Reeking Havoc

Our snorkeling time is over and we headed back to the mainland today. Longtail boats brought everyone out to the speedboat which waited in the sea between Adang and Lipe. So we were once again bouncing across the waves with an overloaded boat of Thai tourists and vomiting European infants.

One thing Thais use for nausea is a little stick that looks like chapstick but is actually a menthol eucalyptus/camphor tube, like smelling salts, which they wave beneath their nostrils for relief. It works too. But that’s not its only use. I have been to some pretty smelly countries – garbage, animal excrement, sewage, pollution, you name it – and Thailand is no exception. Tourists walk around and ask, How the heck do people stand the smell around here? Well, the Thais are interesting in that I don’t think they CAN stand the smell. I see many of them sitting outside their shops or in the street or at the park with one of these Vicks Vapo sticks practically jammed up their noses. I don’t blame them. I picked one up myself.

So we hopped the bus to Krabi, a province that was hit by the tsunami. It would take us four hours to get there and the A/C on the bus wasn’t cutting it. We sat in the front seat and watched the traffic with horror. An Italian woman sat down across from us after moving up from the back seat where her son had just vomited. The bus attendant didn’t look too happy. Clean up was wrapped into a plastic bag and thrown out the window.

We stopped at a bus station halfway to take a bathroom and snack break. Back on the bus we were about the depart when a couple of new tourists joined us. Two Euro backpackers with dreadlocks and such climbed aboard and trundled down the aisle. All the Vapo sticks came out as they passed.