Today 2 Canadians - Susan and Brock walked past our office looking for tourist information so we recommended Mae Top waterfall and introduced our project to them. They seemed to be really impressed with what we were trying to do in the area and especially liked my poster on sustainable tourism. So they agreed to do a day trip with us, Janjira came too.
First we went to Kaew Komon cave and then Mae Top waterfall. However unfortunately due to the heavy rains the ‘main pool’ at the mouth of the waterfall seemed too deep and the water too heavy for safe swimming so they swam in the smaller pool instead. Despite this setback they seemed to enjoy it.
Back to our office in the evening we had dinner in our living room/front of the office. It’s definitely becoming more cosy, as we’ve had huge windows put in at the front so it’s much more open, and you can see people coming and going on the street. This is one thing I love about Asian countries, everything is more open, I guess its because of the hot climate so doors and windows of houses are always wide open, the house and family life overflows out onto the street. Not like in the west where we’re all tucked away in our box houses, it feels more isolated.
I love having dinner in traditional Thai style sitting on a straw bamboo mat, no cutlery needed as its all done with the hands. We had some leftover sticky rice and curried barbequed fish wrapped in banana leaf which I warmed up by putting it in a rice cooker steamer then Pat nipped out to the local roadside vendors to buy beef soup, papaya salad, and barbequed pork. Mmmmmmmmmm. Then Mae Kruu, bless her who I think everyday has a little gift for us, gave us some ‘gai pulot’ which is originally is a Chinese dish of boiled egg with pork. Everyday she brings us a little something, the other night it was soy sesame milk, the day before it was a bag full of soy beans which you can eat just as you would eat peanuts. With such a variety of dishes I enjoyed chomping at each one and found it difficult to stop!
After dinner we were watching tv, Pat swinging on his hammock and me on our straw bamboo mats. Then our neighbor, a Muslim man who is also our landlord summoned Pat outside to have a quiet word. There was a Thai lady outside, the landlord said that this lady wanted to know if Pat would take some people to the Thai/Myanmar border, these people however didn’t have Thai ID cards. Of course Pat declined, saying that “he didn’t want to have any trouble with the police”. The lady said that the people would have ID cards on them, Pat replied “they are not real IDs” she said “how do you know?”. Pat said “I know this story a lot, of course they are fake IDs”. So the woman drove away unsuccessfully. Having worked for an NGO whose main cause was to work against human trafficking on the Thai/Myanmar border, I found it fascinating to see this in practice and to be approached by an actual ‘broker’, by this I mean a broker of people, as essentially she is buying and selling human lives.