#Butterworth, #Hadyai, #Nakorn Si Thammarat & กรุงเทพ City of Angels

Negara Shree Dharmaraja

Negara Shree Dharmaraja

I look at Thailand across the Thai-Malay border, Muslim south always restive never rested, martial law and marital raw all over Thailand now, too, nation-state for sale if you got the bucks, new dictator says it’s only temporary but who knows? Me, I got one last go-round, merry-go-round, so time to see everything I missed in ten some-odd some very odd years, hopping skipping jumping for the last couple weeks from BKK down south few days at a time by rail and its rumble, metal pounding earth, third-class bulk mail my best friend in steerage, rumble of train is like meditation, pissing is like a moving target…

But now it’s time to up the ante, even if it means abandoning the rails: ten/twelve cities in next ten/twelve days sounds good, say goodbye, throw caution to the wind, different bed every night, hobo Hardie, see old towns new towns small towns don’t really care for big cities anyway, including BKK, civilization w/o cities is goal, Thailand abides in the villages, kinder gentler and all that maw lam music, look toong for the lightweights…

Love by the Tracks in Thailand

Love by the Tracks in Thailand

Backpacking, sure, if you wanna’ use that word, but I don’t use full backpack mode, it rather slinkily slung off shoulder in fact, don’t like island/tourist enclaves much either: Phuket, Koh Samui? Naah… hard to find $1 meal any more anywhere, backpacking about avoiding taxis as much as finding trails, of course to backpack is NOT to backtrack, so I catch a late night bus in Kuala Terengganu, figure to cross the Malay peninsula, drifting in and out of consciousness…

I arrive in Butterworth before daylight, insinuate myself into the old ramshackle office tucked away in brand new modern rail station, get the ticket to HatYai in Thailand, back to where I was just a couple short weeks B4, there catch a train to Nakorn Si Thammarat, where I’ve never been, and the theme of this excursion, only hitch is at the border where we wait a few hours, unbeknownst to I who left my luggage on board, watching it back out of the station while I protest lamely waving…

Rear Window View of Nakorn Si thammarat

Rear Window View of Nakorn Si thammarat

So finally I go looking for my missing bag in my missing coach, but no prob there it is sano y salvo so I go back inside the coach and cool off in the a/c before walking back, hate to spoil my victory by missing my train in case this ain’t it, but it is, and finally we’re off and back in HatYai lickety-split, book onward trans to Nakorn and get there by dark, I working outward in a radius from the station like clockwork, till finally I find something, fortunately Thailand shuts down late, never really, so not like you have to ever wake anybody up to check in…

Nakorn is basic working-class, but that ain’t so bad, stopped here once twenty years ago but don’t remember a thing, not much to see, really, but cheap and the WiFi’s good, five routers on every floor, some salesperson did his job well, view to the rear out over generic Thai city, Temple here market there, sprawling crawling on all fours, I’ll spend a day here, but no more, then catch an overnight train back to BKK, no city of angels, rest a night then hit the trail again, go to Isaan, the Lao-ish part of Thailand, where the accent’s thicker and the food a bit spicier, liquor is quicker and the road’s a bit dicier, C U there.

June 2014

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