18 June 2014 - THE STRANGER - Southern Thailand


- Southern Thailand -

G'day folks,

Here is another very short anecdote I have written over the years. And, yes, it is a true story.

One early morning on my way home from a festival in Southern Thailand, I sat on the fence of a large hotel, had a smoke and watched the traffic pass. The location was a famous roundabout that was always busy and a place where I had often sat with my camera, waiting for some spectacular scene to capture on film. Some of my best shots had been taken there, like five people and a dog travelling on a small motor bike or a truck full of workers; some even sitting on the roof.

     I was only there for a few minutes when an attractive woman appeared. I said hello and she stopped to chat. She spoke no English, but that was fine because I spoke good Thai. She was a bright, happy woman with a sweet personality and during the conversation I learned lots about her. She had just arrived in the city by train from Northern Thailand; fourteen hours away, had three kids and was seeking employment. Curious, I bluntly asked her how much money she had. To which, she opened a small purse to reveal 150 Baht which is currently $5.17 Australian. The woman had no idea where she would sleep that night.

     Although I’d had a few beers with some Thai friends of mine, I certainly wasn’t drunk. Impulsively, I removed my wallet and gave her 500Baht and crossed the busy road. Naturally she was gob smacked and asked me why I’d given that much money to a complete stranger. The money I'd given her would have bought about forty meals.
     ‘Farang (foreigner), why did you give me money?’ she hollered.
     I turned, smiled and bowed. ‘Because I have it and you need it,’ I said, and headed towards my hotel.
     Further on, I looked back to find her bowing and waving with a beaming smile. Ah ... The 'Land of Smiles'.

     It’s great to share what you have, eh? Life’s short … Use it … There is plenty to do.

*** New review for
'Pa Joe's Place' ***

 “While I was reading, I was in Thailand, going on all those wondrous adventures with Boo. I have read a great deal of excellent books, and this one ranks at the highest end of the scale with all the best ones. First of all, I do not LIKE or DISLIKE your stories, Clancy; I LOVE them. And what I LOVE about them is that every time I pick one up, I am transported to a new world while sitting in my own little bedroom. Boo is the most inspirational kid I have ever read about, and the way that you wrote it, it feels like I knew her.  And not only that I always feel like I am IN the story, experiencing it all with the characters. And I also love the way that I really have to concentrate in order to come back to reality when mum calls me for dinner or bed time. Keep writing your AWESOME stories."

Lauren Crocker, Student, Australia.

I'm ...

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