The room at the Sawasdee House was no bigger than a cell. Correction: it was no bigger than a double bed. On several occasions, while rumaging around in it, I had left my bag outside because it barely fitted with me in the room. I even forgot it outside while I went for a shower: it was still there when I came back. But today—to my considerable annoyance—I found that I had left it out overnight and it was gone.
I wasn’t worried: I carry my passport, ticket and most of my cash in a moneybelt on my body and most of my journal had been photocopied, but it was annoying because I had put 1000 Baht in my wallet to pay for a trip to Kanchanaburi to visit the tiger temple. The trip would have to be cancelled, because my ticket was also in the wallet. I figured I’d better tell the lady at the agency that I would not be requiring my seat on the minibus. But first of all I checked out of Sawasdee House. It was still early, but not so early that people had not yet begun to check out, as had been the case when I arrived the day before at 6:30 in the morning on the night bus from Hat Yai. I found a room without difficulty in a guesthouse hidden in a little alleyway lined with stalls, which nearly obscured the view to the entrance. Then I went to find the lady at the ticket agency.
“Oh, I remember you. You can still go! Bus not here yet.”
The bus was late, but I would have to change my last dollars to pay for the entrance fee and expenses. Still—this was my last chance to get to Kanchanaburi. The lady personally walked down the road with me to find a money changer, then pointed out the bus when it arrived. Alas, the driver did not accept my explanation for the lacking ticket and when I looked back at the shop, the counter was deserted. The other tourists were getting twitchy, we were already late, and suddenly I wasn’t so sure about this: “Oh, sod it. I better stay. Have a nice trip!” A wave, a smile, and I was back on the street
Something was nagging at the back of my head. I could not quite put a name to it. I went for breakfast, mulling this over.
Sure, the loss of the daypack bothered me: my little Sarawak keyring, my diary, the parts of my journal which I had not photocopied, including all entries from Rinca Island to Bali. But it was my own stupidity that it was lost and I did not feel victimised as I had when my backpack was stolen in Makassar. However, there was something else missing.