THAILAND: Rainstorms in the mountains can be awfully claustrophobic

Tom and Meow
Tom and Meow

For the past three days you have been living and breathing in the clouds. Your washing has been dripping for as many days (and is now at risk of becoming mildewy), and work in the rice fields has been abandoned until the storm passes.

The rain has also brought with it a giant cocoon of fog that mutes the birdsong and turns the sky the colour of smoked ham in the hours just after sunset. The diffused sunlight is too weak to charge the solar battery so your evenings are spent cooking by torchlight and shaking off the spiders who, emboldened by the darkness, drop from the ceiling to explore your hair.

Tom and Meow
Tom and Meow

The slick condition of the road did not deter the village men from going on their evening whisky run that night. With the beams of their headlights struggling to cut through the white wall of fog, and the moisture in the air absorbing the sound of oncoming vehicles, it’s nothing short of a miracle that they all come home at all.

And they had actually offered to take you along too. Due to your lack of death wish (and also the fact that your insurance would only just cover the cost to repatriate your body), you declined. Two other volunteers took your place and when they returned they were unable to stand straight- but were otherwise unscathed, bar a little liver damage.

Hammock, thailand, cosy,
Rachel, Meow and Misato waiting out the storm

The next morning you find out that they drank about a month’s worth of alcohol units in a matter of hours, and the only thing that saved them from an accident on the way home was death’s reluctance to get his cloak muddy.

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