We rented an SUV and drove to Trang, about 150 kilometers south of Krabi, to meet Luk’s immediate and extended family. We were greeted with the traditional Thai wai greeting with head bowed and hands folded…a greeting that feels so incredibly respectful. Grandfather is 81 and lives at home with Luk’s graceful grandmother who is 72.
Before a visit to the market with Luk’s mother we stopped by a fish farm to buy fresh fish for dinner. Luk’s mother, a professional cook, prepared a half a dozen dishes for us and for various cousins and uncles who appeared on the scene throughout the evening.
Luk’s mom lives out in the countryside with a woman friend. Luk’s brother is 19 and works in a grocery store. One of Luk’s cousins has been a surgical nurse for four years in the Trang Hospital…her boyfriend works for the police department. Another cousin is in the army and works as a dive master on the side. We struggled to communicate…but we all laughed together at Luk’s mom’s tiny Laborador puppy who was terrorizing Luk’s 8 month old Shimazu! On the way to the car after dinner Luk’s mother and I walk hand in hand. We are family now.