May 9 to 11 (or so), 2012.

We’re making our way towards Malaysia now, first stop Trang. Bus ride in the morning and we arrive in the early afternoon. We search out a guesthouse, find one and I’m hit by another straw in my basket. There is initially some discussion about the price and whether we want to pay that much so I go back inside and start trying to negotiate a better price when one of our group comes in and walks right in front of me, interrupting, and says to the clerk that they’ll take a room, the “best one please”. I’m literally shocked speechless by this, I was trying to get us all a better deal and these actions have basically just killed any chance of that. However I don’t want to raise a fuss so I try to ignore it and we all go to our rooms. We walk around the town later. I want away from them now so I plan to head to the train station to find out about options and to my surprise everyone wants to come with me, fine. I figure out my options (it turns out a bus is my best bet) and we spend the afternoon wandering around town. It’s not very touristed which is a nice change in Thailand. We find a market and everyone disperses without a word of warning, one minute we are all together and then we’re not. The market is a warren of small shops and stalls, once you lose someone you never know if you’ll run into them again. Surprisingly we do and actually all manage to go for coffee together. We also manage to keep it together somewhat when we decide to go for dinner at a street food stall area, to me this feels like luck more than planning, but at this point I really don’t care too much, I’m over it. I take an early night as I plan on leaving early the next morning, I’m headed off on my own to Hat Yai, my last stop in Thailand.

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I arrive in Hat Yai and find a place to spend a night, it’s kind of dismal but super cheap so it’ll do. I spend the rest of my day wandering the town, I find a massive night market and take obvious pictures of food and other pictures less obviously – of Muslim women selling all sorts of food and Nurses in full starched white regalia buying food on their dinner break from a nearby hospital. It’s twilight and I take a wrong turn, I end up on a street that feels a little too empty and male mechanic dominated for comfort, it’s quite a long street and thankfully I make it to the corner without any incident. I arrive back to the area around my guesthouse and find something to eat just as the rain comes again. Monsoon season is on in full in Thailand, I’m so ready for some unadulterated sunshine again. Malaysia here I come!

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