After spending a few days in hectic Bangkok I embarked on the long journey down to the islands…Kho Phi Phi to be exact. It was the first of the long journeys I was to make in Asia and it certainly set a president for the rest. I am led from The Kho San Road down the tiny little back-allies of the city past market stalls, the homeless and the rats to an already packed bus. I was among the last to arrive and had definitely drawn the short straw.
I boarded the bus and looked around for an empty seat, there were none, I asked the driver what I was supposed to do ‘This one is full is there another bus coming’ … ‘No, no no sit at back on the floor’! Usually I wouldn’t really mind this inconvenience however it was a 12 hour overnight journey. I took my seat at the back opting for a wooden bench that was being used to prop up the speakers instead of the cold floor. At first it was not too bad although I had to wonder as I took a look around at all of the people sitting under their blankets, in soft reclined chairs as I lay blanket-less on my cold wooden bench…is chivalry dead? There must have been around 20 men sitting snuggled in their blankets all fully aware that I lay freezing at the back, and not one of them offered me their seat, or their blanket and one of them wasn’t even using his…oh I seen him alright, that German fella sitting in his freaking fleece bragging about how prepared he was for his travels, blanket at his feet, even glanced back at me, whilst I’m wearing my t-shirt, with a smug little grin that said ‘haha I have a seat and a blanket I don’t even need and you don’t!!!’ call me old fashioned but a man should offer his seat for a lady especially when that lady (I use that term loosely) is me because…I was very cold and uncomfortable and I complained a lot.
I craved desperately for someone else to sacrifice themselves for me. I began with the sad look, pouting out my lip and looking like a child that had been scolded…no takers, ok….time to make puppy dog eyes at everyone until someone takes pity on me…didn’t work….huff and puff really loudly whilst trying and failing to get comfortable….nope….I give up…my Jedi mind tricks are apparently ineffective on the backpacker.
I resign myself to the fact that this is my lot, and try to watch Marley and Me, this just made me more sad. Once the dog had died I tried to settle down and made a pillow on the speaker out of newspapers that were at the back of the bus, I got quite comfortable until the speaker started blaring out Thai dance tunes. This was not ideal I was mortified. I decided to try the huffing and puffing whist thrashing about trick again just to be certain, when I accidentally broke the speaker. Not exactly what I was going for but it will do.
I drifted off to sleep and woke up at 6am with the sun shining in my eyes. I was hurried of the bus and into a café that was charging me 5Bht to use their hole in the ground. Once that was out of the way a child pulled me into a corner asked me where I was going and then came rushing over with a pink sticker that he placed on my belly button. I stood in a strange trance wandering what the hell was going on when the child came and took me by the arm putting me and a few others on a rickshaw bus. I sat on this for two hours until I was dropped of at another café this time just me and one other. This was really the middle of nowhere they didn’t even have Pringles…that’s how you know that you’re in the middle of nowhere.
A tuk tuk arrived two hours later and took me to a boat that again was full to the brim so packed I ended up sitting with my feet dangling from the railings, the boat took another two hours but finally I had arrived at my destination Phi Phi Island and it was totally worth it.