Overnight rain means one thing in particular – it is as inevitable as a very inevitable thing indeed. Walking down the soi this morning – having left the house early especially – I had to skirt round the deeper puddles and then the mud where the guys are building what is said to be a church. Round the corner and up to the main road – where a middle-aged woman in somewhat unusual clothes had stopped to wai the statues in the middle of the bak soi – before (followed by two younger women who did exactly the same thing) completely failing to look right before walking across the road and nearly getting smeared into religious jelly by the oncoming traffic. By that time, initial impressions had been confirmed – the traffic was abnormally heavy, the bus stops all had lengthy queues and there was not an available taxi to be seen. Waiting for a taxi in the aftermath of a rainstorm has its distinctive characteristics – first is the opportunity it offers the hopeful passenger to relish the pollution along Ladprao Road (including gaseous, particulate and noise) while having to hop out of the way when a vehicle comes along determined to extract maximum splashage of poor pedestrians. However, there is something more irritating: when I arrived, I stood a couple of steps behind a woman who was already waiting who was in turn standing a little downroad from a couple also apparently waiting for a taxi (and who gave up after just 15 minutes – wimps!). As the time ticked along to a 25-minute wait without one single free taxi passing by, two people came and stood behind me. One was a female university student (they wear distinctive uniforms) accompanied by a fat, stupid-looking boy also in university uniform. After a few minutes I could hear them talking to each other and then, at a snail’s pace, they walked past me and the woman in front of me and took up a position ten yards further up the road with a view to stealing any taxi that came along. Reader, I stabbed them both. Well, no, I didn’t of course but, faced with the choice of confronting the slugs or giving up the whole thing as a bad idea, I swallowed my bile and began to walk down the potholed pavement, dodging all the many impediments of Ladprao Road.