First let me warn you all, part of this blog post is going to have you thinking ‘that’s wayyyy to much information’.
Last night I did many things. I did something that I was looking forward to, something I probably shouldn’t have done and something unbelievably hiliarious if not somewhat embarrasing… I caught the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. A train trip that is meant to take 14 hours but turned into 16 and a half.
I was really looking forward to the experience (and I still enjoyed it… to a degree). I showed up to the station 2 hours early, got a coffee (or three, somethings don’t change no matter what country you’re in) and had a long conversion with a fellow Aussie tourist who was catching a train at a similar time but in the opposite direction. The nice Thai woman with broken English at the tourist information counter told me to show up to the platform half an hour early to board the train, which I did, and then I found my berth, got my sleeping gear together and settled in for the long haul.
So then comes the thing I probably shouldn’t have done, although it was fun all the same. Roughly four hours in (about midnight) I decided that sleeping wasn’t working, and that no sleep would be had without a large amount of alcohol (a logical conclusion for a then 21 year old). I climbed out of my berth and went wandering along the train looking for anyone who spoke English and looked like they might be carrying a bottle of scotch… It was midnight, alright. I wasn’t thinking straight.
All I can say is thank christ for the Lobsters! (And my apologies if you didn’t get the reference). I came across a group of british guys who had the same idea as me, however they were smart enough to have the idea before they got on the train. There was four of them, each with their own bottle of spirit’o’choice and they were happily getting hammered and making it known to the rest of the carriage. I asked if I could buy some alcohol from them and they declined but were happy to give up a glass… and then another, and another. Around the same time that we were abused by an important looking Thai guy in a fancy uniform was around the time that I decided I was sloshed enough and began to stumble back to my berth. Not before thanking the poms and stating that if I ran into them in Chiang Mai the first few rounds were on me… atleast I think that’s what I said.
Then it hit my stomach like a fridge flung at a kid on a bike. I had to go and I had to go now. I won’t go into detail (your imagination can do the work) but when the only toilet available to you is a squat toilet on a foot high platform in a bathroom that hasn’t be cleaned since the train was built (probably around the same time as the cold war) and you need to do more than just splash the boots things can go a little bit awry. I didn’t fall in, but I did take a slippery stumble off the platform, I’ll leave the rest of the description up to you…
I awoke in my berth, feeling well rested but with a massive headache, an hour out of Chiang Mai (which actually turned out to be three) and enjoyed laying there watching the beautiful Northern Thai scenery crawl past the train (yes, the train was really that slow.)
Still, an interesting way to travel.