May in Thailand : Evolution in the continuity
First May, international day of work, which we celebrated without working, we were in Patong, Phuket , enjoying little holidays in a hell touristic place..
Hard work for the beginning of May with a trash work. Involved in the new project of urban learning center in HatYai, we were the first to participate to the reconversion of a commune open air neighbourhood trash in a future urban garden : exchange trash for vegetables or fruits ! Few days to see how hard is to clean this trash and how is managed trash in poor area : Directly in the first unused place, keep a city clean has a price… I hope the new learning center/garden project will bring more to the neighbours.. Let’s see in few month.
Anticipating the end of university year, a meeting was organized with Thaksim economic students about daily life. But weak English level of students stopped quickly the exchange, and an interesting possibility of work. Students have only one semester of English class during their scholarship. Furthermore it was already the holidays for them. What a pity.
Nevertheless a second visit was set up at university to assist to student final presentation work, and after a session of question-answer. More curious, questions appeared in numbers, about various subjects, showing the difference of culture. And we were discovering how much more we can learn about Thai life : Youth future ideas and dreams… A lot about banking.. Economics students…
After that it was time to join our new teaching project, our young students were waiting us ! Groups were done, Maciej and me we will teach at Chana and come back every day at Songkhla, Jarek and Rosa would stay in Songkhla for class and accommodation. As our host family was not ready we would spend our first week to help Jarek and Rosa, in Songkhla, comfortably living in a hotel room. Local students were quite excited and unmanageable, this new project looked difficult !
Just removed in our local housing, we don't have time to discover our new project, VISA mission was already here, It announced the mid term of our volunteering ! For that mission go to Malaysia, the closest border, and more precisely Georgetown to find a Thai consulate. Let found out this new country !
First misunderstood we were staying in little india in Georgetown, and all Malaysians are Indians ?? ;) Nice meeting with indian food, kind of food holidays for us ! Sure Malaysia looked like more developed country than south Thailand with public transports, georgetown was cleaner, with tourist attractions, people spoke a well better English (thanks colonization..:).
Second step was Kuala Lumpur, a big modern capital with a forest of skyscrapers welcoming you. As French inhabitant I was quite impressed by all this massive building surrounded me in the city. But after a while my sentiments transformed in anxious and claustrophobic reaction. I am definitely not a city dweller ! A quick view to Petronas Tower, a very interesting free walking tour in old city (very good work, someone who transmitted her knowledge in a VERY nice way : entertainment, reticence, precision...).
It was time to leave for Singapore, with an intermediate stop in Malacca. Historical city as the first commercial hub of Malaysia, Portuguese, Dutch and English spent time, money and human lives to conquer this place, before left it for Kuala Lampur wealthy mines. Interesting remark : Old buildings downtown are red because of local people split a red fruit on white walls by anger against Dutch masters. Last one decided to paint their building in red to avoid the tedious cleaning.
Singapore was an other piece of cake, a glimpse of what modern tourism can worthy offer. Anthem of the Asiatic commercial success, this little state island represents the modern life/city/ as what is restricted (chewing gum, smoking, swimming when is dark, do what you can with your money.. if not stuffs are horribly expensive (as have a car, have your own accommodation..), do anything that is from your own wish. I felt after few days to be a common/crude user, city is set up for a limited way of use, no more, after you would be gratified of a fine if you want something different (You are rent your home, asking authorization to live your life)… It’s hard and shame on France, Singapore is a nice example of what extreme modern capitalism is. Laws to protect or to rule citizens life ?