Sunday, February 27, 2011

Under cover of the night

For the past few weeks i have been coming home from work in darkness. There are a number of problems associated with this,       In this part of the world, the light starts to fade buy there is very little twilight time. Within 25 minutes it's pitch black.    Just 20 minutes difference in the time of your journey will dictate just how many insects you swallow along the way.   Apart from ingesting the creatures, i've also been hit full in the face by larger bugs. One of them had particularly hard wing cases and was very painful.
                          Another thing that makes my journey fraught with danger is the amount of people that don't seem able to distinguish between day and night and travel the pitch black roads with no lights. I've had a few near misses with such people. Some of them continue to think that it's ok to ride on the wrong side of the road if they are only going a few hundred yards before turning right. This practice is dangerous enough during the day. But at night with no lights is a recipe for disaster.
                          The closest call i've had to date was with an elderly gentleman pushing a handcart that was piled improbably high with logs and branches. His cart was unlit and appeared from nowhere out of the gloom. I just managed to swerve at the last second to avoid him. I came close enough for a twig on one of the branches to throw a scratch across my left cheek. Of course, in the finest traditions of being a farang in Thailand, it would have been "my fault" if i had ploughed into him!
                          Then there is the surface of the road itself. Traveling the same route to and from work every day, i pride myself on knowing where all the potholes and cracks in the tarmac are waiting to damage man and machine. It's amazing how very different everything looks after sunset. My headlight throws sinister and unfamiliar shadows on the surface. The beam has to be dipped and my concentration confined to just a few yards in front. Under these conditions hazards appear out of the darkness almost before it's too late to avoid them.  Add to this confusing mix the odd pedestrian wandering aimlessly along the unlit rural roadways and you have a dangerous and stressful journey home at the end of the day.
                      My timetable at work doesn't change again until the end of April when i will again be coming home in daylight. Until then i will just have to take my chances.    Wish me luck !

2 comments:

  1. Tom , Glad to see you posting again , wondering what happened to you , sent you an e-mail and no word back , kinda had me worried , Glad to see you back , you were missed , and I hate the night drivers with no headlights and almost none have taillights , pretty scary riding scooter at night stay careful . Malcolm

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  2. HOW DID I MISS THIS POST? Sorry I didn't see it Tom and great to read another of your blog updates. I know you haven't come to grief, due to your recent comments on Cooee...those roads can be dangerous even in broad daylight, be careful out there.

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