Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Write Your World (amino): Siem Reap to Bangkok

Write Your World (amino): Siem Reap to Bangkok, pt 1: (post from Maria's blog)

Nutsy day. Woke up at 5:30… though I set the alarm for 4:30, and we went to the bus station by Tuktuk. It was… interesting waiting for the bus. We ate baguettes which everyone in Cambodia seems to have… but which seems to come from a bakery no tourist can ever find. The reason we had them was because the hotel was nice enough to give them to us for breakfast.

So as we were on the bus (which was really just a large van, seating 12 in the main body and one more person in the front), we stopped twice, once for gas and the bathroom, and once five kilometers from the border, where a man there told us all to get out (only some of us actually did).

He told us to give him our tickets, in exchange for which he gave us a red, rectangular sticker.

As we were waiting to leave, an American comes to us and says, "The ticket is your receipt. You give him your ticket, you don't have a receipt and you pay twice. Go and get your ticket back."

(Mad dash for the tickets ensues.)

The guy who gave us the stickers ranted and railed, telling us that we'd never manage to get to Bangkok without him, that we'd never find a bus, that we had to give him the tickets— but with at least 20 people all demanding their tickets back, in the end the guy gave up. Our drivers spoke no English, or if they did, they didn't show it.

Basically, the people were acting very suspiciously— trying to guilt and frighten us into giving away our tickets, into getting off the van, etc. They were yelling, not answering the questions we asked them, and always giving new information without following up on it.

When we got to the border, another guy was there, telling us that without the red stickers we'd never get on our bus. Four Czechs, who had a plane to catch back home, gave up and gave their tickets away. The American, whose name we found is Derek, offered a photocopy of the ticket, but no luck— it had to be the real thing. We followed the Czechs as far as we could, past immigration. When we got out, people offered us taxis— and laughed when Dad said he had a bus.

We waited with Derek and a New Zealander (who was in Cambodia for six months and had a small guitar with him) to wait for the Czechs, who we'd spotted going to the bathroom.

They led us to where another guy had led them and told them to wait a bit for the van, which was coming (presently?). During this entire time, two Israeli women (a mother and her daughter, who I think live in… France?) and a Korean woman going to Bangkok to meet her friend at the airport were waiting for us.

Then the van showed up. Part 2 will be up on the 6th:

Siem Reap to Bangkok, pt 2

Where I last left ourselves, we were waiting for the van. When the silver van showed up, the driver absolutely refused to let those without a sticker get on— even though the Israeli daughter had a red sticker, he pushed her mother.

Huge scandal (I just realized that scandal translates to scandal in Romanian— a big noise/fight) ensues.

The driver gets in, is waiting, and then one of the guys shows up and tries to make us all move away from the van. Derek, the American, refuses to budge from behind the van.

"They're not going to cheat me." He says, "And I'm not moving from this spot."

"Is your life really worth ten dollars?" Mom asks him.

Ileana wants to stand there too, but I explain to her that she's Mom and Dad's responsibility— if she gets hurt Mom and Dad get in trouble for it.

As the van backs up a foot, we all kind of get out of the way, except for Derek, who hammers on the back window and tells the guy to stop.

Another foot.

"HEY! NO!" Derek shouts.

And then he gets out of the way. We all get out of the way. And the van backs up and zooms away.

"POLICE! Please, someone call the police! The police!" shouts one of the Israeli women, the daughter. (I think her name is Zslil or Zstil)

The spectators shake their heads. A guy from one of the travel companies comes out and tries to explain that she has to go find the police herself— the police station is that-a-way.


As Zslil explains, "Hot blood."

If this was a comedy movie… it would be a very good one.

Derek and the New Zealander with the guitar are trying to figure out how to best get to Bangkok. The Korean girl is looking around, somewhat lost (her English isn't very good), trying to figure out how she's going to get to the airport to meet her friend.

"POLICE!" "WHO are you? I want to know. WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE COMPANY?"

Dad tries to find an ATM. Derek and the New Zealander try to figure out how much a bus costs. We're all going with our own agenda, hoping to find the best solution for everyone.

I hope the Czechs made it to the airport without getting fleeced out of more money. They needed to catch the plane badly.

In the end we decide to take a bus, all to the north part of Bangkok. The New Zealander goes a different way, but the five of us, Derek, and the Korean girl are all on the same bus for 6 hours. The Israelis stay to figure things out with the policeman (and I don't have words enough to describe that smiling policeman!). We found one of the conmen. Dad took his picture.

Thailand, we're told, is MUCH better, even if they have a fake border crossing 20 yards from the real one.

February 7, 2012 at 1:38 PM
What an adventure, huh? Live and learn I guess. Sorry for the misinformation on the stickers, I feel really bad about that. I guess I was being a bit overly cautious. I still wonder if the 4 Czechs made it ok to Bangkok.
I hope you enjoyed your time in Thailand. 
Maria March 1, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Sorry for the late reply! I took an internet fast while in the islands of Thailand.
I would love to know their experiences-- I imagine the guys stopping them on the side of the road and saying something along the lines of 'More money. Now.'
No worries! It was an interesting, spicy experience. Our group wouldn't really have 'met' otherwise.

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