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My mom and I share a few common interests: reading, shopping, travelling, and swimming. When I was a little girl, it was my mom who introduced me to libraries and Enid Blyton. This made me an avid reader and a bibliophile. She also took me to swimming classes, and we both learned to swim together.
In my late 20s and early 30s, my mom and I would go mall-hopping in Chennai to buy clothes, books and DVDs. When I briefly lived in Hyderabad in 2008, my mom joined me for a couple of months. She explored the place on her own while I went to work. We also went to a few places like Chowmahalla palace, Charminar, and the Salarjung Museum together.
In 2009, my mom and I travelled together to places in Europe.
We travelled together again in 2010, to cities in the United States and in 2011, we travelled together to Thailand.
Image: The author with her mother during one such travel.
We were scheduled to fly on a Thai airways flight that departed at 12.15 am on 18 November 2011. Unfortunately, we didn’t notice that the flight was a little after midnight and not at noon, so we ended up missing the flight. We were fast asleep in our house! It happened as we assumed that our trip was starting the next day. But it should have already started at night.
The next day, we realized our mistake and booked ourselves on another flight paying extra. We reached Suvarnabhoomi airport at dawn. The statue of the asuras and devas churning the ocean is one image of the airport I always carry in my mind.
We had to catch up with the rest of the travel group contingent at Pattaya that was staying at Golden Beach Hotel. Taxing a taxi, we reached the hotel only to find out that we hadn’t missed much.
We were taken to a coral island on a speed boat and we got to see marine life through a glass-bottomed boat. Coral Island is the largest of Pattaya’s archipelago. Some of the passengers went on a sea-bed walk, but my mom and I decided not to be a part of that group.
On a whim, I decided to go parasailing in Pattaya. It was an exciting experience that I would repeat in Ibiza the next year with friends. My mom and I then lazed on the shore. The sand was white with silver streaks and the water was turquoise. A few people were navigating the water on scooters and jet skis.
After lunch, we were taken to Nong Nooch village where we saw some drugged tigers we could pose with and pet. The main attraction was the elephant show where trained elephants were playing with a ball and making formations.
We had dinner at the hotel and then proceeded to the Alcazar show where we saw ladyboys dressed up like Las Vegas showgirls performing. A good night’s sleep awaited us at that hotel after that.
The next day, we were taken to stay at the All seasons Huamark hotel in Bangkok, which was next to a mall. Some of our co-passengers went to see the floating market but we decided to hang out in the nearby mall.
In the afternoon, we went to see the temple of the golden Buddha and the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. It was exceptionally hot, which surprised us as we expected better weather in November.
On day three, we went to a mall where Siam Ocean World was located. We got to see penguins, all kinds of fish and aquatic life and sting rays. The day was spent at the mall and Ocean world, after which we shopped all afternoon and then returned to our hotel. We were also taken to a shopping area where people were buying discounted TVs and electronics.
The next day we returned to Chennai. It was the least remarkable of all my four international trips, but it was an international vacation that we took together for the third time and is etched in our memories for that reason. A girl’s best friend is usually her mother. In my case, shared interests such as reading, shopping, swimming and travelling, have reinforced the mother-daughter bond.
Featured Image Credit: Silvia on Pixabay
Aishwariya Laxmi is a writer, editor, blogger, and poet living in suburban Chennai, India. She blogs on https://aishwariyalaxmi.com/ and has a newsletter at https://ash.fambase.com/. Her poems and flash fiction have read more...
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