Saturday, June 30, 2007

Field Trip to Chiang mai

Hermanto and Timlin
In June 10th, my eldest son Arif went to Chiang mai -School residential (long field trip)-. He would be away for 5 nights !!. 2 nigths in the train (for going and back) and 3 nights he would spend in Chiang Mai.
This would be the most interesting residential for primary students, not to mention the most expensive.
I took him to the school. The school bus left at 2.15pm and would take them to the train station in Bkk. They would go to Chiang Mai by train. It would be a long night journey. Took 12 hours.
They went to the Karen hilltribe (in Chiang Mai) and they would (teachers and students) stay with them (local people) for a night, and for the rest of 2 nights they stayed at a student center.
Arif really enjoyed this residential. It was a very good experience for all the students according to him. They learned how the local people do some handycrafts, worked in the muddy paddy rice field, tried to ride a buffalo, walked in the rain forest. How about the weather ?? I asked him. "It was cold (hi..hi..lha wong di gunung) and very damp. It rained like 3 times a day."
Below are the conversations between my son and me :
Arif : "Mama I know what was like being poor, I was soo poor there".
Me : shocked, and I asked him "what happened there honey?".
Arif : "the last night, when were in the train, we supposed to buy our own dinner, then I borrowed my friend's money, which he borrowed from the teacher. The teacher gave him 100 B (equal almost US$3, remember people this is in Thailand, food are much much cheaper than other places outside the country, apalagi kalau mau bandingin ama jkt, just admit it di jkt jajanan boleh dikata mahal). Then from that money, we shared. We bought our dinner".
Oh God, hi..hi..hi..(it wasn't funny at all at that time when I heard his story).
Me : "But I gave you more than enough money" (since teachers had given information in advance to parents that we should provide our children with some amounts for last dinner in the train).
Arif : "Yes, then I had purcased books, a t-shirt, a game, a bag of coffee (the famous one from the Chiang mai's tribe), soft drinks, snacks....(oalah..belanja tho nak....)".
Me : Ok then, since you had borrowed, I'll give you the money then you must give it back either to your friend or to your teacher.
Arif : No, I won't pay him back unless he pay back to the teacher otherwise he'll keep my money.
Me : No you can't do that. You must pay back. Owe is owe. Here's the simple rule you owe then you pay, that's it. It's nothing to do with your friend. And anyway you should trust your friend, right ?. (trus karena kita beragama islam, percaya ada surga ada neraka, percaya hukuman dikemudian hari, hari pembalasan, (bukannya reinkarnasi lho) sebelum kalau bisa, masuk surga trus gw ceritain deh cerita yg pernah gw dapat dari ibundaku tercinta, bahwa bagi orang2 yang utang nggak bayar utang akan terus2an memikul utangnya terberat2 sambil cari orang yg diutangi yg nggak ketemu2, hi..! nauzubillahminzalik. Makanya waktu meninggal belum sempet bayar utang, harus dibayar oleh anak atau cucunya. Kalau nggak ada/nggak bisa harus ada orang lain yg bayar (siapa aja yg mau sedekah). Intinya sampai orang tsb bebas utang. Tapi bukan berarti jadi kewajiban orang yg diutangi bw ngebebasin si orang yg berpiutang, enak aja loe!.
Me, then, asked him again : "but I thought you stayed in the small village. Do they have a book store there ? (surprised that they sell english books)
Arif : yes we did stay but before, we went to the market. There is a bookazine (book store) there. Ooh...pantesan no wonder..
By the way Arif bought me a bag of coffee. He bought it from a special coffee shop. Product of the tribe. It smells very good. That is the best coffee from Chiang Mai. Almost everybody bought it, in fact some teachers bought a lot !! for their friends in Pattaya since they had been asked to buy the coffees. Arif told me proudly that the coffee is very cheap. It costs only 100 B per bag, since it should be costs about hundreds if you buy outside the place (with the good bag package and label on it).
I gave him the advices about money. What he should do with his money. He listened, he nodded. He understood.
Thank you again son for the coffee. You're very sweet youngman. I'm so proud of you.