After 4 wonderful, relaxing days enjoying the sun and surf at our villa south of Hua Hin, Thailand, it was time to board the train once again and head back to Bangkok. To lighten our load to the villa, we had left one of our bags (we carry 2 roller duffel bags) at what appeared to be a rather questionable luggage storage area in the train station in Bangkok. They call it the “Left Luggage” area and you pay a small fee for each day/hour you leave your bag. The young man behind the counter didn’t say a word to us but merely handed us a ticket. As we walked away we wondered if our bag would still be there, sitting in the middle of the floor, in exactly the same spot, when we returned a few days later.
“Do you think he’ll move it?” we asked ourselves. “Should we have moved it into a corner, out of the way?” Clay wondered.
We kept glancing back and decided it was best to go back and put our worries to rest! “Should I move the bag out of the way?” Clay asked the rather unkempt gent behind the desk. “No, is OK,” he reassured us. So, off we had walked, still quite uncertain as to whether we would have a bag at all when we returned. “What if someone comes in and takes ours?” asked Caleb – the greatest worrier of the four of us. “Then we lose the bag,” I replied. “There is nothing of huge value in there.” And off we walked……hoping for the best.
This has been a common theme running through our travels thus far: trust. When you are traveling in another country where you are unfamiliar with the customs, language, locations, etc there are many times you have to trust others. It is always a fine balance between doing your research, asking around, and then just praying that things will work out as you hope. So far, I must say we’ve been extremely fortunate. Our luggage was still there when we returned to the “left luggage” room. It had even been moved out of the way!” And on so many other occasions things have worked out for us as well. Often, it is thanks to the kindness of strangers. When we were in Laos, walking the 2 km from our guest house to town, in the baking sun, two women pulled up in a shiny new white car with leather interior (a rather stark contrast to us in our well-worn, sweat stained travel clothes!) and they stopped and asked, in broken English, if they could give us a lift somewhere. They very kindly took us to the end of our road (about 1 1/2 km), for which we were incredibly grateful. Perhaps traveling with children has helped, because people see the two boys and they feel more comfortable approaching us, but I have to say that my faith in humanity has been restored several times over! On many occasions we would not have been able to arrive at our destination, were it not for some kind soul taking pity on us! (This is not to say that we have not been approached by people trying to scam us, but we try to read up on the ‘common scams’ in the area so we can be aware of them.)