Too Tightly Wound for Surin

Crossing into Thailand from the little-used border town of O-Smach in north Cambodia lands you in the middle of nowhere.  Once we made it to Surin, we hired this driver to take us to a hotel.  I chose the caption as a play on the line about Martin Sheen’s character in Apocalypse Now, and given the wars and unrest that have afflicted this area for the last half century, it isn’t so far-fetched.  During the American war in Vietnam, many displaced Vietnamese refugees crossed this border, and settled in Surin.  Northern Cambodia was the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge fanatics, and Pol Pot died in a village nearby.  Most recently, Thailand and Cambodia fired at each other here, and it is only recently that the O-Smach border was re-opened.

The aviator glasses and Mao cap give the driver a distinctly aggressive edge, which is enhanced by the schizophrenic dual mirror reflection.  The harsh mid-day light outside catches the streaky windshield and makes the background suitably abstract.