Eating tempura oysters, quickly cooked and served piping hot, as I perch atop a baby pink plastic stool with my back to a steep kerb, is one of the joys of being in Thailand. If I topple off, it will surely hurt, but who cares in the moment. Drinking cold Chang beer, the evening passes on and its people drive by-the hustle and bustle of a city offering a focused fayre, for the travellers eye.
The subway makes moving to and from the airport easy, even if maneuvering the big city, in some ways a little more difficult. I find it a joy when I enter a little piece of air conditioned heaven, before moving back out into aisan eccentricities
The over night express sleeper train, from Chumpon to Bangkok another example of my coloured interpretation of Thailand. The all night caress of urine, gently wafting through the grimy walkway of our carriage, dispelled from its home, the latrine. Turning the lumbering journey into an uneasy night of nasal discomfort, with each gust of wind, amid the bugs biting my skin bringing with it a disturbed sleep.
Making our way through the countryside on its regular station stops, the smell through my vented window constantly changing. I recognise sewerage, then rotten fruit. Every now and then the fragrant uplifting smell of lime or coriander pushes past its stinking compatriots, holding their position in the forefront. Just for a few seconds.
I struggle with the smell of Thailand.
There is a part of me that enjoys being here, especially when I can look beyond the grime, dust, smells and dirt to the everyday lives of its inhabitants.
Chumpon itself seems an inviting and sprawling place to spend time in, rather than just for travelling through, to other destinations. The amount of shops imply a bustling township. The large seafood restaurant on the corner, opposite the train station suggests the place has a love of football, as a large screen shows an English game.
The land of smiles; land of smells. Working and living in this country. Getting to know the people and understand the culture a little more has enabled this country to get under my skin. Thailand certainly is a Country that pushes and pulls with my emotions.
Where have you travelled that pulls you back, as much as it pushes you away?