Pickup truck crashes into canal in Phatthalung killing two

The driver of a pickup, along with his passenger friend, were killed and two women injured early today. The pickup careered off the road, hit a bridge, and dropped into a canal in Phatthalung’s Kong…


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Something someone said reminded me of some story, and I have been itching to write it- I first went to take tea, I was hungry. Meanwhile, the escort available was those buns that were like the Complex hall buns. Suzan, do you remember them? Those long thin buns that you took when you had an early day, and you needed something to fill your stomach before the throes of the morning classes began? Those buns that just reminded you of misery, and CNN reports of Africa and flies buzzing around some child they found conveniently, always with mucus, just when the cameras were rolling. I don’t know why our slay queens never pass by at such moments. Or they fear cameras bigger than mobile phones? I don’t know.

Bazungu call them baguettes. I have not been impressed with this baguette business so far. But I was hungry and I wanted tea.

Now I have finished, and I can write.

Like in many homes, the people of mine exist mostly behind the house. That is the part where we ‘unshell’ ground nuts, then fry them, and remove the husks, winnow them, in preparation to take to the grinding machine. (We really really like our oddi.) It is also the part of the house where the children get yelled at for forgetting to button the top most button of their clothes, or for allowing their smiles to be wider than the standard 4.5cm. Who told them to be happy?

It is also the part from where we enter the house. Obviously the front door is locked. Who has time to open both doors? And for what? If we have visitors, we are not ashamed of how we live, they can pass behind.

It is also the part where my father sits to put on his shoes.

One time, I had come from town. It had been a stressful day. But finally, I made it home. I got to the back part of my house, and there I found my old man seated, wearing his shoes. I humbled myself and greeted him. He greeted back. Then just continued watching me. I keep wondering what he is thinking when he does that, and then he goes and does things like this…

I had just removed my shoes. Those rubber pata patas from Bata that they sell at 16k. You know them. The black ones with holes! I like those shoes. I can walk in them downtown when it has rained and not worry about whether they will snap or not. I just walk. Laughing this hearty laugh he broke the silence with,

“But are those shoes enough?”

“Enough? Enough for what?” I asked. Innocently. At this point everyone around had stopped what they were doing and was listening to where this was going.

“For walking on the street. Knocking door to door. Asking for a job…” [he said laughing really hard, pleased that I, his unsuspecting victim had walked into his trap. And now he would show me, and his audience, that he is the master prankster. King Joker.]Ha. Ha.

“…you know the shoes for walking, they have to have a thick sole like this (* does gesture with his hands indicating how thick the sole should be. It was the equivalent of like 3 slices of bread. *)

I just stared at him thinking, but sir. Atte it was funny. But the joke was on me. I couldn’t laugh properly. My feelings were too mixed. This man! Is he aware he is the parent in this equation?

As his laughs finally died down, he got up from there, and whistled away to his car. I thought this dubious behaviour is unbecoming. I am his child! Then I remembered the same man once laughed for like 20 minutes straight because the dog grabbed a bag of chips from my 5-year-old sister.

You should have seen it. They had just come back from an outing, and she was happily swinging her chips. From nowhere, Gaby grabbed the pack and ran off. Haha. I think it took her 5 whole seconds to realise what was happening. And when the emptiness of her hand finally co-ordinated with the realisation in her mind, she did that thing where kids count to five, taking in as much breath as she could ready to belt out her loudest scream,

“My…. *sob*… chips…” to a father that was laughing his heart out. Poor child.


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