By Tori Vail
April 15, 2016
Gwydion Morris was walking up stairs in a Bangkok mall. He heard a voice yell at him from behind.
Morris was on a backpacking trip through Asia. Bangkok was his first stop.
A Thai couple started talking to him and asking about Canada because their sister was about to move there.
Morris was talking to the couple when the man, Raymond, invited him to go back to their place for lunch.
“I thought, yeah, you know, three days in Thailand, I want to get to know the locals so I said sure, and went with them,” Morris said.
Morris left the mall with the Thai couple, got on the subway and went to the last stop, then got in a taxi and went 30 minutes outside the city.
“I had no idea where I was,” Morris said.
Morris followed the couple inside the house. There was an older man sitting on the couch. He was introduced and sat beside him.
Another man showed up in the house and introduced himself to Morris. The man went to shake his hand but had no fingers.
“I shook his hand,” Morris said. “His name was Roger.”
Roger told Morris he is a big blackjack dealer on a big cruise ship, the manager of the casino.
Morris talked a bit but Roger kept saying, “Oh we will do business, we do business.”
“I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by that,” Morris said. “I was there for lunch.”
Roger said he had a new version of blackjack that he invented and asked if Morris wanted to see it.
“Sure,” Morris said.
Roger said they would play while lunch is prepared. Roger, Raymond and Morris went up to a room and there is nothing in it but a briefcase. They all sat down. Roger opens it and there were chips and cards.
They played a few regular games of blackjack and he says, “OK, I will show you my version now.” Now, he was playing as a dealer but it wasn’t a new game, Morris said.
“Just a version where he cheats.”
He showed Morris the cards he had so he knew what to play. They kept playing this game so Morris could win every time.
“He had a system on how to cheat and he was showing me,” Morris said.
Roger told Morris about a guy who won $80,000 at blackjack, then stopped so the casino couldn’t win it back. Roger said his boss was angry with him for losing so much money.
They keep playing and Roger looked at Morris and said, “Are you ready to play this for real?”
“What do you mean?” Morris said.
“Do you have the confidence to do this in a real game?” Roger asked.
“No of course not, I am here for lunch,” Morris said.
Roger shook his head and there was a knock on the door. The wife told Roger he has a visitor.
An old Chinese man walked in wearing a suit and sat down across from Morris, beside Roger.
“OK, are we ready to play blackjack,” Roger said.
“That is when it dawns on me he was the man who won the $18,000 from Roger on the cruise ship and I’m suppose to play and help him cheat, win the money back,” Morris said.
“I sit there, my heart drops. I have tunnel vision. I start sweating and thought this can go really bad because I have no idea who this guy is,” Morris said.
That’s when Morris realized that is probably why Roger has no fingers.
“He was just a black jack dealer, how did he have no fingers.”
“I think in my head he probably had done this before and got caught and lost his fingers.” Morris said.
Morris didn’t want to get involved so asked Roger the time, he said 4:30 so Morris got up.
“I have to meet my friends at five.” Morris said.
He grabbed his bag and got out of the house quick.
He went down the stairs, through the living room and the wife and uncle were watching TV .
“I realized there never was a lunch, and never was a sister.”
“ I was going down the street and Raymond caught up to me, puts his arm around me and asks if we were OK. I said, ‘ya whatever I just want to get out of here.’”
Morris went back to the hostel.
But after that he was weary of every local, Morris said.
“If they were being nice I’d ask why are they being nice to me.” Morris said.
There are a lot of pros and cons for traveling alone, Morris said.
“You have freedom to do what you want and meet people along the way but it can also be lonely at times when you don’t click with people.”
Overall, it’s worth it, Morris said.
“Everyone is mostly in the same boat.”
Morris said is doesn’t really know why he went traveling but it is a big world out there.
“Now is the time, I am young.”
I learned people are the same everywhere, especially kids. Up until age 10, they are all the same.
He also learned you don’t need much in life.
“I chucked all my clothes out, you learn to live with less.”