i woke up this morning to nund trying check my temperature with her hand on my forehead. i’ve been coughing like crazy and apparently she’s worried that i’m sick. i fall asleep, and then wake up again to find out that she had gone out to bring me breakfast, drinks, and cold medicine. wow, that was pretty unexpected. soon after that we go over to her sister’s (Loi) house and then they spent the rest of the day showing me around town. it was really really cool to check out the town from a local’s point of view. also it was a relief to see that they wanted to hang out just for the sake of hanging out… and not for cash, heh.
so, their story is a pretty sad one. they come from a small village about 500 km east of bangkok. their dad was an alcoholic who ended up hanging himself. their mother died shortly thereafter though i’m not sure how. they were stuck having to pay to raise their 2 younger siblings and soon kids of their own as well. unfortunately, there wasn’t really a way for them to earn enough money in the village (especially since they were really hoping to send their younger sister to college, which they never got to go to) so they moved to bangkok. loi got a job as a stripper fairly soon, but nund held out and instead worked as a waitress at a karaoke bar. unfortunately, she didnt really earn enough money to support herself and to pay for everyone back home, so finally she decided to dance at the club. that night that i ran into her was her 4th day on the job.
the apartment that they lived in was tiny and looked pretty depressing. it consisted of just one room (other than the bathroom) with harsh concrete walls and a cold tile floor. there was pretty much no furniture in the room. just a bed area (a pile of blankets, without even a mattress or anything), a tiny wardrobe, a small tv, a shoe rack, and a dish rack. literally… that was it. it made me really sad to see them living like this, especially given why they ended up here in the first place. next, they made lunch, and seeing as there’s no stove, the cooking had to be done on a small electric skillet. despite everything they both seemed fairly happy and chipper that day, although the girl nund is… a bit weird.
bangkok is a huge sprawling dirty filthy city. a lot of people don’t like it, and to be honest i hadn’t really liked a lot of parts of the city i had seen so far. but everything that we did today was actually really cool, mellow, and fun. first we went down to the chao phraya river and hung out on this bridge overlooking the water. it was pretty chill and tranquil down there other than the occasional taxi boat going down the river. after that they showed me the sky-train. it’s this above ground metro system that both of the girls seemed pretty excited about. we then went to this huge park in the middle of town. it was so weird that this was in bangkok! it actually had fresh air, tons of grass, trees, ducks, fountains, etc. this was nothing like the cluttered noisy bangkok i was used to. it was really cool to see a side of the city i had never seen (or even knew that it existed). unfortunately this was the one and only day that i forgot to bring my camera. it would have been cool to take pictures of the park with the bkk skyline behind it.
in the park you can buy bags of bread pieces to feed to the fish. it was pretty trippy cause the water is very murky and you can’t see any fish below at all, but when you throw in some bread all of a sudden you’ll just see these huge mouths with gigantic whiskers pop up from out of nowhere. there was also a few tiny turtles swimming around and it was really funny to see them going for the bread. they were no match for the huge fish, so most of the time they would just be thrown around by the fish splashing as the bobbed up and down w/ their tiny beaks open. on our way out of the park, the national anthem happened again, and time froze just as before. a group of hacky sack players didn’t even bother to catch the ball flying thru the air cause they snapped to attention so fast.
pretty soon it was time for me to pack my stuff up and go and time for the girls to head to work. so we went to grab my stuff and parted. it was pretty sad cause the girl nund almost seemed in tears and kept saying that she didnt want me to go. as i sat in my taxi on the way to the airport, i got really bummed out. i couldnt believe the trip was over. it’s funny, just the day before i had really wanted to go home, but now that it came down to it, i really didn’t want to leave. thailand had become so familiar to me over the course of this month. it didn’t seem like a foreign country anymore… in fact it kind of seemed like home now. i had gotten so used to everything here. this was definitely the one of the best vacations i’ve ever had. i can’t believe how much i did. i really wish i could come back to thailand again soon… but there’s so many places on my wishlist of places to go, and so little time, that i doubt i’ll actually end up coming back. *sigh*.
anyways, now i get to go check out tokyo for a few hours. should be interesting. peace out peoples… see ya saturday night!