E-Travels With E.Trules.....chiang khong, thailand.....the trip...S.E. Asia Travelogue, Malaysia, Scandinavia, Middle East

the trip

june 17th, 2000

chiang khong, thailand

well, i'm back, you landlubbers. i know, i know, you think i just left. but what the hell, i've been on the "slow boat" - up the mighty mekong for the last 2 fucking days. lonnnnng lonnnnng, beautiful tom sawyer/apocalypse now days on the mighty, muddy mellifluous mekong.

you should have seen the boat. a blue clap board, lao (as in wow!) flat top/tin roofed, diesel puffing tug/ferry dinosaur. huffing and puffing her way UP the mekong - as opposed to DOWN the river ie. AGAINST the flow, as opposed to WITH the flow -- SOUNDS like me already, eh? anyway, she was a bee-yoot. and although they tried to keep me off the roof, it was ultimately and utterly impossible. i mean, whataya supposed to do sit on the tiny hard wooden benches for 48 hours straight while the sun and the rain and the river are shining and pouring and rushing by?

so there i was - bligh/kurtz/narcissus - the only passenger really INTO the river - watching it swirl and change currents every few kinetic and frenetically alive nano-seconds. the simply-clad, lao (as in wow!) peasant/captain commandeering the ship like chris columbus or ferdie magellen... anyone of those mighty river, conquistedoring, syphilis-spreading spanish sea pilots. this guy - our guy - had the touch. the diesel monster humming along in sonorous symphonic perfection, yet never loud enough to drown out the pervasive and even more sonorous "cricket-cricket-cricket-cricket" - jungle rhapsody coming over the transom in four part harmony from the mucho verdant shores of the surrounding jungle. tall green shoreline grasses, banana/coconut/nipah leaf palms, hardwood teaks, rattans, and bamboos, cicadas, gibbons, monkeys, monitor lizards -- a million more/other species i wish i had the pleasure of acquaintance - all bustin' a rhyme - singing sexy solos and careening collaborative choruses from the million-eyed insect jungle lao (as in wow!) orchestree.

wet, pregnant rain clouds hovering over, then enveloping soft green mountain tops - like tender lovers. the peaks bursting the soft gray sky into torrential down-pourings of monsoon madness. bombarding the tin roof like machine gun fire - or mccoy tyner on the jazz piano keys. me not knowing which metaphor to follow - the marty sheen dead-eye soldier of paradise lost up river looking for apocalyptic, deader-eyed, but far-crazier, cave-dwelling kurtz. or -- the tom sawyer/huck finn mighty mississip joni mitchell i'm a free-man-in paris/i'm happy & alive one. all my fellow international passengers - german-french-sweedish-greek - reading their guide books, their travel novellas trying so nonchalantly to avoid the boredom of the lonnnnggg somnambulant daze. me, just riding the wave -- out in the muddy mekong, feeling separate and alone, one of the flotsam and jetsam broken-off tree logs, swirling hither and nither - no keel to my course, just at the omnipotent beck and will of - the river.

i'm now out of lao (as in wow!) - back in better tastin' thailand. cruisin' along the mighty mekong landlocked again - on my rented 100 cc moto-bike. chewin' on hard, stringy sugarcane, leanin' into the windin' thai roads open full throttle. off to the poppy field, hill country tomorrow of "the golden triangle" (burma-laos-thailand). hope to try some things i haven't before....

got it? awright. put that in your pipe and smoke it....

hopin' the grass is growin' through your weeds,


mekong marlon