THAILAND (2)

SATURDAY 3rd OCTOBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

Prompt ~ Explore what your travels in Asia have been like.

THAILAND (2)

by John Yeo

 At the end of our first week in Thailand during our visit to Phuket botanical gardens, we wandered around the hot houses. We enjoyed the orchid house and the impressive cactus house. At the end of our visit we viewed a large ornamental lake packed with huge Koi Carp where we enjoyed feeding these impressive creatures with fish food.

   There were some fantastic sandy beaches adjoining the hotel and we hired a couple of sun loungers for the princely sum of 100 baht each and spent some quality time on the beach. The seawater was warm and shallow for a long way out and we enjoyed a few beautiful relaxing days on the beach. We became friendly with the owner of the beach concession who arranged for us to have our clothes laundered at extremely reasonable rates.

  We were treated to another colourful show in the resort restaurant in the evening.

  Another interesting experience was our trip on a traditional Thailand long-tailed boat. We hired a boat complete with a young sailor who took us on a trip around the bay. The sea was as gentle and calm as a millpond and there was a nice gentle breeze.

 We visited a huge Thailand night market, this was an extremely memorable experience. 

There were many food stalls selling a huge variety of street food, at the beginning of the market. This led to the main section of the market where a huge display of clothing, electrical goods, jewellery and much besides, was on display. Several different varieties of live music was performed by street musicians all along the length of the market.

 Our next attraction was a small museum that recorded the huge influence of the Chinese settlers  on the development of Thailand.

Margaret attended a Thai food cookery course and was presented with an impressive certificate on completion of the course.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

THAILAND (1)

FRIDAY 2nd OCTOBER 2020 ~ FLASH FICTION

Prompt ~ Explore what your travels in Asia have been like.

THAILAND

by John Yeo

Margaret and I have travelled to Thailand three times and we have been more intrigued and interested in the culture and the cuisine each time we’ve visited. Our most recent visit was in January 2020 in a wonderful comfortable resort on the island of Phuket.

Our first treat on our latest return visit to Thailand was to visit the resort restaurant by the sea where we indulged in a magnificent lunch of the excellent Thai cuisine.

The restaurant table overlooked the beach and the bay, with a sparkling blue sea, and palm trees along the walkway past the beach.

We familiarized ourselves with the location of the local shopping centre and the layout of the hotel.

The sunsets here are magnificent and we snapped some beautiful photographs of the sunset on our first night in Thailand.

We booked a table to see a colourful show in the restaurant in the evening featuring the amazing Thai ladyboys, young men who dress spectacularly as young women and mime to popular songs. The show was excellent and we marvelled at the lengths the young men went to; to dress and act as females. There were some lighthearted moments when one of the boy girls waggled a pair of huge balloons in time to the music.

We visited an open air market that consisted of canvas tent-like stalls selling a great variety of goods. There seemed to be an incredible amount of designer labels on the clothes and we came to the conclusion, these were obvious fakes. There were also a few stalls selling electronic goods at amazingly cheap prices. To our eyes the most eye opening sight were the unhygienic stalls selling fresh meat and fish in the open air that attracted millions of Thai flies. This would never have been allowed in the U.K., the USA or the European Union.

A visit to a Thai cultural show was the next memorable highlight. The pre-show featured a parade of Thai dancers, complete with a few elephants, that raised some criticism among members of our family when we displayed our photographs later. The show opened with the Thai national anthem; the audience were required to stand as a mark of respect for the King. The performance itself was an interesting amalgam of aspects of Thai life. It was colourful, entertaining and interesting.

We also visited the famous Big Buddha, a huge unfinished temple that is being constructed inside a massive statue of the Buddha. There were displays of various religious statuary and displays of both Buddhism and some Hindu religions along the route to the Buddah. We climbed some steep steps to the top of the outside, where we enjoyed a magnificent view of the local area.

We then went on to visit Phuket botanical gardens. This was a beautiful experience, although it was January when we visited and we had missed the peak of the floral splendour.

©️ Written by John Yeo

KISSING IN KAMACHA

TUESDAY 1st SEPTEMBER 2020

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..

Todays prompt is ~ KISSING IN KAMACHA

KISSING IN KAMACHA

by John Yeo

  The geological survey group were following the Euphrates, the longest river in Western Asia.

   Led by Professor Armitage of Cambridge University, and his wife Elaine the group were exploring the fertile valleys along the riverside. Their guides and erstwhile travelling companions were  Mustafa, Eren, Ahmet and Burak.

