Recollections of this morning...The V.I.P. bus (ooooooooh fancyyyy) took longer than expected, and was tardy from the very start. A motorbike had picked me up and dropped me off at the roundabout, where 10 or so other passengers were already impatiently waiting. Normally, it's a 6 hour journey from a Bangkok to Trat Province. Today was clearly my lucky day because the voyage ended up taking 8 hours. The female bus attendant apologized to me about good ol' Bangkok traffic. When we arrived at Centerpoint Ferry Pier, every single passenger ferociously hurled themselves off the bus, and shoved in front of everyone else to grab their luggage, and more shoving with a little added elbowing ensued, as we approached the ferry ticket counter. Were we not all boarding the same large ferry, headed for the same island? What is the difference in a matter of minutes? Sheesh! Somehow, common courtesy and manners were conveniently misplaced when the crowd had been festering on a coach for too long?! The shuttle from the coach to the pier was packed to the brim, with not even half a vacant seat. As such, I took made my own standing spot next to one of the rails, and dangled precariously, half inside, and half outside of the vehicle, with my arm wrapped tightly around the rail. A young boy, of about 9 or 10 years of age, with a shaggy, grown out rice bowl haircut, and large, black rimmed spectacles, stood up and gave me his seat. His mother beamed at my protests and chuckled with an ever-so-slight, charming French drawl to her English, "He's just trying to be a gentleman." I think she had a lot to do with that. Well done, mom.
In the interim, my backpack had mysteriously tumbled off the shuttle, unbeknownst to me. I exited the shuttle and stared at the empty cargo area of the shuttle with a look of puzzled bewilderment. The girl from the ticket counter was riding towards the pier on her motorbike, and from afar, I could see my white pack hanging from her left arm. My hero! Again!