In the Mountains in Thailand

It was the destination of our eight-hour trecking tour in Thai mountains.
That place had no electricities, no water supply, of course no blankets.
All we had was a fire place.
The members of the trecking group were from Israel, Germany, England, Hong Kong, and Japan.
Nobody complained.
This had been the kind of life I had wanted.
All the communication was in English, and the tour guide was the only to speak the native language.
We had late dinner in the darkness and got around with candles.
In the morning, it turned out that there were only children and old people in the village.
Young men and women long for the city life and get out of the village.
They do not have so many choices for jobs because they can not read or write.
There is no school in the village. Prostitution for pretty girls, simple physical labor for boys.
In fact, I saw many people from mountain villages around stations hunging about giving off bad smell.
In the village, little girls were taking their even younger sisters for a walk on their back.
They came up to me and begged for food.
Ophium would be the only enterainment for the people living this isolated place without any cultural influence and transportation from the cities.
Their economy is supported by potatoes and corn grown on the mountain sides, a small amount of spices and tabacco exchanged with their neighbor villages.
Their houses are very simply designed just for a shade from the rain and the wind.
I did not know how to accept this unfair differences about life condition between us, who are same human beings.
Although it is not necessarily happier to have a car than walk barefoot.
But one thing is sure: there are many more choices in everything in Japan which is economically far ahead.
Their main food is soup of crushed corn barely harvested on the unproductive land.
On the next day, we walked along a muddy mountain road for about eight hours and came across a school.
There was a simple hut with a thatched roof made from banana leaves.
And in the hut, some children, from about six years old to twelve, were taking turns to use only one pencil for the all children and studying without a teacher.
They were not wearing shoes but they were wearing clothes from cities.
We kept walking four more hours and saw a huge cow on the other side of a river.
We took a closer look and found out it had got a long nose.
It was an elephant.
It is true that an elephant is like a symbol of Thailand, but I did not expect to see one in person this way.
We rode on the elephant down the muddy road for about four hours and got to the destination of the day.
It was a village of Karen tribe.
Surprisingly, cocks, dogs and cats were living together on good terms.
The cats were amazing.
I usually hate cats but the cats there were adorable.
They looked pure-hearted and friendly.
I thought about Japanese cats but they were more like human and not any cute.
I made a big mistake in this village.
I said, I'm thirsty."
The villagers made a strange reaction to my request but they smiled and said, O K."
Then one of them left the room.
And he did not come back long time.
thought that he had not understood my words and was doing something else.
He came back after one and a half hour with a plastic bottle filled with water.
He invited me to drink it by jesture.
He had went over a mountain to get me clean water.
There was a river nearby but it was not very clean.
Then he decided to over the mountain to meet a request of their guest.
At that night, people came together to see us, strange foreigners, from neighbor villages.
They asked me to tell them about Japan.
I said to them, We have electricity." They were not surprised very much.
Then I said, There are two television sets in my house." then they took a long sigh.
And I told them that there was one car for one family, then they made sure many times if it was true.
We shared a cheap whisky called Mekong", sang, danced and had a great time.
On the next morning, I found myself on a bamboo matress.
Good morning. one man came in with my wallet and my camera and said, Aren't these yours?" He tried to tell me by body language that I dropped them or left them out while I was having a good time.
He told me to check out the inside. Nothing was lost.
He told me to be more careful and smiled.
I was going to give him my sweat shirt to show my gratitude, but he was so shy that he would not take it.
This is yours." I said and left it there.
He made a raft with only an ax.
He used bamboo bark instead of ropes. He made it without using any wire or nails.
We were riding the raft down the river to a town nearby.
The villagers came to send us off with cocks, cats and chicks when we were leaving.
They smiled a little sadly. So did the cats and chicks, I felt.

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