Running late for the Thai train
Mis à jour : 3 déc 2019
I got up early to catch the train from Hat Yai to Chumphon. I was worried the train was at 6:15. The timetable online was not clear at all. Therefore I walked the twenty minute walk as fast as I could. I got there at 6:15. I waited in line and got close to the counter, ready to accept the train might have left already. I reached for my wallet in case there was still a train going. I couldn't find my wallet. It was not in my back pocket or any of the other usual places! It was my turn. There was a train to Chumphon at 6:40. It was 6:20 now. Twenty minutes until the train, the only one that day, departed. I was guessing my wallet was still next to the hammock, where I left it when I was calling my parents the day before. I made up my mind quickly. Two kilometers to the hostel and back. Four kilometers in less than twenty minutes? Let's fucking try.
I quickly asked the security guard if I could leave my bags and I started running. I ran as fast as I could, looking for a ride at the same time, knowing cars might take longer because of the traffic. I sprinted at a fast pace, just not too fast so I could maintain it for the full length. After three minutes I already felt the sweat dripping from my forehead and stinging into my eyes. My t shirt started clinging to my body as if it was a second skin, but I didn't stop. I got closer to the hostel and I finally arrived after 7 minutes. Good timing! At this pace I could make it. I found my wallet immediately, it was next to the hammock, as I suspected. I ran again. I wondered if my bag was ok at the train station and tried to shake off the unsettling thought. Would I be fast enough to buy a ticket and jump on the train before 6:40? It was 6:30, I was getting closer, but I still had a while to go. The whole way I was waving and yelling: 'train?! Train station?!' at everyone with a car or motorcycle. At 6:33 a young fellow stopped. I explained in a mere ten seconds and luckily he understood me easily. I jumped on the back of the scooter and had the feeling I would actually make it. I prepared a tip for the guy as I saw the train station appearing. I thanked the guy with all my heart, jumped off, ran to the counter, without a queue, bought a ticket, grabbed my bag and jumped on the train euphorically. As the sweat left my body at every possible place, I smiled. I made it, I fucking made it.
As I sat there smiling like an idiot, I settled in for ten hours on the train on my way to Chumphon. There I would get a connection to a night ferry to Koh Tao, where I would start a diving course the next morning! Oh how spontaneous travel can be exhilarating! I decided at 10 pm the night before to try this plan after having contacted the diving school and somehow it had actually worked out.