“It’s the next stop–the last stop. Are we friends now?” he asked Nawin of the Thais who chuckled good humouredly in reply as if the earlier retort of surly silence had been from some other self. It indeed had been, in his opinion, for each minute, if not mentally connected to its predecessors, could be unique from all others and unpolluted in that sense. At least that was what he thought and so he laughed magnanimously. “Why not?” he said with fresh amusement in being with the Laotian. “Maw ni khrap” he called out to the salesmen pointing to all three and handing them each twenty baht. He distributed the food to his acquaintances and the young woman pulled herself up into his seat.
“Ambrosia, food of the Gods,” said Nawin.
“The Gods must be cheap bastards or starving rice farmers to consume something like this.”
Nawin laughed. His eyes became focused and dilated like those of a baby intrigued by the newness of life. Meeting an iconoclast in these parts was a sumptuous treat.
“That is his way of thanking you,” said the girl. “You are so kind.”
“Mai pen rai. Yindee torn-rub khrap.” ["Think nothing of it. You're welcome"], he said fully, captured by her mellifluous sound and how the smile lit up her face right before the spoonful of rice was placed in between her two rows of teeth.
“Reunions are so nice–you and me and you and my sister, her Thai toilet friend. She’s been talking about you, you know, ever since she passed you coming and going from the toilet–this handsome, middle aged man who is obsessed by his image.”
“Sister?” He was stunned.
“Oh, yes my