Finally. Arriving at destination safely this morning!
So glad to have arrived safely at my destination this morning. The sun was getting hot by the minute as the dry season had started. The train was full of Thai passengers as international travel has been put on hold. A few expats already living here could be spotted on the platform. It took less than five minutes for passengers to leave the platform.
My tuk-tuk driver was late as I told him to take it easy. I did not want him to get up too early as he was ill for the whole week. He told me on the phone that he had to be brought to hospital by his son last week in the middle of the night. The doctor told him he suffered from congested blood vessel in his brain. He spent three nights in hospital and seven days resting at home. I was very surprised that he almost suffered from a stroke. He didn’t smoke or drink alcohol and he was rather slim. So, from now on he will have to watch what he eats!
The railway station seemed so quiet and calm while I was waiting for my driver. This station is quite old, about fifty years old. During normal time there would be lots of backpackers on the train for a connection to Laos and the famous Wang Wiang.
I like the quiet moment to just watch the surrounding and trains. In the future this station will become very busy as it will become an important hub for imports from China. There are supposed to be high speed train traveling all the way from China through Laos and Thailand. So I should enjoy the calm and peaceful railway station as long as I could.
I love watching the railway staff working around trains. These people are very friendly and hard working. The pandemic has affected their work routine and many trains were not canceled. So, many staff could not earn extra income from overtime work. I do hope that tourism would begin again soon, at least for internal tourism. People do need to work as much they could so that they could make a living for their survival. The hotel industry has been hit quite hard.
This small border town of Nongkhai has become very quiet with less than a dozen expats living here for over a year since the international lockdown. These are very lucky people as they are still living happily with the usual routine of going shopping and walking along the river in the evening to watch sunsets. Some expats still enjoy their daily biking along the quiet roads. The air is fresh and clean, the cost of living is very cheap but it’s a quiet little town with not much night life. For all the big and luxurious shopping centers and restaurants, we have to go to the next city about thirty minutes’ drive away. There is also an international airport in Udon Thani, which used to be an American airbase during the Vietnam war. There you could find many elderly expats who have settled there for retirement.
Have a nice weekend!