This photo was captured on a clear, sunny afternoon in Lamplaimat, Buriram, Thailand. I made the trip to the small community from the city of Buriram with my friend and one of my muay thai trainers, Gai (Chicken). More about Gai here.
Gai and I rode on his motorbike, from the city, to his parents’ rural home where he grew up. It’s customary for Thais to refer to home (baan) as not where they currently live, but where they grew up, and where their parents most likely still reside. For Gai, his home is in Lamplaimat and specifically, it’s the dwelling you see pictured below.
Upon our arrival on this particular day, Gai instructed me to go take a nap. I was confused but I agreed as I didn’t want Gai to lose face in front of his family. I also didn’t want to lose it myself.
I was lead inside his traditional family home, which is constructed of wood and raised on stilts. Inside, I found his niece Pear, who is the subject of this photograph. Two other neighbourhood girls, roughly of Pear’s age, accompanied us in the sparsely furnished room. This main room is also where Gai’s family all sleep together.
Upon entering the home and seeing me there, seated with Pear, the girls’ eyes immediately widened. I suspect they were shocked. This was my first visit to Gai’s home and Gai can’t speak a word of English. I doubt he had brought a Westerner to the village before.
Pear was instructed by Gai to give me a pillow, the one you see in the photo, and shortly afterwards, the four of us fell asleep on our backs. Two of the girls had pillows and one used the Doraemon stuffed toy you see below. We laid, side by side, asleep on the mat, with the afternoon sun reaching through windows that never held glass. A fan kept us cool.
I don’t remember how long we slept for, or what or who woke us all up. The two neighbourhood girls left quickly after awakening, leaving Pear and I alone.
This photo was taken shortly afterwards.
What you see on the television screen eventually became a broadcast of the Channel 7 muay thai fights in Bangkok.
Pear turned on the television so the two of us could watch the fights. Or perhaps she was being polite and turned the fights on for me. I have no idea as she didn’t speak a word to me that day.
For more information on Buriram, please visit my other website Buriram Info. It’s a complete travel guide which offers hotel bookings, information on how to travel to Buriram, as well as multiple options of things to do.