David can talk, that’s what I remember from hanging out with him in Bangkok earlier this year from February to April. He came to stay with us at the house for about 12 days before and after he went to Burma. And because he can talk, he can make friend with everyone. The weirdest and most adorable thing, I think, is his even temper and dead-pan’ish British humor. You can’t miss his (rather tall) presence, and his constant having a say at something or someone. He participated in many activities including the most memorable one for being a part of the painting crew who attacked the first floor of our place.
When I visited London briefly, I made sure to catch up with a few people, one of them was David. Luckily he was game to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Tube station to come meet with me. We caught up at the Paddington station. The rest of the day was running around a bit late to this and that. I wanted to go to this museum, which we finally managed to find, and to arrive right as they were closing. So I took a picture of him before headed off to find different places to have a beer.
“Hypothetically speaking….” I asked nervously as a line was already forming behind me. Fearing I’d inconvenient other people with more legitimate and immediate questions, I quickly blurted “how much does it cost to take a train to Aberystwyth? And I’m sorry, I’ll step aside if this is a stupid question.” “Don’t worry about them, just wait, and I’ll tell you!” I opted to step away anyway. No need to make an angry mob out of these, clearly frustrated and lost, travelers. “I’ll be back in a half an hour!!!” I told him. “Make sure you do!” He responded right back.
So I did get back to him about a half hour. The gentle informational man had for me a plan hand written rate comparisons on a piece of paper. He further explained how booking months in advance would get me anywhere in Wales from Peddington Station, central London, at roughly just about 15 pounds as opposed to buying a ticket the same day, which would cost nearly 10 times more.
I was super impressed and thankful, so I asked to snap a picture of him. Bad of me that I forgot his name.
It has been at least 10 years since I last saw Dave and met Katie when they went through Los Angeles. I took the opportunity to drop by their couch in London this year. For too many years I’d threatened to come visit them in the UK since they moved there from Thailand. I met Dave even longer than that back in Venice (Los Angeles), California. I answered his ad looking for someone to teach him some survival Thai language.
Dave that I met in Venice had a roommate, a piano, a python in the house. He worked as a freelance German language interpreter for movies or other things. He made a point to visit one country each year. Before departing, he’d learn a little bit of the language. I was so proud when he told me after he returned that he’s going back to Thailand again. Never before he repeated a country.
Before long, he met Katie in Thailand, and eventually moved to the UK where she was from. She went back to pursue her degrees. First they were in York for a really long time. I remember Dave taking up photography, telling me about the new long telephoto lens he bought to shoot people on the street for fun. All of the sudden, he took up the profession as a music and portrait photographer in York. Then there were occastional news here and there about his piano moving, and eventually their recent relocation to London.
Katie is also such a wonderfully interesting person on top of being genuine, beautiful, and kind. I wish I had the opportunity to talk with her more about her work and her study. As far as I was impressed, it was something about the women study… or was it a job teaching? I’m so horrible. For sure, the visit was too short. It was quite funny to talk gear with Dave but mostly for his criticism on my mistreatment of my photo equipment. He’s much more knowledgable now about those things. And it was quite a nice visit running around town for a day with Dave, listening to him about London, the UK, the people, and best of all, his introduction to the best chocolate store I had ever experienced.
At the end of January, Tim came to stay with us in Bangkok. Not until I visited with him for a quick dinner and a beer last September I got to snap a picture of him.
Tim is reserved when you first met him, but he’s quite open to discuss much anything not excluding the complex level of politics. His work in child welfare in the UK is not only admirable but right. Not too many people I came across impress me in the proof of living what you preach, but he is one. Hanging with him always keep me in check of what do I really know about the social function as dealt through and with government officials. For pleasure, he has a ton of recommendations of museums, theatre, and even some musical bands. Even with entertainment, he will not let you take off your thinking hat. I’d rather appreciate people like this.
One of the first people on the later became a massive couchsurfing hosting in Bangkok, Ben Castledine came to Bangkok after a life in Russia. A drummer of a prolific band, he was on his slow way back home Australia, but not before spending some time in India. We first met up for a beer and later hung out in a couple of evenings. He was instrumental in consulting and helping setting up what to be known as “N6″.
Tina was a friend of a friend who came to Thailand. She was visiting in celebration of her citizenship officialization. Ben Castledine and I met up with her over at this crazy nightclub road in Bangkok. The most memorable part of the night was how Tina was adorably, in her broken Thai, able to negotiate the cab fare to a reasonable rate. We all later learned cabs leaving from this area were not going to charge less than triple fare. She saved us.