“Let’s just get to that next pole. We can rest there,” I tell Lluís, pointing ahead about 200 meters.
It wasn’t a pole. It was a half-constructed, load-bearing concrete substructure designed to support the weight of a road or train tracks being built over our heads. In the +33-degree Celsius (91 degree Fahrenheit) hot, sticky and uncomfortable Thai heat the phrase “load-bearing structure” never entered my mind. At that moment, I was my own load-bearing structure, with about 40 pounds on my back. Words didn’t come easy. That pole, or whatever it was, was my salvation, and so was the one after that, and the one after that.