Homeless little girl with a big heart

Being homeless and watching over her three younger siblings whenever mum went off on a meth binge was a way of life for young Tangmo, and she accepted her fate without question; now the children are in school and they’ve got a roof over their heads instead of a road.

Demure Miss Tangmo (Watermelon) tries to be as good and loving as any mum on the planet, but she’s only eight, and she worries a lot about her five-year-old brother and the twins. Not that there’s really much to worry about there: he’s happy and the twins are jolly three-year-old eating machines. Her mum, back in rehab? That’s a worry, but it’s nothing new.

Like the time the police arrested mum again after she’d been sick and violent on meth and was coming down, on domicum mixed with methadone. Minutes before the police arrived, Tangmo (she prefers to becalled Daeng) had grabbed her younger brother and the twins and ran to the safety of a rickety bamboo-shack karaoke bar under the expressway. She woke up the old man who’s always asleep at the door to let them in to hide from mum. It wasn’t the first time. She knew the mamasan lady who arrives in the late afternoon would buy them noodles, if she was in a good mood. But they couldn’t stay there overnight; the police would think bad things and put the mamasan in jail.

Whenever Daeng runs away, those two scavenger slum dogs who protect her come running — she fed them once and they are loyal for life. They curl up together for warmth all night — all four kids sleep soundly and safe with those two scavenger dogs.

What about hunger? In the morning, there was this nice crippled lady a few shacks away by the railway tracks who hobbles to the temple each morning, seeking left-overs and whatever the monks give to her and other indigents. She always saved a bit of rice for Daeng, brother, the twins — and the two dogs. In the afternoon, it’s hit and miss. Continue reading

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