I'm in Hat Yai in Southern Thailand. I arrived last night by train. I have one full day here before I return to Penang early tomorrow morning. It's a delightful day and I'm taking a walk with my two cameras. I've been inspired by my meeting with Nick on the way here. I want to photograph a few strangers. In Thailand this is not too difficult. Generally speaking, Thai people are friendly and don't object to being photographed. It also helps that I speak a little Thai.

I'm heading towards a street that is sheltered in the middle by an overhead bridge. Vendors and repair services are usually set up here. On the way I've photographed an occasional flower and Thai-style house. I've changed my mind about my lens and switched from the zoom lens to my 45mm prime lens which is great for portraits or macros.

As I approach the vendor area under the bridge my first subject sees me as I see him. I don't need to ask if I can take his photo. He's eyeballing me, pointing to himself and smiling as if to say 'Take my picture'.

Just to be sure I ask politely, 'Tai roop mai khap?' (May I take your picture?)

'Tai! Tai!' he replies—in other words, 'Go for it.'
When he realises I speak a little Thai he starts talking very quickly—much too fast for me to follow him. I keep taking photos and manage to get one showing some of his jewellery.
When I have a few interesting shots I take out my notebook and ask his name. Once again he replies very quickly. I don't really have much idea what he is saying. I ask him to write it in my book. If he writes it in Thai I can do an accurate transliteration. I'm just trying to get it right but he declines. He repeats his name again more slowly and I write down, 'Yom Kaboy Yae'. I'm not confident that I am correct so I read it back to him and he agrees. So, this may or may not be his correct name but I guess it's close.

I thank him and I'm looking around to decide where to go next. There is a street that runs alongside the railway line which I've never taken before. I ask him if I should go that way and he agrees, so off I go hopefully to find some more willing strangers.