A Chinese town in South Thailand
I was sitting in the train and had just become a friend of a friendly girl from Hat Yai when the train arrived at Tung Sung, so in a hurry I said goodbye to my new friend. I would be picked up at the train station by the family of Ricky's wife. Some people came to me "You friend Charlie?". Charlie? Who the bloody hell is Charlie? No of course not. I am a friend of Ricky from Belgium. "Yes Charlie". Ok maybe he did forget to tell me that his nickname here is Charlie. In the back of the police truck I was brought to a house that I would never build for myself, but here I was renting it. It's a typically Thai house with a huge living room and a lot of unpractical small rooms. And of course a high wall around it, no trees in the garden and an ugly blue with gold steel gate as entrance. Not my cup of tea, but mai pen rai.
When I arrived there were some family members also staying in the house, but they would leave the next day. Well the sould, but actually they left the next week. And one of the rooms was rented to 2 student girls at the local University. So actually I was not renting a house but a room. Now you would think "That's nice two female room mates" but as I was a guest of the family of a good friend, I remained at a save distance of that fun.
After bringing my stuff to my room I took a shower, to see that actually the hot water machine that should be there was not there. And actually there were some more things missing in the house, like a hot water cooker, a motorbike and some other things. Of course I did not mention this at first but I did mention it later to my friend Ricky in Belgium. And what a surprise within a week it all was back, except the motorbike. And it was all brand new. To my friend they had told they story that they needed money and had brought it to the pawn-shop. But then why get it back all new? Well later I heard the full story. One of the handsome boyfriends of one of the lovely students' girls had stolen everything.
You can hardly blame the family, they were only suppose to take care of the house (and being paid for that), not to rent it out to students and making money with it! But now it would be my house, well and that of the 2 girls of course. And as I was staying there they did not dare to invite other boyfriends anymore. If they did come along they would be waiting outside the ugly gate at the entrance of the garden. At a save distance of that weird white man.
I started to wander around the small city and did realize that I was almost the only foreigner living here in the city itself. As a result of that almost nobody speaks English and I did not spoke Thai at all in those days. And as there was no motorbike and I could not rent one I was isolated in this small town of Chinese immigrants. I could ask someone for the direction to a shop but hearing someone speaking English they would simply walk away. I finally did find an older man who did speak good English and I did meet his daughter who was studying "Tourism" in Phuket. They had a small restaurant and it became my daily escape of my isolation of reality. The old man even had some tourist information about the town and area and he showed me around. He liked to use his English. Maybe the area was actually nice and beautiful but I started to fail to see that.
Living at my house continued as it started. There was a marriage of family member and the party would be held at.. ? Right you guessed well, "my" house. Ok no problem my friend had told me that already. What he did not know that a week before about 6 family members would sleep and stay in the house to prepare for the party. And that the party took 3 days. And that the all bunch of family stayed another week to clean up the mess. And then when finally everybody was gone, the nearby family would come everyday to check the house, clean the garden or to borrow something. It started to irritate me every day more and more. Later thinking of it, it might be that they were just walking around to get me in contact with one of the still not married twins of the family. My God, imagine trapped in Tung Song!
It was somewhere in the middle of the month and I was bloody missing my privacy and my party life in the Big Mango. So suddenly I decided to leave this pack-hole and as quickly as possible. I packed my back, walked to the 7/11 for a drink and took a motor-bike taxi back to pickup my luggage. I did put the monthly rent on the table and left for the train station. I was not happy and in a hurry to escape stupid questions of the family. I paid the motor-bike taxi a 50thb and he looked to me like I wanted to buy his bike. I waited on the train station and I could already hear the train coming. With a relieved feeling I did sit down on my second class sleeping berth and watched Tung Sung fading away in a misty afternoon. Soon someone walked by to sell some drinks and I bought a fanta orange. Willing to pay I opened my wallet to see that I had paid the taxi-boy not 50thb but my last 1000thb. At least someone in Tung Sung had a happy day.
The next day I arrived in Bangkok and after a quick ATM visit I took a taxi back to my favorite area Phra Kanong and I was lucky my old room was free again within 5 days. I emailed my friend Ricky in Belgium to explain all. He reacted a bit unfriendly first. It seems that the family told him that I left without paying. So someone did steel the money? One of that lovely twin's maybe? I did never return to the Tung Sung or actually to the south at all.
Published on 10/23/10