Friday, 25 November 2022

We've seen better days (part 1)

Down by the pier in Pin Khlao
A trip to my old drinking haunt in Pin Khlao, my first in 11 years, was a little sad.

Mum's shop as I knew it looks just as it did in the updated Google street view pics I posted here about six months ago, only more rundown, if that's possible. Out of deference to fonder memories of times past, I did not take any new pics. Too depressing; locals would wonder why I bothered.

I appear to be bidding farewell to my Bangkok life, perhaps in anticipation of retiring to the provinces, which we hope to do when I come of age in the next three years or so. But I know the move won't be that tidy; nothing ever is.

I took a motorcycle taxi from our place in Yannawa, which cost 160 baht and took 20 minutes.

I went to Mum's little shop in Pin Khlao, at the turnoff to Wat Daowadueng, as I wanted to see what had happened to it since I saw it last.

I did not expect to meet Mum, as the last time we spoke many years ago, she had parted ways with her husband. She ran a food card in the area, and he was running their shop during the day.

Now Mum's shop itself, as I knew it, only opens now at night. When I dropped by, it was closed.

I chatted to a couple of staff from the eatery next door to Mum's old shop, which Mum and her husband also once owned, in fact, but which presumably is now in someone else's hands.

I remember Bom, one of the staff there, from my old days in Pin Khlao. He brought me up to date with Mum's news.

Mum herself has moved back to Kalasin, and her husband now works in the Phra Ram 8 area along with their son, he said.

Mum's shop, where I spent many hours at the peak of my nighttime frolics in Thon Buri some 15 years ago, was shuttered, with no signs of life. It is run in the evenings by Mum's younger sister, who in this blog I called Isra.

Isra, at the shop (LINE)
Back in those days she was going out with a foreigner, a young painter from the north of England whom I knew and called in this blog farang J. 

He visited Thailand every few months when he would spent a few weeks with Isra's family in Kalasin and the rest of his time in Pin Khlao (for a selection of our tales together, see here, herehere and here).

Mum and her husband, a former army man, settled in Bangkok years before to run the shop and raise their son, whom I once taught English but has now left school.

Isra helped them run the shop when they were still together, and occasionally, during school breaks, bring her kids with her to Bangkok (her son has since left us, sadly: see here).

Today, she is still there, Mum and her husband having moved on to other things. However, farang J is out of the picture, and Isra, once so keen on foreigners, is now seeing a Thai.

"She and her partner sell food, though the place only opens after 5.30pm," Bom said.

I left my phone number with Bom. He offered to pass it on to Isra, whom I did not get a chance to meet as I had come too early in the day.

Isra and I chatted on Line later that night, and I have since found her on FB, along with the shop itself, which now has a name (เคาร์เตอร์บาร์ ปิ่นเกล้า), and admittedly looks better after dark:

New look for Mum's shop (FB)
now, see here

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