A chance encounter with a friendly old man sitting at the entrance to his small home while walking on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya is not in any of the guidebooks.
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[Please note in the text below, one way to make words from another language (such as Thai words in an English text) stand out in a text and reduce confusion is to put them in italics, like the Thai word baan or บ้าน meaning house].
Faces & PLACES: Lean existence by Gerry Popplestone
This young man (OK, I know he's no spring chicken but he's only 10 years older than me!) lives in one of the sois near Pinklao on the Thon Buri side of the Chao Phraya River. He was about to have lunch when I came across him. And he was happy to be photographed. I liked the interior of his baan (home), especially the wall hanging.
I was on my way to the museum that is home to the royal boats: an area that feels like time forgot long ago. There are derelict cafes and decaying houses strung along the sois. But, as soon as I said hello (in Thai of course) the neighbourhood's people burst into smiles.
Meeting locals makes your travels even more enriching. If you have interesting photos of such people and a memorable experience to share with other readers, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The photos must be sent as jpeg files (at least1MB in size), and the text as document files. Horizons reserves the right to select and publish the photographs.
(Source: Bangkok Post, Faces & PLACES: Lean existence, 23/12/2010, Horizons, Gerry Popplestone, link)
stand out - be clear and easy to see and notice because it is very different from the things around it เด่นชัด, ยื่นออกมา, ออกจากกลุ่ม
confusion - a difficulty of understanding how things are organized or what is happening , because of disorganization, a lack of order and chaos ความวุ่นวาย
italics - type that looks like this: hello world (See Wikipedia) ตัวเอน
lean - thin, skinny, not fat แบบบาง, ผอมบาง, ไม่ค่อยมีเนื้อ, ซูบซีด,
existence - the state of being a real or living thing, or of being present in a particular place, time, or situation การดำรงอยู่,การมีอยู่,การมีชีวิตอยู่,ความเป็นอยู่,สิ่งที่มีอยู่จริง
spring chicken - 1. a young chicken with tender meat (especially 2-10 months old), 2. a young person
he's no spring chicken - meaning: he is not young anymore (a idiomatic saying or expression)
came across - meet or encounter something (when you don't expect it)
interior - the inside of something ภายใน
wall hanging - a flat decorative object hung against the wall such as a tapestry, rug or map (Source: thefreedictionary.com)
tapestry - a textile with art on it that is hung on the wall as decoration, looks like a rug hanging on the wall (See Wikipedia)
museum - a building where objects of historical, scientific or artistic interest are kept พิพิธภัณฑ์
royal boats - the long golden used by His Majesty the King in special royal processions down the Chao Phraya river (See Wikipedia and website on museum)
time forgot - looks like it stayed the same as it was a long long time again (while everything else changed)
derelict - of buildings or places that are not cared for and are in bad condition ถูกทอดทิ้ง
decaying - gradually falling apart and getting worse and worse because no one takes care of it
strung along Y - located in places along Y (spaced out, not all together in one place)
burst into smiles - suddenly started smiling very energetically
locals - people who live in a particular place ชาวบ้าน
enrich (verb) - make better, enhance, improve ทำให้ดีขึ้น, ทำให้มีคุณค่ามากขึ้น
enriching (adjective) - improving, making better
memorable experience - something that happens to you (an experience) that you remember for a long time
share - let other people use something you have ใช้ร่วมกัน
document - a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type เอกสาร
reserves - keeps something for a particular purpose or time สงวน
reserves the right to Y - you own it, but when they use it, they can do Y