A Globalized Beach

By campodegelo

8 people. 8 nationalities. 8 different personalities.

1 single objective: enjoy the beach.

A German, an American, a Canadian, a Korean, a French, an Italian, a Swiss, and a Brazilian, living in harmony on Thai soil.

The same globalized world that brought us together to Bangkok, made us seek a refuge, again in the warm and transparent waters of Koh Samet.

The squad was as described above, 7 women and me. And before you think some bullshit, no! I was not the hairdresser.

A few minutes after taking the bus, there was an unscheduled stop and an exchange of vehicles. Plunged into sleep and not understanding what was happening, I made my way to the other collective, and left behind some of my belongings. A short time passed until I realized my lapse, and encouraged by my wives (at least for the weekend) I went to talk to the driver.

Between grunts of English and Thai, a young woman helped me to explain the problem, and after a few calls they decided to return to the place where I forgot my Kindle.

It would not be fair to take the time of 40 people, so I asked to leave my e-book at the Bangkok station. Without any guarantee, but with the certainty of good actions from the Thai people, we continued to the beach.

Shade, soft white sand, blue water, and the company of 7 lovely people.

Just these elements would be enough for an excellent weekend, but I decided to spice up the return, proposing a challenge.

I’d hitchhike back, and try to arrive before everyone else on the bus.

Yae, my Korean friend, who studied with me in Berlin and Seoul, came to join me, and so we took different paths after the boat journey to the mainland.

6 people in a bus, with time to depart and air conditioning, against 2 individuals and few certainties.

Make your bets!

Who will arrive before Bangkok?

The bus would leave at 4:00 p.m., so we did not waste time and started the walk to the roadside.

Hitchhiking is a complex process, encompassing from the chosen route, to the means of transportation. The purpose is to meet people willing to help and as a consequence, spend the minimum amount of money possible. Walking and public transport gain a preference compared to taxis.

3 km of much sweat later, there we were at the desired spot, from where I explained briefly how we would attract the attention of the vehicles.

We barely had time to practice, and three minutes later we were in a pickup truck for Rayong (the next town, about 30 km ahead).

The conversation and the joy of Yae’s first ride infected us, and we did not realize that the vehicle entered the city. One of the main fears of a hitchhiker.

Going inside a metropolis is not a simple task, but since Rayong was not big, a simple walk took us back to the road. Another 3 km of dust and sweat, and 15 minutes of waiting, for the final card: a direct ride to Bangkok.

At that point, the bus with the girls was leading the way, and it was about 40 minutes ahead of us.

With one eye on the map of the cell phone, another on the sunset, and with the nice breeze in the neck, we were gradually approaching.

Until one of the funniest moments of my short career on the road

We paired with the bus and saw the other travelers out the window.

“Smile and wave,” said Melissa’s message, and that’s exactly what we did.

We then took off and arrived way earlier in Bangkok. Maybe not to the final destination, since they left us in Chinatown and a final walk was needed.

I would say it was a technical draw, with a sense of victory from both sides, due to another magnificent weekend.

Ah yes! I got my Kindle back.

In the end it was a lesson to check my belongings better and still believe in the goodness of human beings.

This entry was posted in Asia

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