   Mustafa, a tall man, with dark penetrating eyes and an eagle’s beak, shaped nose, approached the Professor.

   ‘We will soon arrive in the beautiful valley of Kamacha, Sir. There  is a large tribe there who have been known to be quite violent to strangers. I recommend we follow and respect their customs vigilantly.’

    Burak, his fellow traveller, who was standing beside him nodded his head in agreement.

   ‘Of course;’ responded the Professor, ‘We’re prepared to treat everyone with mutual dignity and respect.’

  Burak, a stocky, medium-height individual with long greasy dark hair, hitched his rifle over his shoulder and silently grinned.

 Professor Armitage then suggested a couple of members of the team should reconnoiter and report back. This idea was greeted with enthusiasm all round and the other members of the team would follow. 

   Morning broke splendidly over the river as the expedition reached Kamacha. They were greeted by a large group of local tribesmen, heavily armed with vicious knives and spears. Suddenly a huge obese man wearing nothing but a loincloth grabbed Elaine and started passionately kissing her. An overweight half naked lady then grabbed hold of the Professor and proceeded to kiss him all over his face. Several tribesmen suddenly were kissing the other male members of the expedition.

  Professor Armitage jumped back in horror and pulled his wife away.

  Mustafa shouted, ‘Have a care Sir, we promised to respect their customs and this is their form of greeting.

© Written by John Yeo

INDOCTRINATION

This article  was written for “QUINTET,” our Parish magazine, requesting submissions on the theme of Culture.

SV103741

Image  Copyright John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved

INDOCTRINATION

by John Yeo

     Saul awoke with a throbbing headache, amid the noise of tortured screams, and agonised terrifying cries for help. Everywhere was pitch dark, as he became aware of the iron chains that cut into his wrists, he frantically pulled and tugged in a vain attempt to get free.

   Then his memory began to relay the events of the past few hours, before he was cruelly beaten over the head, and he had lost consciousness. A ship had approached the shore and as his tribal family began to sing and dance in welcome, a cruel merciless attack began. Many of the elderly and infirm were shot as the invaders began to surround everyone, and force march them to the ship. Saul attempted to protect his infirm Father and was viciously beaten around the head, he was never to see his Father alive again.

    After days of darkness and squalor, with a little food thrown and scattered through a trapdoor, a light became visible and the many occupants of this overcrowded hell hole were allowed to emerge. Some weakened and dispirited from the experience. There were a few who never made it, and sadly died during the passage. Saul stumbled up a narrow ladder into daylight, leaving the stench and putrid decaying flesh behind.

     The survivors were hosed down naked on the dockside, and dressed in cheap cotton clothing.

      “You savage cannibals will now be sold in the slave market and quickly become civilised and put to work!”  Announced a stranger in a loud cruel voice, sadly nobody could understand a word he was saying. Everyone was given food and water and soon separated and individually transported to their new homes and places of hard relentless work.

   Saul was transported with some other men to a cotton plantation, and integrated with around sixty other slaves. The charge hands were also bonded slaves and they carried out the orders of a white foreman, implicitly, he would come down hard on troublemakers.

    Saul was a hard worker, intelligent and quick-witted, he could do little else but immerse himself in the work and begin to adjust to this alien culture he had unwillingly become a part of.

    After some months, the slaves were learning the language and a basic form of communication between everyone gradually developed. Saul began to learn the language with the help of Father Leon, a priest, who had been a bonded slave but was now a free man. This man spent his time visiting the workers, wherever he was allowed, offering them comfort, spiritual guidance and help in every way he was able. Saul quickly learned to communicate and to absorb the message of faith that Father Leon prescribed.

     One day he asked his friend the Father, “There is a question I would like to ask, if you have an answer for me please.”

     “Of course,” replied Father Leon, “Ask away if I can help you I will.”

    “Father, Who are the savages?  What did they mean by, ’You savage cannibals will now be sold in the slave market and quickly become civilised and put to work!’ I memorised those words, without understanding?  How does your culture reconcile the wonderful promise of love and eternal life, with the way we were torn from our homes and lifestyles, and cruelly put to work?” asked Saul.

     “These basic cultural rituals are collective activities, ways of reaching desired objectives, and considered as socially essential. They are therefore carried out most of the time for their own sake. These men are a part of a greater whole who have never known anything else but their dominance. Greed is an evil motivator and certainly not condoned by our faith, Saul,” replied Father Leon.

Copyright. © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.