My LONG day was not so bad in the end. We always start our school days at 5:00 in the morning and get home by 5:00 in the evening. But my Thursdays are different and much longer.
I had to visit a day care for the less fortunate parents who had to work long hours to feed their children.I went with some students, from my school, to play games and help the little darlings with their studies straight after school at 2:45. Driving there in a van took 45 minutes and after spending another 45 minutes playing with the children we made our way back to school which took another hour.
After making sure that the kids were either picked up or had walked to their homes, I made my way to the klong (river) to embark on a river taxi before taking a 'road' taxi which would drop me off at my door step. The boat taxi was packed. People were squished together and there was no room for me to stand straight. I had to bend my neck to the side to be able to breathe. At every jetty we stopped at along the way, more people crammed in and I wondered how on earth will the boat fit a single person more... somehow they all did and the boat kept taking in more and more people along the first half of the journey... more got on the boat than the ones who disembarked.... Made me think of a jar of pickles.... How many pickles can you stuff in a small glass jar without it breaking?
A few times I squealed when the dirty smelly water splashed on my face and giggled. The people around me giggled at my reaction as well... and I felt better because my behavior cheered them up. Having your whole body imprisoned and squeezed tightly as well as having little space to move with the stench of the river engulfing your internal systems cannot be a pleasant experience.... and then having to do this on a daily basis morning and evening does not help one's psyche much.... I was the lucky one... I did not have to do this often and therefore, I took the whole experience as a pleasant one.
The boat passed so many beautifully decorated Buddhist and Muslim temples side by side and it gave me a sense of enjoyment to see them as so. Side by side sharing the same walls, in harmony and in peace with each other..... simply just beautiful!
We passed people walking happily along the klong, teenagers getting ready to jump into the murky waters caring less about the possibility of diseases waiting to invade their bodies, old people exercising and children cycling along on their rusty bikes. They were free! Watching the happiness in those eyes and the smiles on the faces drowned out the feeling of confinement of the boat I was in.
The closer to my destination I was the more space I had to move around. More and more passengers disembarked and I was one of the few left to enjoy the scenery around me. Watching the sun's rays shown through a small sliver in the cloud covered sky and feeling the wind on my face helped disseminate the stress I felt in my shoulders and neck. I knew I had another 30 minutes in a taxi before I could snuggle and kiss my children but those 45 minutes of standing on a boat sure helped to clear my mind.
Despite it being a LONG day.... it was a good one!