It was clear that Lea wasn't getting to Hanoi anytime soon, particularly with all flights overbooked or cancelled due to the coup. Alessio's business trip to Bangkok was in a state of flux and so suggested that they get out of the city, one of Alessio's business contacts was based in Pattaya, a fishing village south of the city. He called his acquaintance and agreed that they would make their way to him.
Lea was in awe of Alessio, and couldn't have imagined how she would have survived without him being there every step of the way through her journey, particularly this last and most traumatic chapter...
Outside the airport he hailed a passing cyclo and instructed him to take them to the Hualumphong train station, the driver glancing at their baggage waggled his head and roared off into the traffic. Although Alessio was frustrated he persevered and finally was able to flag down a taxi, who begrudgingly opened the trunk of the car and helped load the two large suitcases.
They sat sweating and smelly in the back of the taxi as it slowly made its way through the heavy traffic of scooters, cars and roadblocks of tanks that sat astride the road toward the train station.
The progress was frustratingly slow and as they neared the station realized that it would be impossible to take the train, Alessio leaned over and asked the driver to continue onto Pattaya.
The look of amazement passed over the drivers face, but smiling his toothless grin readily agreed. Alessio and he quickly negotiated a price with the use of his fingers and gestures, of which the driver demanded half now. Alessio reached into his pocket but realized his wallet and all his money had been taken by the military during his custody.
He sheepishly turned to Lea and asked if she had any money...