15 Sept, 2010 : Thailand

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While on Ko Samui, we took a bike and zipped around, while on the bike I thought of my dad growing up in Thailand. He must have been the age of 6 to 12 when he lived here. He was by the way born in Guiyang and also lived in Guilin and Kunming. By age 3 he lived in Vietnam and by age 5 to 6 he lived in Hong Kong.

My dad speaks decent Thai, I was impressed by him when I was 15 and we were in Songkhla and he spoke to street vendors. He told us that he was often sick in Bangkok and so he read a lot, especially the Encyclopedia. He also spent many hours tracing the world map and so can do that also quite well. I know my father did once say whenever he was getting ahead in school or understanding the language or making new friends, they had to move again.

Here are some old photo’s of my grandparents and my dad. I should ask my dad whether he remembers anything about having to be traveling so much so often at such a young age and he was already 3 when their house was bombed in Vietnam, its hard to imagine that my granddad wrote that he saw the bomb dropping on top of their home. Although it was heartbreaking to lose everything, it was a relief that all the family members were not at home at the point in time and then a hard trek with a young child to find a way out of Vietnam.

As a parent now I can see why my granddad was worried about my dad’s future. How do you bring up your children when it is so unsafe? This is actual bombs falling around you and guns with stray bullets being fired. Is that why they only had one child? Did they leave Hong Kong because of the outbreak of the Korean war? Just the prospect of more war is depressing.

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