‘THAILAND, GO HOME’
Their new room was extra spacious. They’d plastic sheets to sleep on. Three bulbs lit the area. An alcove served as their bathroom.
The beatings stopped. The meals improved to incorporate nuts, butter and, later, rice.
Nonetheless utilizing meals to measure time, Anucha left scratches on the ground to mark the variety of days in captivity.
That modified when a guard introduced in some papers for them to signal. He, like the opposite guards, solely spoke Arabic. The Israelis interpreted for Anucha, who stated he speaks rudimentary Hebrew.
However the guard left behind a white ballpoint pen. They used it to mark time, draw tattoos and sketch a chessboard on the plastic sheet. Chess items had been crafted out of a pink-and-green toothpaste field.
One other distraction was the speak of meals. Anucha craved soi ju, a Thai delicacy of items of uncooked beef dipped in spicy sauce, that he dreamt and spoke of.
“Meals was a supply of hope,” he stated, smiling.
Weeks handed. Anucha had no inkling of the Israeli raids and bombings aboveground. He usually considered residence, his father, his seven-year-old daughter and his associate of 14 years.
On day 35, a person wearing black arrived for a short inspection. From his manner and the respectful behaviour of the guards, the captives surmised he was a senior Hamas chief.
Their routine resumed, till at some point, a guard arrived following their first meal and introduced: “Thailand, go residence.”
The 4 Thais had been led by means of tunnels for roughly two hours and arrived overground to a Hamas facility, the place a handful of feminine Israeli hostages had been additionally ready.
About 11 hours later, they had been handed over to the Pink Cross, which drove them out of Gaza on Nov 25.
“I did not suppose I might get launched,” he stated. “It was like I used to be reborn.”
However the hardest half was nonetheless what he noticed on Oct 7, Anucha stated. “I misplaced my pal in entrance of my eyes.”