This is a little story about Friday, January 2nd. It was the worst day I can remember ever living through up to this point.
It started out innocently enough. I slept in, lounged around the house until about 1pm. Nick and I had big plans to cross the border into Thailand to watch Return of the King in Nong Khai, where a friend had informed us it was indeed being shown in English. We were going to make a little day of it and even spend the night in Thailand (usually we just cross the border for a few hours to buy groceries).
First, we rode what one of my Austrialian friends refers to as "the chicken bus", the public bus. She calls it the chicken bus because people occassionaly bring their farm animals aboard with them. On this day, however, there were no animals, but there WERE about 4 people on board for every one seat. It was the greatest. Some old lady poked me in the butt.
We got to the boarder after about 45 minutes on the chicken bus. Crossing was uneventful. We went into town and checked in to a really crusty guest house that charged only a $2.00 per night. I figured I could tough it out for one night. The sheets smelled badly and had hair on them already. The bathroom was in the hall way and was super dirty. The guesthouse did not provide soap or towels.
After checking in to the crust-house, we took a motorcycle taxi to our favorite supermarket. One there, Nick realized that he had lost my passport. We looked around the parking lot, informed the security guards at the store, and then went back to the guesthouse to make a search. We came up empty handed, called a friend back in Laos to ask him what to do, and then went to the mall to eat dinner and watch the movie (the movie being the entire reason for the trip).
Of course I had no appetite, what with the prospect of being stranded in Thailand for days and days, but I half-heartedly ate some pizza and then we went to the movies. After about 2 minutes in the movie theatre, it was evident that the movie was NOT in English. Resisting the urge to burst into frustrated tears, I followed my husband back out of the theatre as he requested a refund.
There was nothing left to do that night but go back to the crust-house. We read for a few hours and then tried to sleep. The crust-house was accross the 'street', more like an alley, from a bar, and there was one patron who spoke English and had a voice like Walter Mathou who was yacking away the entire night, past 1 A.M. I listened to his grating voice as he flirted with a 50-year-old Thai woman (I heard her tell him she was 'only 50'), and told her everything about his son back in Germany. I lay in bed wide-awake as fleas from the mattress nibbled upon my flesh, trying to grasp at straws of hope for exiting Thailand one day, and also telling myself not to be mad at my husband, as it was just a mistake. Actually, I remained more in the 'despairing' category than I was 'angry'.
Now it is Sunday, and we have since filed a report with the local police. The passport has not been located, so we will go to Bangkok tonight by train and try to obtain a new one at the US embassy there on Monday morning.
Wish me luck.