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JOURNAL OF MY TOUR BY JEEP OF THAILAND, CAMBODJA AND VIETNAM

NOVEMBER, 1956 , page 6


I took off with a friendly Chinese neighbor, who surprised me by closing his own shop –unthinkable – and showed me around the town, stopping for numerous ice coffees and visiting the captain of the customs who stamped my passport and documents. Although I appeared to miss some necessary document for my jeep – in Bangkok I had been told that the "red card" was sufficient – it took me a half hour of de-rinking we-whiskey with him while trying to talk with him in French and with his wife in Malaysian before he consented to let me go on, although he also invited me to be his guest overnight. This offer I attribute to the many toffees I handed out to the entire family, so that my critical friends in Bangkok who had given me the can of toffees indirectly contributed to the success of my trip …
Walking back to the workshop I figured out a reasonable fee for the repair job. Exactly at midnight, the job was done. Two drunken boys undertook the negotiations on behalf of the owner-mechanic who just let them. They asked about three times as much as I had figured, and I could barely get the owner to speak until a policemen became involved and we settled for my estimate. The four of them decided to spend some of this on a late night dinner and were so kind as to invite me along.
Because of all this delay, I decided not to stay in the town and in the middle of the night I drove on, passing the borderpost with one of my new friends who went inside and interpreted the mumbling of the sleepy guard as consent for me to cross. From here it was some 8 kms to the Cambodjan counterpart borderpost, so that I stopped halfway in this No Man's Land to pitch my tent. Notwithstanding the delays, I had done 210 miles that day, and the counter showed 64377.
End of First Day
I slept very well !


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