It’s hot. Extremely crowded (10 million people in Bangkok alone). The streets are confusing. Traffic is awful. And language can definitely be a barrier.
So why Bangkok?
Well, there are several answers I could give, so I’ll try and hit a few over the next couple of days. I’ll start with the big reason why.
Thai people are just….wonderful! They’re extremely friendly, warmhearted, and very, very kind. In fact, so far in three visits to Thailand, I have never once (that I can remember) had an unpleasant interaction with a Thai person. Even my argument the other day with the cab driver who was insistent on taking me to a jewelry shop so that he could get gas credit…well even that ended up turning into laughter as we both realized that we had no idea what the other one was saying. (Just for the record, there was no visit to a jewelry store or tailor shop that time. I learned that lesson the hard way on my first visit!)
There’s a reason why Thailand is called “The Land of Smiles.” If you smile, they’ll return it. Almost always. And oh yeah…they love our children – especially Alex. Lots of soft pats and squeezes. And the shyer he is, the more they love it.
Thai people are beautiful people. You see it in the way they treat one another. (Consider the way they cooperate and yield to one another in traffic! Quite a contrast from what we see in Chicago.) You see it in the simple, yet respectful way they greet one another and even outsiders (a slight bow, with the palms pressed together in a prayer-like fashion). You see it in their generosity and service. You see it in the way they respect, love, and honor their king. You see it everywhere.
Thank you Thai friends for sharing your beauty with the world. There is much you are teaching us.