Thursday, July 24: Bangkok, Thailand
Not much happened on the way to the airport, and the ride to Bangkok was really short. We took a taxi to the train station where we would wait overnight. The train station was locked, and there were a lot of people sleeping outside the station. We went up to a security guard to ask where we were supposed to go and he was really excited to help us out and brought us to a spot near some plants. I had already planned on staying up, so I got out my journal and told Jillian I'd watch our stuff. While we were sitting there we kept hearing something and looked behind us and there were rats and mice! They were actually running over people and tried stealing the tarp from the guy next to us. Let's just say we moved from that spot.
The security guard comes back over with a father and son and says, "They are going to Cambodia too!" We smiled, but just continued doing what we were doing. Jillian and I told the security guard we were from California because in Jillian's experience it's just easier since most people know where California is. Around 2 am the security guard comes back over with a man and says, "He's from California too!" He started talking to us, and we learned his name was Andrew and he currently lived in Poland. It turned out the father and son were also from Poland. The five of us just stuck together and decided we'd try to get to Cambodia together. There are a lot of scams at the border, and we were all aware of them, but decided it would be easier as a group to get through and watch out for each other.
At some point I walked to the 7/11 to get some food and water for the journey. When it was time we all bought our train tickets. It was less than a dollar for the third class ticket! We waited inside and the security guard comes back and yells "USA! USA!" while pointing to this young black guy behind us. He ended up joining our group too. Around 5am we boarded the train and took up a lot of the last car.
Before the train left the guards tried giving us a hard time. They were trying to get us to move to a different car, but we refused. The Polish father and son almost got up and left but we convinced them to stay because the guards weren't actually going to do anything to us. They wouldn't dare do anything to traveling foreigners, the guards just wanted to be jerks. I ended up talking to Andrew and the black guy (I feel terrible that I don't remember his name) for most of the trip. The scenery was beautiful and definitely worth getting no sleep over.