... and from the Heart album, the Road home, no doubt! (possessed MP3 player in-joke)
Pained but alive and on my way, I left Thailand. Leaving Bangkok (on my first Thai train) for the last time was really strange for me, and not only because i was under the influence of assorted drugs from the hospital. I had a kind of sadness I don't usually have, but not simply because I was leaving Thailand, which if you remove the people I met (most of whom I already knew and was just catching up with) I could more or less give or take. Whilst in no way over - and months before i have to return to work - from here the journey is back. I have only about 25days before I need to be back in Europe for some commitments, and with i think a theoretical minimum of a 16-17day (on a pre-planned and pre-booked perfect scenario journey) trek from Bangkok to Sweden ahead of me, It means I don't have much room for manoeuvre.
In addition, with few exceptions, all of the journey I now have to undertake I have done beforehand, so there will be little new and really exciting stuff for me. And I don't yet know how I am going to get back. I have an idea of how things will go and how to do it, but I am gambling heavily on getting lucky in Beijing. I may yet have to insert a flight (believe me, I'm working on avoiding it) in to this trip, simply due to a lack of spare time to play with on alternative routes - of which there are many - if my gamble doesn't pay off. It's an all or nothing roll of dice, and only time will tell if I'll hit the double sixes.
Although my neck still hurt like heck and i had a general stiffness, I was pleasantly surprised by how I felt waking in the morning. I had expected to be feeling effects of my high speed tumble onto tarmac and rolling in broken glass and spilt diesel allot more. I crossed back into Lao (Really great to be back, Wish i had time for a much longer stay here) via the Friendship Bridge without incident and even got myself a cheap and rare (in SEA) dorm room in Vientiane, possibly as life compensation for the previous afternoon. I don't want to get cocky though, as I will be needing all the luck i can get in the coming 3 or 4 weeks, for both logistical reasons, and because i will be more or less living on buses and trains doing a number of long journeys, and with my 3rd strike of "things come in 3's, such as accidents" still to come...
And so, back to Lao and onto day 2 of the Road home
A sign to strike fear (or alcohol poisoning) in the hearts of a certain couple of TPers after New Years exploits waaay back when...