i crossed into Thailand Sunday. I did not realize when I decided to do this that this is a corner of Thailand which rarely sees a tourist. There is really nothing of any major significance to see here, neither man made features nor any natural phenomenon. There is little information; I have some very brief description in the Lonely Planet and that is all. There is more English signs than Laos or Cambodia but not a lot of people speak English; and my Thai certainly does not exist. However, an English speaker is always found to sort out my want/need when needed and sort out my dilemma.
My first challenge was to change money. There are often free market money changers at a lot of these border crossings. However, on that Sunday, there was no one. I got picked up by a tuck-tuck driver at Nakhon Phanom bus station who spoke some English. The first thing he did was to ask everyone, bus drivers and passengers. He then proceeded to drive me all around town to find a bank/money changers that is open with no luck. He asked everyone he knew until he found a bank that is open in a mall. He waited while the transaction was done and then delivered to my hotel. Yes, he did charge me a whole $8 but I am not complaining.
Next day, I was in transit. I accidentally left my Lonely Planet in a tuck-tuck. By the time I realize that, he has left. Now, it is not as traumatic with all the information available on the web but … still … Anyways, behold, he found me before my bus departed to return my book. That was so nice of him.
I enjoyed my 3 days away from the tourists and my interactions with real Thai’s. All good things must come to an end. I am heading for Bangkok tomorrow for my flight back home Thursday. May peace be with you.