After more than a year of going in and out of the country for every 2 months and sometimes in every 15 days, my visa has finally been approved. Although there was some kind of relief on my part, I felt a bit sad. Knowing that I’m going to miss meeting other Filipinos who I used to meet every time I do my border runs.
The riding of the van going and coming back to Bangkok, sitting on it for more than 4 hours before finally reaching Poi Phet which is our place of exit. Indeed I am going to miss the smiling soldiers that every time we get back from Poi Phet to Aranya Phratet after several hours of staying in one of the Casino Hotels. They would smile at us and say “Khon Philippine” raising their fists and call out one popular name “MANNY PACQUIAO”. All the Filipinos would smile back and answer the gesture and say the name out loud as well.
I am indeed going to miss our staying in one of those finest hotels as well the falling in queue at the immigration office. All of those things became one of my enjoyable things and adventures last year.
Every time we stay in one of those casino hotels, I longed to play on one of those slot machines. Although I don’t really gamble neither would ever want to indulge myself on it in the first place.
My last trip to Cambodia left an event that made me smile every time I recall such event.
It was during those times that every time I went to go for my border runs. I only have enough money for my fare back to our house, there are even times that I don’t bother taking any snacks on my way home just for me to be able to get back into our house on time.
Basically, during that time the only money in my pocket is for the taxi that I am going to take once we arrived at Bangkok. You see, I still have to travel for almost 2 hours from Bangkok to Nonthaburi where we live.
So, while we were at the lobby of the Hotel waiting for our passport to arrive. I strolled a little bit at the slot machine area.
I just couldn’t resist at that time, knowing that I really have a limited amount of money. When I reached into my pocket I found out that I have an extra 2 10 baht coins on my pocket.
So, I went around without bothering to tell my Filipino friend who was there as well having his visa run.
I insert my coin into the slots hole then start pushing those buttons with figures without really understanding what the heck what I was doing. All I know is that I have to keep on pushing those numbered buttons. And I noticed that once a while it the machine would play a grand tune. I felt something different every time that tune is being played by the machine. But I didn’t bother about how I felt. As long as I kept on pushing all those “DANG” buttons like an idiot. Not knowing what was all of those about.
On the upper right corner of the machine I noticed that my figures were starting to get bigger and bigger from all zeros .Later on it started with 32 with 3 zeros on the front and 4 zeros behind.
I knew there was something wrong, so I stopped pushing all those buttons and called on one of the attendants and pointed at her the machine that I was playing.
The attendant was as calm and as cold as ice, she didn’t react on what she saw. She softly called one of the make attendants then started to write something on her pad.
Since they couldn’t understand English, I didn’t bother asking them what on earth is happening. Did I win? How much did I win? The machine was actually registering 32000; my heart was literally pounding so hard. I couldn’t understand what was happening and since there was nobody who can explain to me what had just happened. I just kept what I feel to myself, and watch what they were doing.
Then after jotting down something on her notebook, the attendant took my token and summoned me to follow her into the counter. And there I finally understood that I indeed have won some money. From a 10.00 baht coin into a 350.00 indeed that was the confirmation of all my excitement. When I finally have the money on my hand I indeed have confirmed “I WON, I WON”. But of course it was all just inside of me; all I know and felt during that time is that I now actually have extra money to pay a taxi heading straightway into our home.
Indeed, it was one of my most unforgettable moments and I am indeed going to miss such times. The travelling, the excitement, the chit-chats with fellow countrymen but it was all worth it. It is indeed worth remembering.