Chiang Rai, Thailand, day 12.
Here we are, stuck on this grotesque third world bus to Chiang Khong for the next two hours.
Tomorrow we’ll hopefully cross the border with Laos, where a boat will take us through the Mekong river up to Luang Prabang.
Hopefully, because nothing seems to be quite written in stone, especially when you travel a world ruled by fear, prejudice and a pandemic disease.
Thailand has been kind to us, it already feels like a lifetime ago since our first (and undoubtedly best) pad thai in that crowded street food market in Bangkok; our first summer night, filled with colours and smells.
I lost the count of sweet smiles we encountered since then.
I can’t tell how many times I was lost in a buddhist mantra, carried away by sounds and pictures,
dwarfed by a majestic temple or the dramatic view from the top of a dry and windy mountain.
And then brief and unexpected moments of tenderness, sudden little lanterns shedding a gentle light on stories of people and their simple lives.
Details, hiding away from our praying eyes and confused European minds.