Friday, 4 March 2011

Northern Thailand -“Sis, I raise a child (spirit). Do you want to see?”

Thaton is a small town about 2km away from Myanmar. That morning, I left YMCA Chiangmai around 7plus am. Took a tuk tuk (30 Bahts, standard fare within town area) to get to Chang Phuak Bus Station.  A staff at the ticket counter tried to tell me no bus to Thaton for a reason but I can’t understand. “Van” ,“Fang” and he pointed to a place about 50m from there. Seems that he is suggesting an alternative to me. That’s fine as I got my map. So, get to Fang and next to Thaton.
As I approached the shop lot, there was a young lady, decent clothing, sitting on a stool with a large blue “transformer”. I recalled back in my young days, I used to sing along these cartoon series song . “Transformer more than meet the eyes”. Now back here, the height of that toy is more than 12 inches. She was trying to move the arm and leg of the toy. Playing with such a big toy?  Cannot find a single van there, so I begin to ask the lady. She was going to Fang too and pointed to me the van ticket counter across the small road at the back. She then took a walk with me to the ticket counter and helped me with language translation.  Next, she rise a question to me. “Sis, I raise a child. Do you want to see?” I looked at her for a few short second before I turned my head to my left to grap a deep breath in and turned back to reply “No”. In this phrase, the “ child” means a “very young spirit”.   We both remained silence for several minutes, before starting to have some casual talking again. Thereafter, we got into the van and my seat number was just beside her.

Later, she got off the van before me and we wish each other farewell and happiness. In my mind, I tried to flash-back the screens of that lady playing with the big toy. Is she alone? or... Anyway, she is a nice lady and very keen to share information.

Northern Thailand -“Get a kick-ass for boarding on bus without ticket?”

Two years ago, I went Thailand to cover Sukhothai and the Northern region. My main communication mode with the locals depend on a tiny translation book (English to Thai and vice-versa).  I find the local peoples are genuinely kind, thoughtful, helpful and willing to share information. Here’s one of the event during my 12 days backpack journey.

I was at Chiangmai bus station trying to purchase a ticket to transfer to Sukhothai. A staff at the ticket counter refused to sell a ticket to me. “No”, “Bus” and he pointed to the bus waiting lane. Ask me to be there? So, I proceed to the lane and to check with a few foreigners sitting on the chairs waiting to get to Sukhotai. Each of them holds a bus ticket purchase from the counter. Running back to the ticket counter again, I said “Sukhothai. One ticket ” but he and the other guy gave me the same response again. I talked to a local who understand a little english and he too pointed to the bus waiting lane.
Some special treatment? I was wondering how to get on to the bus later. "Am I ready to get a kick-ass for boarding on bus without a ticket?"  So, when the bus arrived, I got in and said to the driver “No ticket! Have money!”. His hand “signs” asked me to get into the bus. Whereas, those who understand english looked at me curiously.  Then,  the bus conductor came and I paid for my ticket, happily.  Later on, only to realise that my ticket price was lowered by a few bahts when I checked with a foreign guy sitting beside me. Looking at the bus window and I saw my own reflection…“My old and slightly torn shirt (my left upper arm)”. Oops! that's the cause.