We Are All Connected

I take a bite of a sugar cookie and slowly sip my instant coffee. I feel safe and protected. We have been welcomed and given the green light to continue on our foot journey. I am grateful for the kindness we’ve been shown.

We accept friendship in whatever way it comes from whoever extends it. Today it comes in the form of friendly conversation, cookies and coffee from police and soldiers at one of the handful of border control checkpoints between Tak and Mae Sot.

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Kamphaeng Phet – Mae Sot

 

Ja hem arribat a Mae Sot ! L’últim punt del nostre recorregut per Tailàndia a només 5 km de Myanmar. Quan començavem a caminar allà a Bangkok ara fa tot just 4 setmanes miravem el mapa i ho veiem força lluny. Ara acabem d’arribar i ho fem molt sencers físicament i molt, molt contents i satisfets per la feina feta i les vivències/experiències viscudes.

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Finding a Safe Place to Sleep: Ban Lan Sang

The man with the big smile and kind eyes passes us his phone. He wants us to speak to his son.

“Hello again,” we say. We spoke to the young man a few minutes ago on speaker phone. His father called him when he saw we were having problems reading the menu of the restaurant we found ourselves in at the end of a 26-kilometer stretch. Thai letters are beautifully curvy, but we have no clue what they say. Both father and son wanted to make sure the cook understood that we requested our favorite, easy-on-the-stomach walking dish: fried rice with chicken and a fried egg.

“Hi. My father will take you to a homestay where you can sleep tonight, and tomorrow he will take you back to the intersection where you are now so you can continue walking. Ok?” The young man on the phone is in Bangkok, a few hundred kilometers from our finish line today, Ban Lan Sang, a speck of a town near Road 12 which will take us into the Thai hills and eventually into Myanmar. His English is very good, and our Thai is pathetically bad.

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Les parades d’autobús

 

Aquestes senzilles construccions als costats de les carreteres han esdevingut per mi, o per nosaltres, uns meravellosos oasis. A hores d’ ara penso que tal i com anem voltant per aquest bonic país, viscudes les temperatures que hem tingut i tenim, un dels millors llocs per estar entre les 10 i les 15h, és a una parada de bus. Ja sé que pot sonar ximple o si més no exagerat, però aquests indrets ja han esdevingut els meus particulars temples.

Així doncs, aquesta senzilla entrada vol ser un petit homenatge a les parades d’ autobús.

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Nakhon Sawan – Kamphaeng Phet

 

Aquests últims dies des de l’última entrada hem seguit cap al nord-oest avançant xino-xano sense fer grans distàncies però sense aturar-nos. Després de molts dies seguint el gran riu Chao Phraya, passat Nakhon Sawan ens hem ‘canviat de camisa’, hem ‘fet el salt’ a l’anterior riu i hem anat a seguir el riu Ping al llarg del que jo anomenaria, la ruta del sucre (molt diferent a la mítica ruta de la seda).

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A Sense of Belonging

We all want the same things in life, regardless of where we come from or where we’re going. We want comfort, security, good health and a better life than our parents had.

There are other universal things we collectively seek out. For example, we want to belong. We want to fit into a family or a community, or said more simply, we have a human sense of belonging to each other that we spend our lifetimes trying to satisfy. The flip side of that is more complex. In the same way we individually crave to fit in and belong, we also have this tendency to want to help others belong to whatever circles we move in. Despite what the headline news tells us about fearing “those people,” whoever “those outsiders” are in any given moment in history, there’s a part of us that cannot resist the urge to extend a kind hand and open heart to another person.

Thailand has given us a chance to reflect on this dynamic.

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Els gossos i…

 

El saben aquell que diu… Jaume: Anem a jugar a golf? Pere: Anem! … Un cop allà en Pere fa com 5 o 6 forats a la gespa abans de tocar la primera bola. Jaume: Perdona Pere, però pensava que en sabies de jugar. Pere: I en sé. Fins i tot he escrit un llibre. Jaume: Sí??? I com es diu? Pere: El golf i la mare que el va parir!

Doncs el títol complet d’ aquesta entrada és:

Els gossos i la mare que els va parir !!!!

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Sing Buri – Nakhon Sawan

 

Aquesta segona setmana ha estat força millor que la primera. En primer lloc, molt, molt important, és que durant uns 4 dies hem gaudit d’uns dies de fresca! Una nit va caure una senyora tormenta, afortunadament va parar cap a quarts de 5, just abans de sortir com cada día i durant les següents jornades vàrem poder caminar sota un meravellós llençol de núvols i una temperatura que gairebé (només gairebé) ens fa oblidar el pes de l’equip i els quilòmetres per endavant.

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Our New Reality

Our first week walking has been full of surprises. Every day we learn something new, and the practice of living in the moment has taken on new meaning.

We headed out of Bangkok uncertain of what lies ahead, but knowing that we had to stop thinking about the big overwhelming mission of crossing Asia and Europe. We had to shift our focus to the here and now. Out walking, the best we can do is have a weekly goal, a daily objective and an hourly status check to see where our bodies and heads are at. We measure progress step by step, minute to minute and one kilometer to the next.

This past week gave us many opportunities to test this “right now” game plan. What we’re learning most is how to manage our own expectations of what this trip will look like on a day-to-day basis and what our bodies can handle.

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