Trip Start Nov 02, 2006
Trip End Jun 21, 2007

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Imagine jumping into the back of a truck that is moving just over 40 kilometers per hour.  Now imagine you are squished between thirty Thais, some students and others returning  from their various shopping trips and outings.  Most of the time these songtheows move at just above twenty kilometers per hour so that the old people don't have to throw a hip just to stand up and get off.

Let me back up... there is a known protocol for riding a songtheow.  As the oversized truck draws near ( I am being literal in my description.  The bed of the truck is lined with seats and the top of the cover cabin has two rows of "oh-shit" handles) you wave to the driver to show that you want to be picked up.  After getting on and hopefully finding a seat, the coin collector that sits at the back of the bus comes to collect your fare.  If you are a foreigner having correct change is always a plus... which you can figure out by watching the money being exchanged with a local.   So then you are on your merry way until you come close to your stop.  As the truck is moving you make your way to the back and hope off if and when the truck stops.  For just seven baht you can go from point A to point B relatively quickly.

Some drivers don't think they are going quick enough though.  As Mike and I leave Nantawan everyday there is always to question as to whether we will get the psychotic driver.  There is one particular songtheow that insists on tossing it's occupants around so hard that you would sustain bruises if everyone wasn't so close.  I can understand why people with children would choose to take a taxi.
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