Back to Bangkok by train
Pazu's left hand (or arm) was really painful and he couldn't manage to ride a long distance right now, so we rid a train to go back to Bangkok, Oat was unusually helpful and he volunteered to take almost all the luggage, including Pazu's trailer. Pazu's bicycle was as lightweighted as when he was going out to buy noodles only. (Ayutthaya to Bangkok, by train, Thailand
Minor accident, left hand injured
The cycling police, I mean Pii-Dtong and Pii-Uan took us around again in the evening with their friends, but Pazu fell down from his bicycle carelessly, it really hurt... so nothing more to write today. The photo was taken before the accident. (Ayutthaya, Thailand
A t-shirt for Kong Junior, finally
Oat and Pazu went to the night market, and they finally bought me (again, "me" means Kong junior the little bear) a t-shirt (20 baht), beautiful wasn't it? And I guess the guy on the shirt was Bruce Lee, the late kung-fu star, but they weren't very sure. The red character was "Dti" meaning little brother, a word from the Teochew dialect. (Ayutthaya, Thailand
Chinese students from Guangxi
Well Ayutthaya wasn't very big so we met the cycling police again at the university area. He suddenly told Pazu that he just saw a Chinese student, would you like to talk to her? Yes sure. Then we cycled back to find the Chinese students. They were all from Guangxi and said they paid US$1000 for a 10-month course in Ayutthaya, including accomodation and school fee, sounds like a good deal, perhaps Pazu should consider joining a similar course if he was going to stay in Thailand for any longer. The girl at the front asked Pazu, "Why are you taking our photo?" "Because I want to post it on my website!" To be more precise it should be called a blog, a weblog, but you can't expect them to know, can you? :P (Ayutthaya, Thailand
We met two cycling police in a temple, we actually read something about them long time before in a "tourist magazine" so we felt very happy to see them. And we were indeed very lucky too because they then took us around by some really "unbeated tracks" and every time we entered temples with them, it was free... the guy on the left was Pii-Dton, the right one was Pii-Uan (meaning "fat", maybe he used to be fat when he was small?). We also went to the police station, we took some photos, and Oat did an interview, perhaps Pazu would post it here too later (when he finished editing, which may take a year or two.) (Ayutthaya, Thailand
Dual pricing system
And of course Oat and Pazu toured around the many temples in Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya served as the capital of Siam (now Thailand) from about 1351 until 1767, when it was sacked by the Burmans (Burmese) and the capital was moved to Bangkok. Several magnificent Buddhist pagodas, built before the Burman invasion, are still standing. Almost all temples require a ticket (bad news), and the worse news was the dual pricing system, 30 baht for foreigner, 10 baht for Thai.
Pazu didn't say it wasn't fair for foreigners to pay more at these government-subsidized venues
, it was just bad news. Hey but Oat had a solution, he always went and bought the ticket for us. Wearing those funny cycling shirts and shorts Oat was suspected of being a foreigner too, Oat then asked, "Do you want to see my ID card?" The ticket seller would have no doubt that Oat was Thai (because of his accents), and they would then assume Pazu a Thai too. Pazu managed to speak Thai fairly, but can never make the perfect sound, that's bad. Anyway, this blog is going to have a Thai version, sooner or later. (Ayutthaya, Thailand
An Australian English teacher named Catherine
Then Oat came today from Nakhon Panthom to join Pazu for the Ayutthaya's trip, we stayed together at Tony's Place at the "art gallery", 200 baht for a night, quite a good value. Tony isn't a foreigner, he's a Thai who spent some time in America before. Oat seems to be quite okay with his left foot to ride the bicycle. He rid as fast as before, but Pazu was weeker now after two months of "rest", he got some serious sunburn too because he forgot to put on some sunblock.
Pazu has another friend in Ayutthaya, she was Catherine who used to teach English in Dongbei of China and now in Ayutthaya. They first met in Nha Trang of Vietnam, it was nice to see her again! (Ayutthaya, Thailand
After the BTS trip Pazu rid his bicycle alone to Ayutthaya, which should be about 73km north of Bangkok. But Pazu has never been good at telling directions, so he was lost again. He actually asked for help from local and a driver told him that the way to Bang Pa-in (on the way to Ayutthaya) was right over the other side of a flyover, a big flyover, and it was a super-highway.
