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I did threaten that there may be a second part to today’s blog – and here it is…

My earlier blog was more concerned with memories. This one’s bang up to date. Today I’ve been hanging around Kanchanaburi. Not the tourist bit near the bridge but the other end where most people (including me) are staying. I love street photography and here’s an ideal place. The roads aren’t too busy and the people are really friendly – and aren’t camera shy.

I spent a couple of hours sat on a street corner just watching the world go by my lens, and one thing really struck me. In Thailand, cars have become monsters. They’re massive and heavy, taking up far more of the public domain than they used to – and I hate to think what the fuel consumption is. Some of the SUV variants are bloody tanks! That was my project for today, look at the reality of life on the roads and here’s some of the pictures…

This is more like it. I’m saying nothing about health and safety, but I’m always impressed by how many people can fit on a scooter. The most I’ve seen is five.
A brace of massive gas-guzzlers – and these aren’t even the worst examples. I couldn’t get a shot of them today but several looked like they wouldn’t have been out of place in a dystopian future like the one portrayed in the ‘Mad Max’ films.
– contrast the gas-guzzlers with this. Pooch-friendly transport. Sadly, I wasn’t quick enough to get a shot of the pillion passenger on another scooter who had a Cockerel tucked underneath her arm.
Then there’s this, which took me completely by surprise. It’s an old British MG. I don’t do cars so I haven’t the foggiest about it beyond its marque.
OK, scooters have an environmental impact too – but at least you can do this and interact with people.
Moody skies over the main drag outside my hotel entrance. Fortunately, the rain never arrived…
The brilliant food stall where I had the excellent but fiery ‘Som Tam’ this morning. This time the lovely woman who runs it is preparing me pork fried rice.
– and here’s the results of her labours. And all for 40 baht (£1). It was delicious.

So, here’s a little snapshot of life in Kanchanaburi and insight into why I’ve really grown to like the place. The people are lovely. Expect something a little different tomorrow as I’m going to be up early to take the train to the end of the line at Nam Tok.

Oh, before I go, I said I’d mention washing machines! There’s lots of launderettes here, mostly new but rarely beautiful, but there’s also this weirdly (to Western eyes) thing where you find a single washing machine plumbed in outside a shop. You bring your own soap-powder, load it with your washing, pay your money – then come back when it’s done. You take it away on your scooter to dry it at home. Sod tumble-dryers for chrissake – this is SE Asia!

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