The year 2019 sounds so futuristic remembering a 1996 visit of Thailand. I feel nostalgic tonight. Photography then was archaic when we have to use a real camera, a film and the negatives processed. I could never tell whether the photos would turn good or exposed. It was an expensive process and hobby.
The first time I’ve seen an ordinary orange poppy was at Golden Triangle not exactly the plant grown for opium purposes. Golden Triangle is at the tip of Thailand at the confluence of Mekong River between Thailand, Laos, and Burma. I stayed with the natives for rest and relaxation, time off from being a volunteer to take care of aids babies in Chiang Mai. As to how I survived the trip in the back of an open truck with no canopy under the hot Thai sun, driven by a maniac driver and crazy interstate, only my angel knows.
I stayed in a local village with the family of one of the workers at ABC (Aids Baby Centre). This is far from a first-class resort, but the price was right: free board and lodging. Being here as native as Thai could be without any tourist, it feels good to be with them and assimilate even though the only word I know is “Sawadee Ka or Krap”, a simple hello; ka for a female and krap for a male. Here, they treat their elephants with kindness and care.
Thailand is a Buddhist country. Wats (temple) are all over the place, monks in orange robes walk in line first thing in the morning holding their begging bowl for food. The community is more than happy to provide sustenance to them to earn merit so that when they die, their soul will skip Bardo and fly directly to Nirvana. (OK, I am making this up.)
What Buddha never thought me was not to kill mosquitoes. Unfortunately, these pesky winged creatures have no purpose on earth but to torment people. For some Thailand is an exotic place. It may well be due to beautiful women, beaches and tropical climate. The people are very friendly and hospitable.
Thailand was a trip of a lifetime that I did not experience the white sandy beaches nor my feet ever felt the warm salty water of the ocean,
Thank you, Amy, for the challenge that helps me recall the memory of the trip. I have to think long and hard about it.