Journal of my Tour by jeep of Thailand, Cambodja and Vietnam, November, 1956, p.39


NOVEMBER, 1956 , page 39

There was a small ferry here and while I waited for it to return, I bought some wire to strap around the jeep battery. Many stories circulate in the East about bus drivers using strings and wires to hold their engine parts together. I think that is ingenious, because the poor condition of the roads shake all nuts and bolts loose eventually, while strings and wires are resilient and can hold at least a week- as proved to be the case here.

Around crepiscule(?) I reached Bovet, the customs office at the Cambodja-Vietnam border, very primitively housed. Numerous white wading birds were unfortunately inaccessible to my camera.

The customs officer was very stiff and formal, till inspection of my passport showed I was not French.

He then changed attitude 180 degrees and would not let me drive on that evening: I had to be his guest for the night! Thus I sat all evening practicing my poor French telling him about Holland and Thailand. He and his Chinese wife treated me to an excellent chicken dinner and cigars, while I reciprocated by opening a tin of biscuits and a can of chocalade milk. It was very pleasant and we became the best of friends. So it was pretty late before I crawled in my mosquito net,

and all too soon the morning cold woke me up with most mosquitoes on the wrong side of the net again!

I ran up and down the road a few times, then took an open air bath, still shivering in the morning cold. After a good breakfast came the sad farewells from my host who promised to visit me in Bangkok in Februari. This promise looked familiar but failed to materialize - as did David and Margareth's...

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