Around 6 p.m, I suddenly reached Aranyaprathet, a small bordertown. I saw several cute poney carts filled with schoolkids who screamed to me excitedly: "OK !", instead of the usual "Pharang". American influence, thus, rather than French (from which derives the word 'pharang')
However, nothing was ok, because after tanking once again, the jeep refused to start. The gasstation owner tried something, which made it go for a short distance only, and in the middle of my turn back the engine stopped once again and I was sitting across the narrow road on top of a dike. Two men were about to help, gbut while I climbed out of the jeep, it started to move and before I could do anything, it rolled down into the ditch. In retrospect, this was rather funny dumb, of course, not to have used the handbrake
But at the time I was rather annoyed that the two men did not raise a hand to stop the jeep but just stood there with bulging eyes watching the drama unfold. We did manage to start the engine, but the wheels turned uselessly in the thin mud and I turned off the engine when I only worked our way deeper and deeper in the mud and risked getting water in the engine and my boots.
Half an hour later, a cranetruck dragged us out with much swearing and ruinig only the bumper and not the steering wheel and its appurtenances.
In the meantime it had turned dark and so looked my future. In a series of timy forward shocks I made it into town where I was referred to a dirty small garage of which the boss, however, did inspire confidence. He immediately started work for hours without any help, even though a group of noisy teenagers hung around and drank so much that they started to become obnoxious on this Saturday night.