(written by Dave)
Today was pretty low key. In our wandering last night we spotted a couple street side washing machines. And by street side, I mean right on the sidewalk, protected by custom rebar cages, a sun shade and rain cover. Today we headed back to the machines and for 20 baht (that’s 60 cents), washed all of our clothes – first time in a machine since we left Singapore, I think. The machines were clean and new and the staff at them were helpful (instructions were in Thai only). No one spoke English but we got clean clothes, a nice coffee and even complementary tea, all right on the sidewalk. For future reference, the machines are on Suksamur Street.
Later we wandered town looking for lunch. The place we were heading for (from Lonely Planet) was not open. We eventually found a cafe with real bread and real cheese where we had great sandwiches – not very Asian but good all the same. Sometimes you need that “normal” food.
On the way back to the hotel Nancy spotted a guy carrying an Ortlieb handlebar bag – sure sign of a fellow tourist. I ran cross the street and introduced myself to Evrim from Turkey. He and his sister are travelling SE Asia for four months and are two weeks out of Bangkok. We had him back to our room where we traded info and gave him the last of our Malaysian state maps (we almost discarded them last week but were hoping to spot a tourist heading south). We may try catching up with Ervin and his sister for a drink later. If we miss them, at least we have their on-line details and as they are heading south, we’ll be able to swap more info on-line.
We actually saw two tourists yesterday as well. They rode right past us as we were getting back to our hotel. They were on the other side of street and I managed to yell out “hello”. No surprise that they didn’t hear me and/or didn’t bother to stop. We’ve been in Thailand for 10 days now and had “hello” yelled at us 100s of times everyday. We hear it so much that it is hard to always return a hello with same friendly vigour with which the sender sent theirs. So, silly me, I get the chance to flag down fellow tourist and the one word I can muster up is probably the one word that will be most likely ignored.
We are heading north again tomorrow. We are hoping to reach Bang Saphan, about 100 ks from here. There is rain forecast but I’m counting on this side of the country keeping up it’s reputation as the drier side to help us out. I don’t know if the monk’s blessing from the other day will carry over. Let’s hope so.