Pazu didn't notice the problem until he saw another sign, the minimum speed was 80. Then some highway staff came (with their vehicle) and told Pazu very politely that he shouldn't go this way, Pazu wasted about 30km to get to Ayutthaya at last. On the way he saw an Ultraman mask on a government building, as to what it was, Pazu really got no idea. Perhaps he should ask Oat, but where was Oat at that moment? (Bangkok to Ayutthaya, 104.4km, Thailand
BTS mid-night trip
Do you still remember a friend of Pazu that used to show a middle finger in this blog? He wasTai (nothing to do with Thailand) and he came back again to work for the BTS for the news or video delivery system. As promised he took me, Pazu and Oat to the metro during mid-night when everything was closed. We ventured into the very restricted area for staff only, it was fun to be there (for the first 30 minutes), but the train was moving from Chaktuchak to another terminal, then back and forth and back and forth, it turned out to be a little bit too cold for us. Thanks Mr Tai for taking us there anyway, of course, sure! (Bangkok, Thailand
It's another funny t-shirt I found in a market. (Bangkok, Thailand
Oat's "birthday cake" for Pazu
Oat went to the hospital, the doctor checked his wound and said, "You don't have to wash it anymore, and how long has you been plastered?" Two months was the answer, the doctor was genuinely surprised and said, "Then you should take that out now." So Oat went to the plaster room and the technician (also called "mo", same as doctor) used an electric saw to cut the plaster professionally, Oat was, however, freaked out by the sound of the saw, he was a piece of bike frame under repait. And today is Pazu's birthday, Oat said Pazu should think the plaster as a birthday cake, and we should sing a birthday song when the doctor cut the plaster. Do you think it's a funny joke, Pazu said he didn't, and asked Oat not to be kii-niao
First time in two months
With a mixed sense of delight I'm very happy to tell you that Oat could ride a bicycle for the first time since the accident two months ago. Oat's mom actually told Pazu not to let him ride a bicycle in any situation and Pazu was authorized to hit Oat if he dared to violate this order. Sorry that Pazu couldn't help much in fact because Oat once said, "You know, I was born to ride!
" ... But do you notice that Oat's left leg was still in a plaster leg cast? It was no small achievement because he actually rid by one leg, and his average speed was 25km/h!
Of course we did take more photos on the day of the Queen's Birthday so let me post some more here. Thailand government urged his people to save energy because electricity supply was low during the hot summer, but nothing could stop them from decorating the streets with funny lights. This was Ratchadamnen Road, near Khao San.
And there were Muay Thai
boxing in Sanam Luang (the Royal Playground) for little girls from all parts of Thailand, but that was quite boring anyway.
Didn't I tell you the little girls Thai boxing was boring? But Thai people seemed to think differently, they struggled to find the best position to watch this uneventful contest.
Then there was a real fight nearby as usual
, two mafia groups fought each other right in front of many people. Some emergency medical service volunteer teams came to help (because the police were busier to do something else, or what?) Then to many people's shock, a volunteer from Luam Gatdanyu was shot dead! It wasn't even on the next day's newspaper because the newspaper editor didn't want to bother the royal family? Funny it may have sounded to you, but I'm not kidding! (Bangkok, Thailand
Today is the Queen's Birthday and also the Mothers' Day of Thailand, we went to have some yaki shabu
buffet dinner at Daidomon with Oat's mom and his classmates, Neung (meaning one), Mapai (meaning bamboo) and one more guy that Pazu couldn't remember his name (the guy in white shirt). It is in fact quite special that Oat would combine an old friends' gathering and a Mothers' Day celebration together. From what Pazu could remember, most of his old classmates in Hong Kong hadn't ever met his mom, it seemed that they belonged to two different communities.
You can see how hungry Oat was...
Thais always have their ways to blend with the other culture, here're some finest examples I've found in the night market. 555! (PS: "555" has nothing to do with the cig***tte, it just means "haa-haa-haa" in Thai! :P)
Four years ago Pazu met a Japanese friend in Tibet, they didn't have chance to talk much except some diplomatic nodding of acknowledgement. The second time they met in Kathmandu of Nepal it was just quite the same. The third time when they saw each again in Sarnath of India, near the famous/notorious Ganges, it would be really strange if they didn't say something else. They actually stayed at the same room inside Nichigatsuzan Horinji
temple (Sun Moon Mountain Lotus temple) for 3 weeks, this Japanese guy named Tomoharu, from Yokohama.
