Several months ago, while there were still some baitfish roaming the beach, I bought a cast net. It cost about $30. Unfortunately, it was the type they use here and not the kind I was used to in Florida. It was way to big and heavy for me to throw and did not collapse when pulled in.
I never even tried to use it because the weights were too tangled.
With my move, I decided to give the net to my fishing friend Yat, who uses a similar net. I figured he could sell it if he didn’t want it for himself.
The darn thing was heavy as I carried it to the beach, hoping Yat would be there that evening. He was not.
I was left with the options of either carrying it back to the apartment and then again back to the beach the next day, or just leaving the net on the beach for someone to claim. There was a third option.
Every night when I go to the beach, there is a Thai man who works at one of the boutique hotels that line the beach, who often sits on the stone wall to watch the sea. Yat sometimes sits with him, so I figured they were friends. The man was on the wall.
I brought the net over to him and tried to explain what I wanted to do. He did not understand a word I said, not even Yat’s name. I left him with the net, thinking that was better than just leaving it on the beach.
The next night, the Thai man came to his wall, lifted up the bag with the net in it and motioned for me to come over. He then motioned for a Thai women near him to come over to translate. Her English was just good enough for her to understand what I was asking. She relayed the message and I think all was understood.
Now, this man didn’t have to do this. He could have initially just told me to take my net, which would have been rude and very un-Thai-like. He could have just kept the net or sold it. I would never know that it never made it to Yat.
Instead, he kept the net overnight and when I arrived the next day he made sure to find someone who could translate for me.
The Seal dog
The beach I’m near is abutted on one end by the royal grounds of the king’s vacation palace. You are not allowed past a barbed-wired section just after the palace grounds begin. A platoon of Thai Navy seals guard the complex and can often be seen on the beach, usually operating a rubber craft they anchor 50 yards out, sometimes motoring out to one of the Navy ships posted offshore.
Often at night, several of the Seals will do some long-distance swimming or run the beach when it’s low tide. When they run, usually this ugly black mongrel runs with them. I guess you could say he plays with them more than runs. And he likes to carry a whole coconut while he runs, begging one of the Seals to throw it in the surf for him to fetch.
It was fun to watch one night as two Seals ran down the beach, this mutt tagging along with a coconut in its mouth, tail wagging, having a grand old time. Occasionally, he would stop, sniff something on the beach, and then realize his friends were still running.
Then, he picked up the coconut and caught up, and then fell in pace with the runners. With all the street dogs here, it’s good to see one who is obviously very happy.