niedziela, 21 lutego 2016

Day 8

Wiang Kosai National Park – Hat Siao, Sukhothai

On beauty, wealth & fame

Finally, my waterfall frustration comes to an end! 8 am they say? I spring out of bed at 7:30 am to be « at the gate » before 8:00. With my bathing suit on, I am prepared to do my own interpretation of the « Little Mermaid ». Except that with no one to impress, and the waterfall not overhanging, I just content myself with going up all the 7 stories: a truly breath-taking experience!

Upon the return to the base, I give in and eat the two plastic-toxic noodle soups I have from the evening before. The moment I finish burning out what’s left of my taste buds, Mr Daet, the ground guard, gifts me with some fruit. He seems sad to see me go...

Austral-bound, the weather is getting hotter and hotter with every kilometre. Temperatures going up faster and harder, the later I set off, the more I am to pay. “Suffering” being the going currency. Just like today. The road, under the sizzling sun, runs through parched fields of limes and pomelos. Alas, not even the thought of fresh, free, wholesome fruit can offset my sweaty torment.

This is one of those moments when I get pissed with myself for doing “n'importe quoi” (“fuck knows what!”) and envision dropping it all and quitting at the sight of the next hotel or train station. Thank God none of that is ever in vicinity for me to ACTUALLY decamp. For, and I really want to remember that, “everything passes and this shall pass too.” And it does and by the end of the day I'm a rather smug biker.

So what's with this beauty, wealth and fame business? Well, thanks to global economics, each Westerner is pretty wealthy by Thai standards. Beauty being my INNATE quality (right?!), the time has come for the FAME. And that time is today.

I stop for lunch in a tiny lost village: the owner wants to take a picture with me. Why not, right? It seems she was talking about me to her daughter all lunch, as I heard them practice “can I take a photo with you” they later use on me.

I stop for some iced coffee by a local market: all eyes turn onto me. I pretend not to notice by being DEEPLY interested in my drink. Some passers-by smile and even point fingers at me, while some others try to strike up a conversation (in Thai...). Am I being the popular girl, or what?

I stop for the night at a hotel and the managers' daughter asks for my email, phone or Facebook...

Is it me or have I just risen to stardom? Or is it my bike? Or my skin tone? I hear that Asians love whites, which can be easily confirmed by the stock of whitening creams and ointments local stores are filled with. Yeah, I must be the curiosity of the day as I don't think politically correct token White in one's social circle is at play here…

Km: 75 km
Tm: 4:09
Av: 18.0 km/h
TOTAL: 489 km

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