On the morning of december the 25th, 2004 i was on my way down to get breakfast. Another sloppy sunshine day on my christmas vacation. I was rather groggy from a long nights sleep on the soft matresses in my bungalow. I was happy and content, knowing that in a few minutes i would be dining right at the beach, sipping a cold fruit shake. The palm trees were whisteling their morning tune, while the island of Phi Phi slowly got up. While i was trudging my way down to the beach front restaurant in my slippers, a small thai girl grabbed me by my loose boheme shirt.
She looked at me with big brown eyes, she couldn't have been more than 7 or 8. She smiled, while she with big constraint and much practise stutteret "How old are you?". She was holding a small amount of papers and a stump of used pencil. She was obviously nervous. It was a school project they where doing. They where asking tourists how old they where and where they came from. They where learning about statistics i guess. Her brown hair blew in the wind while she with care scribbled my answers onto the paper. Tounge in cheek she finished the last of her writing. With her few learned english sentences and her incredibly shy charms, she thanked me and ran to the next couple of tourists that came down the road. A little braver than last time, i heard her ask the same questions to them with a small laugh added.
I smiled while i turned and went to get breakfast. What a magical moment it was when i think about it in retrospective.
The very next morning the Island of Phi Phi was struck by the devestating tsunami of december 26th, 2004. The wall of water completely destroyed the island, 2/3rds of the people on the island that day died. I had to my luck and by shere randomness left the island the evening before, to continue my travels on Phuket.
Chances are slim that the little girl that so charmingly had interviewed me the day before survived the disaster. If she did survive, chances are that she lost many of, or her entire family.
I think about her alot.
So i dedicate this
piece to her, i hope that if she is alive, she is coping with the brutal reality of the disaster, and that she is well taken care of.
Happy new year everyone.