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March 19, 2005

Hitchhiking in Khao Lak

Hitchhiking the mile or so down the road has been a fairly easy prospect. Mostly I've ridden in the back of pickup trucks, though I did get one ride up front in the air-conditioned cab. The driver never understands where you are going (although s/he always will nod and tell you he does), so you bang on the side of the truck when you need to get out. Sometimes a volunteer with a motor scooter will give you a lift as well. Generally people go in small groups.

A guy I talked to last night said he had his thumb out by the side of the road, and a cluster of four cars approached. All four cars stopped to give him a ride. The people here have been very supportive of the volunteers this way.

At night, it's a bit of a different story. The Thais believe that when someone dies, their soul hangs around for 100 days before moving on. This is why the volunteer center is organizing the huge 100 Days Festival for April 2-4, as a ceremony to release these spirits and send them on peacefully.

Anyway, it's harder to get a hitch after dark, as the Thais think you are a spirit wandering, waiting to go home to a place they cannot take you.

Luckily the walk isn't far.

Posted by sedda at March 19, 2005 07:21 AM