The 4th time Pazu and Tomoharu met each other (again with some surprise) was also in the same temple, Tomoharu bought a motorcycle in Nepal and wanted to travel overland but then unfortunately got a mail from his family that his grandpa was diagnosed terminal cancer with 3 months remained for his life or what so Tomoharu had to shorten his trip to 3 weeks before going back. And when he drove his motorbike back to Nepal (and sold it later), he stopped at the temple again. This was the last time Pazu met him until today.
They kept exchanging emails infrequently then one day Tomoharu said he bought a RTW ticket and was going to travel around the world in 90 days! He flew from Japan to Vietnam, then to Thailand (and met Pazu here), and he was going to take another flight to Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand), Nepal, India, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Germany, Morocco, Portugal, US of A (New York), Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico and back to Japan... or something like this.
Pazu though," Tomoharu must be crazy or he wouldn't waste money this way!!" Nonetheless Pazu asked Kong Junior to write on this blog: "Have a nice trip & take care! You look really fat!"
Finally we met his mom again!
We went to the police station in Nonthaburi to discuss the compensation (from the drunk motorcyclist), but to our very astonishment, the motorcyclist was under 16 years old so he should be questioned by the police with the presence of his mom. He definitely didn't look like an underage, we even thought he was around 40 y/o. While most Thais look younger than their real ages, this stupid driver must be quite an exception.
Just when Pazu stepped into the police station, somebody called out his name which gave Pazu quite a heart attack, it was Oat's mom!
To explain the shock of Pazu I have to tell you something first. After Oat was hit by the drunk motorcyclist, one thing that kept bemusing Pazu was the fact that Oat's mom still hadn't been informed about Oat's accident. Oat didn't want to tell his mom because he didn't want her to be too worried (and didn't want her to trouble him??), then later when Oat was discharged from the hospital (which was only 5 minutes from his home), he felt his mom would be very angry if she was revealed the fact, so he just made up a story that he found a job in Phuket or what.
It was a Mom's friend who was working at the police station told her the fact at last, and she phoned Oat's manager to confirm it.
You can imagine the shock of her when somebody told her that her son was injured, and injured a month ago!
She wasn't very angry at Oat, because Oat simply told her that it was Pazu who lied to her (???) and Mom said she wanted to hit Pazu (!!!!).
But Mom was as nice as before, she prepared some "gung che naam bplaa" (raw washed in fish sauce) and durians for us for dinner tonight. It's yummy!
The photo was taken inside Oat's home, the Niti bear was a gift from Pazu 6 months ago and Mom said she was too afraid to make it dirty so she just wrapped it inside a plastic bag, for most of the time in the past six months! Are you happy to be out at last?
Another friend from HK
Chester was an old secondary school friend from Hong Kong who unfortunately fell into the career as an English/Geography teacher, though he couldn't even recall the name of the capital city of Switzerland but nobody has much expectation for the education there anyway. Pazu wouldn't' say Chester was a big good friend of him when they were at the same school, not even at the university, and indeed Pazu hadn't met him ever since graduation (or may be they had met each other once or twice but Pazu's mind left no place for such unimportant encounters). It was therefore, quite a surprise that Chester ICQ-ed Pazu a few days ago that he wanted to see him in Bangkok. Chester and his friend Yip came to Bangkok and Pattaya (WHAT are you doing there!!) for a few days only, chopping chopping
. This photo was taken inside the Burger King of Khao San Road.
Then after a few days Chester finally found out Pazu had written something about him, and here's a guestbook entry from him:
"Hey, Seylo! Just to clarify a few things:
1. I don't even have much expectation towards the Education bits here in Hong Kong, even if I am working as a teacher here.
2. Just wanted to see you because this could be a very 'strange' experience of meeting a secondary school friend somewhere outside Hong Kong, especially for those who have not really make the arrangement. Of course this is my pleasure to meet you, Pazu and Oat!
3. Yes, and I am still figuring out what I have done in Bangkok and Pattaya, seemingly nothing!"
Oat's big project
These days (or the whole past week) Oat has been busy doing what he called a "big project", that was to make the flashlight for his future "rescue bike" (for the voluntary rescue service). He's almost finished, and here's a photo and a video
of it. Have I told you that Oat is a member of a rescue team around Khao San Road? If you see a guy wearing a white shirt with the word S.M.A.R.T.
and ride a white bicycle with this flashlight, you know he's Oat, and say hi to him. Not now though, he's still not yet recovered fully.