Joseph steps off the subway train onto Bangkok’s Chatuchak metro station platform. As the 29-year-old Laotian refugee exits to the street above he notices two men trailing behind him. 

Both men are carrying large suitcases that seem light to the touch as they lift them easily on to the escalator, Joseph* recalls. 

Members only

Log in or

Join New Naratif as a member to continue reading


We are independent, ad-free and pro-democracy. Our operations are member-funded. Membership starts from just US$5/month! Alternatively, write to sponsorship@newnaratif.com to request a free sponsored membership. As a member, you are supporting fair payment of freelancers, and a movement for democracy and transnational community building in Southeast Asia.

Prema-Ja

Prema-Ja is a Thai illustrator and comic artist who various mediums—such as digital paint, watercolor, ink, and crayon—to create her works. Her short comic, Sky Sky, received the Grand Prix at the Silent Manga Audition in 2013. She has also created three graphic novels. Apart from these projects, she also self-publishes work relating to the human-animal bond. See more of her work on Instagram @prema_ja

Adam Bemma

Adam Bemma is a Canadian journalist, media trainer and media development advisor based in Bangkok, Thailand.