The First Week
Trip Start Aug 08, 2009
42Trip End Jun 01, 2010
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Just as I'm starting to get familiar with this town, it suprises me all over again. On Friday on the bus, before the dance party started, I saw a man with a tent underneath a bridge by a rice paddy. He had a little camp set up, with a clothes-line hung up and everything. As the bus zoomed by, I knew I had just glimpsed someone's whole life, what they do, how they live. I had seen into something I'd never experience in America. In America, you feel pity for homeless people, but it's different. Usually it's because they drank themselves into homelessness or with drugs or some economic tragedy and they don't have family. But here, it's just the way it is. It's nobodys fault. It's just like this. It's a hard concept to live with. Understanding is one thing, but it's hard to just be okay with it. Just because something is the way it is doesn't mean it should be. I see paint peeling off of buildings who knows how old. Rusted tin panels hastily nailed together to make a flimsy shelter that houses a whole family, 5 adorable tiny puppies I want to take home but I know they will all just grow up with fleas and wander around looking like all the other stray dogs, hopeless. I see stray dogs wandering into the classroom and lying down because it's too hot out (nobody minds though), a moped with 4 or 5 people crammed onto it, without helmets of course. People make do with it. Today though I saw something that made me sick.
I went to the Monday market with Ploy (one of Khaowfang's friends) to get some stuff for dinner after school today
Yeah, the Land of Smiles. Ironic. It's just about what the smile really hides.