Trying to Subdue my Impatience

Been thinking about my adventures in Thailand, even now, as I sit by my window, staring at the darkness amidst the rain and wild wind.

I’m back in Malaysia, its been quite hectic, especially post-Ramadan, seeing relatives and catching old friends. Its been a while but I feel somewhat distant from them.

My foot is temporarily disabled, a swollen and tormented toe courtesy of gout and my unstoppable habits of consuming red meat. The recovery, for the past two nights, have been tough.

I’m partially eager to remove myself from my bed and plunge into another adventure.

Such confidence, wish I had it in me now. My toe, it needs rest, a swift one if I may be so bold to declare. That means I’m still confined in this room.

In my boredom, I looked through my stash of photos. Found a few that brought about lingering memories of a laid-back province in south Thailand. Pleasant memories of friendship, travel, food and coffee.

Yes, I was well aware that the province had more than a dose of social problems, violence and poverty. But it gave me what I had sought then, an escape from Bangkok and to meet a largely-forgotten population in Narathiwat.

*sigh*

My right foot tapped impatiently. Yes, I know, I’m in need of another adventure. Fast.

Rare peaceful night

Rare peaceful night

Street vendor cooking roti

Street vendor cooking roti

coffee, Narathiwat-style

coffee, Narathiwat-style

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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The growing gap between South Thailand and the rest

Sharing my thoughts…

Ever since I had left Narathiwat, I grow edgy about the violent state of affairs in that province. I spent five days in the town and rural areas, talking to the people – Muslims and Buddhists alike – about their lives, their concerns, their children and their hopes. The ordinary people, not some middle-class Hi-So Thai, had lots to say, questions to throw, and especially on the bewilderment case of being caught in the middle of what many would say as a conflict between the military and militants who seek to destabilize life.

There has been many speculations about South Thailand, whether a climate of retaliation, a drug-infused-war, people seeking revenge upon those who had radicalized them, or for the sheer pleasure of chaos and terror. The sad fact is regardless of the motive, people from the other provinces are ignorant of the situation and the lives of the southern Thais.

Its not as if South Thailand is a melting pot of carnage, many other provinces and countries are riddled with violence and societal differences. However the continued state of ignorance and fear elsewhere prevents people in Narathiwat from an improve quality of life. What you see in the local English Thai newspapers (I would say, more tabloid-type) are usually associated with death, destruction and doom. Such perversion (sensationalism) of the news creates a wider gap between the south and the other provinces.  It seems other Thais have stopped caring for their kins and fellow citizens in the south, well in this case, people from Narathiwat.

Narathiwat is a province of Thailand. And as a community, people should find a common ground for contemplation and solidarity. I saw no antagonism or hatred between the Buddhists and Muslims. I merely saw the collective desire to build peace and a betterment state of their lives. Yet how can Thai society achieve this when many in other provinces choose to remain in their own suffocating cocoon of prejudice and ignorance?

 

 

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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My thoughts about Narathiwat Thailand

A collection of stories, experiences and photos.

  1. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/my-first-visit-to-narathiwat.html
  2. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/the-beginning-of-journey-in-narathiwat.html
  3. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/day-two-narathiwat-and-chaotic-memories.html
  4. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/a-delightful-afternoon-with-melonbunnie.html
  5. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/random-thoughts-in-town-by-seaside.html
  6. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/faith-religion-and-way-of-life-in.html
  7. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/faith-religion-and-way-of-life-in.html
  8. http://www.zashnain.com/2012/08/friends-in-narathiwat.html
  9. http://akrockefeller.com/news/south-thailand-the-words-of-resistance-lost-in-the-carnage/

Enjoy, and be safe.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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A fishing village in Narathiwat, Thailand

Boats, silent legacy of Narathiwat

Boats, silent legacy of Narathiwat

Narathiwat is not just a large town. There’s a fishing village close by to the town centre. The jetty appears to be clean but there’s a strong smell of fish and salt. Many of the fishermen are waiting under the trees and in small platforms called “pondok” – away from the glaring sun and blistering heat. Some are smoking, while many are fasting during the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadan.

The women folk work at home, operate small street stalls, caretakers of their children and elderly, or at the nearby wet market selling local vegetables, fruits and tasty sweet treats. The men work as fishermen, labourers and in small ice-making shops. There appears to be many out-of-school young people and children » I don’t think today is a public holiday but I could be wrong.

The boats at the river mouth are colourful, and with simple flowing designs. Similar boats can be found in Malaysia, especially in the east coast states of the peninsula. I think there are so many similarities between the province and Malaysia.

The heat is incredible today, just like yesterday. Yet I am stubborn, preferring to continue with my journey into the heart of Narathiwat.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Blue Mountain @ Narathiwat

After two days of hectic schedules and meetings, running around like a headless chicken, I decided to relax and sample some coffee treats. Blue Mountain @ Narathiwat is a nice place, soothing background music, comfortable ambiance, helpful staff and fabulous selection of coffee. The owners, a husband and wife team, are Metha and Amika.

Just like many in Narathiwat, they work hard to sustain their livelihood. I respect them, along with many, regardless of the cafe environment or the roadside food stalls.

If you’re in this side of South Thailand, do visit them and taste the wonderful blend of coffee and snacks.

Address:
58/3, Sopapisai Road
Tambon Bannak
Muang, Narathiwat
Thailand

Ok, excuse me while I continue with my coffee 🙂 and enjoy the free wifi access (for customers).

comfortable and relaxing

comfortable and relaxing

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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A hectic first day in Narathiwat

Narathiwat. A province torn by unrest, a land misunderstood by many Thais. I arrived today, at noon, and somewhere lost in translation, I was nearly abandoned by the vehicle that was supposed to take me to the hotel. A few hours later, I was told that there was two separate bombings near the airport. No one was injured, thankfully.

The town reminded me of the many large villages in Malaysia. I’m facing no problems speaking “Malay” with the people, yet they are equally fluent in Thai. Been a tiring day. Had visited a rubber plantation, went to have dinner with the villagers. On both occasion, I enjoyed speaking to them, for once I didn’t need a Thai translator in Thailand.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Follow Me:
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