Sunday, 18 January 2009

battambang to bangkok

Our last night in Cambodia we stay at delightfully named Battambang.
Would like to linger longer but Thailand tempts and tantalises.

Will we get across the border this time?
As we approach Poipet, scene of our previous debacle, my bowels begin to churn at the prospect of ever ping-ponging, like Sisyphus, between here and Phnomh Penh with improper papers.

We get through in seconds, and take a tuk-tuk to the nearest station from where we are to entrain for Bangkok. To my surprise we drive on the left side of the road for the first time in months.

Can this be the station, this charming wooden cottage in brown and cream, like a Pullman carriage? It looks like the set for a Thai "Brief Encounter". Surely Celia Johnson will soon emerge with her curious clipped vowels, bravely enduring the mote in her eye, and is Trevor Howard on hand to remove it, and spark off a tragic romance in dreary post-war English suburbia, the only glimmer of glamour being a Kardomah Coffee House to sip adulterous beverages?

All through the film Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto bursts in, giving soaring ironic voice to a passion that the stiff upper lip can never enunciate. Marvellous!

Closing time, damn and blast! More of Englishness tomorrow. Am I getting homesick?