To catch a train

– We can make it to the next station, he said.

I looked down on the small man, not even half my size.

– 400 Baht!
– 200 or I’ll take the morning train.
– Okay farang, let’s go!

I jumped on the motorbike and took a sturdy grip around the waist of the driver, knowing this will be unpleasant, and we took off.

Speeding through downtown Bangkok, cutting red lights and zigzagging between cars at 110 km/h during rush hour… I was completely terrified… Certain to die for the first five or ten minutes, I could do nothing but to hold on.
Then suddenly my state of mind changed. My senses felt sharpened and I started to smile.

There were no fear present anymore when the driver stopped the bike, just as the train came to a halt at the platform. I got off and dug two wrinkled notes out of my pocket. As I handed him the money I looked him in the eyes and maniacally started to laugh
He said something in Thai as I turned around and started walking towards the train, still laughing. I guess it was an insult, but I didn’t mind. I never felt so alive.

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