Camiguin - a typical nipa hut

“I’m not a child molester but…”

“…just look at those fine young girls, slim, tiny, beautiful! But what happens when they grow up? The become fat, round, al the charm is gone, fat cows! This is all because of the way the Filipinos eat! They munch all day, every meal heavier that the other. Look at them, this is supposed to be a poor country but they can always afford a big fat chunk of pork! You see, in Thailand a poor girl will eat a little pad thai and she will be full. But here? I’m telling you, you need to take them before they’re ripe” – says Joe, turning his head around in search of colourfully dressed high school students and waving at the skinny ones. He is quite slim himself – one detail that makes him different from the typical white guy living in the Philippines: wrinkled American pensioner with that special kind of suntan and…

This is where I say goodbye to Thailand. I didn’t have the time to experience the bad reputation of this border town. Before I reach Malaysia I notice the results of floods that visit the region of Golok river every year (hence so many houses on pales).

Tutaj żegnam się z Tajlandią, nie zdążywszy posmakować nienajlepszej reputacji, jaką cieszy się to nadgraniczne miasto. Przed przejściem na stronę malajską zauważam za to skutki powodzi, które co roku o tej porze podmywają okolice rzeki Golok (stąd często spotykane domy na palach).

Deep south, very Muslim. In these parts of the country religious and political conflicts are not rare. The Muslim minority (who makes a majority in the South) wants to split from Thailand; hence the presence of fully armed troops in railway stations as well as inside the trains.

I was invited to Chana by Sudiman, a friendly guy met on a train. Riding his scooter together we attract many curious eyes. I am introduced to the family and to a bunch of kids who enter Sudiman’s house without knocking (nobody closes their doors here, everybody is welcome). Apart from my host nobody here speaks English so our communication is limited to gestures and drawings. Drawings, or to be more precise – portraits that I made, made everybody draw closer with Sudiman’s buddies, who show me their own personal technique of making low-relief in mirrors.

To już głębokie południe, w zdecydowanej większości muzułmańskie. W tych rejonach…

This is southern Thailand already. I chose a place with literally nothing special to see (except for one temple – Wat Thammikaram, visited often by locals as well as by monkeys). Just sea and beaches (I recommend the beach within air force unit – clean, orderly, reasonable infrastructure and friendly soldiers offering a ride).

To już południe Tajlandii. Celowo wybrałem miejsce, w którym właściwie nic nie ma (no, może poza jedną świątynią – Wat Thammikaram, odwiedzaną chętnie przez miejscowych ale także przez małpy). Tylko morze i plaże (polecam plażę na terenie bazy wojskowej – czysto, schludnie, rozsądna infrastruktura i żołnierze, którzy chętnie podwiozą).