I wish I weren’t so sceptical and sensible. I wish I gave people the benefit of the doubt like Joe does, but it’s awfully tricky in this country to know when people are being genuinely helpful and when they’re trying to scam you.

I say this because we had a pretty crappy few days of driving relatively long distances to get up to Bangkok, and were stuck not feeling well, tired, crabby and looking for accommodation in the late afternoon. We rocked up on a Friday night in a place called Cha’am which is a bit of weekend playground for Bangkokians, and drove up and down the beachfront hotels trying to find somewhere with a room available for our measely budget. Die hards would’ve pulled up at a quiet end of the beach and camped under the casurina trees but I’d have to sleep with a baseball bat and one eye open before you got me to camp on the outskirts of a busy town.

After a few fails, a guy in an orange vest comes over and asks the usual questions ‘where you from, where you go, where you stay etc’ and whilst I do the completely rude ‘thanks but no thanks and cross the road to get away from him, Joe entertains for a while and he insists on guiding us to a hotel…. And I roll my eyes at Joe… but I have no better suggestions so we follow him along, expecting that he’s going to ask for some sort of fee, which, when we finally find somewhere, he doesn’t.

So, I feel bad for passing judgement, but I’m also baffled at how the whole thing works and whether he was paid some sort of commission for bringing us in, and if not, was he just being nice? We tried to ask the hotelier, but once again the language barrier let us down and the guy thought we were trying to ask how much a taxi cost to main road… best left a mystery perhaps.