Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Boon, the 82 year-old taxi driver

This morning, as Li Li and Noah were not around and I woke up on time, I got ready much earlier than usual. Feeling hungry, I decided to visit Soi Supaphong 3 Yaek 8, the place where everything started for me, where I spent 2 memorable years in, to reminisce old sights and sounds, to savour familiar tastes. Look deep into this blog (posts from 2009-2011) and you will find everything revolving around this beautiful area.

During my time there, I met a special man. His name is Boon, an old taxi driver. He told me he was 80 (I took it with a pinch of salt he looked too healthy) years old. I had friends who did not dare to take his cab because of his age, but I felt he drove perfectly. He always held my hand and told me how I reminded him of his youngest son (he has many), in reasonably good English, how he traveled to many countries to work when he was younger, and how he was going to retire after his taxi lease expires to live in his home near Pattaya. He told me where his favourite roast chicken was, and even dropped one at my doorstep to keep his promise of helping me buy one.

Then, all of a sudden, he disappeared. I heard he decided to park his taxi somewhere else in the vicinity, but I did not get to bump into him. I tried calling, but he always didn't seem to recognize my voice. Sometimes, I thought of him and wished he was still healthy and living life positively.

It's been at least 2.5 years since I last saw him, and guess who I met during my brief visit back to my old haunt?

Boon! What a priceless picture

He has aged. A lot. Even the Beauty Face app on my Note 3 (which made my face look like a mannequin) couldn't do much to make him look younger. He remembered me, and it really touched me when he sat down, held my hand again and wished me well. He said he's 82 now, and I believed him, though it made him 78 when he told me he was 80 nearly 5 years ago.

Thank you Boon for being the very special taxi driver who brought sunshine to my lonely life when I started off in Bangkok. I am glad that you are still happy and well. It's 1 year to your retirement, so please take care of yourself in the meantime and make sure you spend some good peaceful years in Pattaya after that, because you deserve it.

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