Friday, August 28, 2009

Smelly River Scary Taxi

So, to avoid the jam, one would discover one of the local transport modes Thai uses. River Taxis. First of all, the little black water channels. One would think it is a giant drain. But hey, the water is all choppy, waves all churning thanks to the countless speeding long boast that goes about their daily formula one routine up and down the channel. Speed, no speed limit. Safety, no life jackets. What about paying attention to people boarding and alighting? No attention.

One lesson learned is that, don’t queue in lines. Just horde over to the boat when it arrives, everybody at one go, parallel to the arriving vessel. Then jump on, or alight as fast as you can, synchronize your timings with the boat movements as the side bangs onto the platform. No one to tell you, no one to guide you. You have to develop how-to-board-the-bloody-boat-instinct in a matter of seconds especially if this is your first time.

My lady friend queued up behind us. We jumped, she did so after. The boat separated, and she missed. Her little frame landed onto the rough wooden portside knees first. The attendant was next to her stunt fortunately and grabbed before she fell into the abysses. Worst will be if she did and the portside came slamming back to the platform, she caught between. Well, that’s life I was told. Near mishaps like these occurs almost every other day. Safety has never been a point as the captain races against time to net in as much money as he can. The race.

Thus the harrowing ride one would experience as the boats speed past each other doing last minute maneuvers like an acrobatic plane. And then there was a loud bang behind me. I turned to watch the tail leaving the concrete channel side, the metal structure had bent but so what, the captain continued his formula one routine. The looks on everyone’s face? Nothing except me, balls rolling down my pants.

But all in all it was good fun. You just gotta try it, it is a time saver.

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