It was time to leave George Town and move on. No more uttapam in Little India, no more tandoori chicken at Mustapha’s. On my last evening I went to the frisbee field, but there was no one to throw the frisbee with and when the rain started to fall I walked back home. Home? Well, I guess that’s what it feels like if you’ve been somewhere for a month….
Next day, I checked out and took the ferry to Butterworth. From there I took the commuter train to the border. The landscape was flat and the rice fields shone with a brigthly green hue after the rain. The train intercom issued an interminable stream of information and warnings everytime we left a station. Customers were reminded not to leave their belongings, depart from the train in an orderly fashion and try not to fall on their face or cause any other delay.
The immigration offices of both countries were conveniently located on the platform and the procedures were straightforward so that I was swiftly stamped out of Malaysia and in to Thailand.
It was a very pleasant train and after it got dark and I couldn’t see anymore of the outside world, I got my book out of my bag and while eating my sandwiches, I started reading Graham Greene’s book The Third Man.. Later the train attendant made my bed and I slept like a rose.
Next morning I ordered some breakfast, but it was not quite the feast the pictures on the menu had promised. With three hours delay we arrived in Bangkok, which gave me ample time to finish The Third Man.
It was nice to be back in good old Bangkok and I found some nice lodgings. Somebody had left a Henry Miller at the small pile of foreign books in the lobby and the find of a new book always pleases me inordinately. Not long after I had arrived, I met some friendly Thais who had formed the Bangkok Sketching Club and they were lovely people so I joined them and we made some sketchings and water colours in the park. They then invited me for dinner and drinks and it was really nice. We saw all the videos of Michael Jackson and I was educated on his famous Moon Walk and it was all rather marvellous, even though I don’t really like Michael Jackson very much….Apparently, retired Thai architects do…. and I think I had a lucky escape because we were awfully close to committing group Karaoke….