8:00 pm

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Pong was waiting by the side of the road when I left Pad Thai Thip Samai. He asked if I was in a rush to get home, and I said no.

Without charging me anything above our agreed fare, Pong took me on a short tour of the surrounding Phra Nakorn area. As it was sundown the attractions were already closed, but I saw the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha softly illuminated by the rays of the setting sun. Elderly people were sitting on benches in a park, chatting and laughing. It was a side of Bangkok that I had never seen.

When we returned to central Bangkok we were caught in rush hour traffic. By the time we got back to Thong Lor it was nearly an hour and a half after I had boarded the tuktuk. Feeling both thankful towards and bad for Pong, I gave him the extra cash I hadn't spent on shopping that day. It wasn't much money, but I hoped the gesture had made his day, like how he had made mine.

1 comment



What an unexpected and lovely surprise!