TV in the background.

The next day she let me use her bike and told me more or less the way to get to a waterfall worth checking out. I cruised on, the occasional dog barking and some chasing me trying to nip at the tires or my legs. I never did find the waterfall, just a mostly dried up muddy river, I enjoyed it either way.

I had some spiced up rice with another girl who was visiting town, then headed back to the office to say my goodbye. My friend Nick was in a town north and I wanted to catch him before he split out of Thailand all together.

I stuck out my thumb and got a quick, but short ride from a mother and daughter. Right after that I got a ride from a pickup truck with several others in the back. I crammed in and held on tight as we jostled up and down blasting up the road faster than anyone. I was happy to finally hop out of the truck and be in the town I was heading for.

I used another phone at an automotive place and gave Nick a call, in just a little while we met up along with our mutual Couch Surfing host, a girl named Lucy. It turned into a fun night of catching up with Nick, eating pad thai, drinking some beers and meeting a few of Lucy’s friends.

The next day we went on a food mission, myself, Nick and another guy staying with Lucy named Jacob. Meat on a stick, curry, whatever we could find. Suddenly the craving came for a banana rum shake. We went around all over the place looking for such a thing, finally getting into the mode of collecting the ingredients ourselves and finding a woman with a juice stand willing to blend it all up for us.

Happy with our success, we headed back to Lucy’s place where we relaxed for a good while. She came back too and we lounged around on the hot day until night came and there was another market to go to, more food to try, we snacked on anything and everything that looked or smelled awesome.

An easy night, but now I had Bangkok on my mind. The next day I’d start the mission up there, fun to be had in Thailand’s biggest city awaited.