Godspeed To A Mighty Balloon

The train jerked to a stop, and you watched sleepily as the carriage emptied. Your watch indicated that it was only 4:30am and a full hour before your train was due to reach its destination, but the cleaners had boarded and begun mopping down the floors.

“Nong Khai?” You ask one of them.

The lady nodded. You hop out onto the platform and straight into the arms of the tuk-tuk drivers.

“Thai-Lao Friendship bridge, ka.”

“Euh?”

“Laos? Immigration?”

The driver shared a nonplussed look with his colleagues, which should have tipped you off to your grave error had you not already been in transit a full 30 hours and suffering from severe sleep deprivation.

“Laos, okay.” He says, with the look of a man who has no idea what he is doing but has decided to figure it out as he goes.

The drive takes you past things you hadn’t…

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