More work in Bangkok

Bangkok Travel Blog

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“Welcome to Rangsit Babies home” the middle aged women in yellow shirts chorused together. The institution was having a homecoming event where the foreign parents and the adopted Thai children would return for a visit. For this event the staff needed to learn some basic English and I was asked to teach them. My class was about eight middle aged women one man and a younger girl. The older women enthusiastically repeated my lines and giggled at my corny jokes. I improvised with classroom objects (markers, kleenex box, toilet rolls, newspaper etc) to make a 3d map and taught them giving directions they thought I was some sort of imaginative genius. The young girl was looking at me all doe eyed the entire time she was laughing at the dumb sound effects I made. She handed me her notebook “Do you have a girlfriend?” was written, I scratched an x and handed it back with an amused smile. “The Bathroom is on the left” I continued. After the class and the wais the girl called after me and handed me her number. Before long she was calling me up all the time “I miss you. When can I see you?” I thought it was a bit ridiculous but whatever.

The Center was having a few more foreign volunteers to help us on our projects. Hilda from Germany was accompanying us to the center. Her major was psychology so she was working on some psycho-therapy with them. Back at our place over the dinner table we discussed her progress. “So what do you do anyway with the kids, head shrink em’?” I don’t have much faith in these over-complicated trumped up methods. “I try to draw out an analysis of their psyche..blah..blah” she launched out in a detailed explanation, Peter was yawning. “So this stuff actually works?” Peter is the most sarcastic old man. “Oh, hold still.” I looked at her intently “don’t be worried but I think right above you is a psyche.” Everyone but Hilda cracked up. Her boyfriend was a tall lanky Frenchman who was very popular with the kids. “What do you eat everyday? French-fries? Do you French kiss her?” where the kind of questions they kept him busy with.

Julian was a professor of dance in an American university that had contacted us to do some volunteer work. We organized a workshop for him to lead at the home for abused girls. He taught the girls for two weeks he often came over for dinner and to play basketball with the kids. The kids liked him and we all had a good time working with him as much as any other of the volunteers. Even though we don’t allow the gay lifestyle in our family-oriented community it never became an issue.  Once I was with Hilda in a busy mall. A group of dainty young men walked past one of them, a transsexual, was staring hard at me I gave him a nasty eyeball back. “Did you see that?” I asked “Oh, yes I think it’s so beautiful” Hilda exclaimed. “I think it’s fine in their districts but not in the malls, parks, supermarket, and the playgrounds.” I said. “Why not?” she asked. “Well it’s startling for starters.” I answered. “But, you get used to it” she said. “You can get used to almost anything, people were used to slavery for centuries. Here they are used to pimps, transsexuals, and prostitutes in the open it’s no wonder that just under that trade kids are being exploited. If you start out extreme where do you draw the line?” I asked rhetorically. “This isn’t Europe. This is a poor 3rd world


nation trying hard to develop it doesn’t need more vice to deal with.” We left off on the topic.             

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photo by: halilee