I could immediately see the imbalanced income distribution.
While going down one street, I saw a newly renovated jewelry store, yet a few shops over there were elderly beggars on the street.
There were many blind musicians around the train station near our hotel as well playing for tips.
And looking at the infrastructure, you could see some skyscrapers were brand new and well kept, while some buildings were noticeably wearing apart.
Although I do want more cities to become fully developed and the income distribution gap lessened, I also want countries to keep their culture. Bangkok culture has been great.
Despite the language barrier, I still noticed how kind Thai people were. I suppose you don’t need verbal communication to figure that out. Many people will bow and put their hands together to signal a “Thank you”, and the hospitality that strangers offered our group of confused tourists is barred none. I can really appreciate their culture.
We used TukTuks for transportation, which is essentially a version of the auto rickshaw. The drivers were amazingly kind and would show such gratitude for a 20 Baht tip each of us gave him (~10%), which equates to about 0.80 cents Canadian. Seriously, tonight after we got back to the hotel, our driver couldn’t stop shaking our hands and even gave me a big hug! He then urged me to get on his bike, reasons I am still unsure of. Goes to show you how minimal things can create such joy in others.
Gosh. There is just so much to talk about.
The traffic flow, which although seems hectic at times, is beautiful in its own way on how efficient it is.
Needless to say, the food is also amazing here in Bangkok.
The people and their culture make Bangkok and our short experience here that much better.
Grateful Day 40: I am grateful for the hospitality that Bangkok has offered us.
Magic Day 9: Wow I did a lot of magic today!
First Audience: A store clerk. After I purchased this elephant statue, which is a symbolic animal that is very important to the Thai culture, I offered to perform magic for the store clerk. Although he didn’t shout and scream like the way groups of teenagers generally react, I could tell he appreciated the trick. I shook his hand and he bowed his head to signal a “Thank you”. Did I mention I performed the trick with very little speaking? (Language barriers)
Second Audience: I offered to perform magic to our Food Tour group. Although the magic was fun, the people in our group were even more interesting.
One man was here on a short trip for work with his wife and previously lived in Belgium. He spoke great English, but also knew French and [the third language I forget]. He recently moved to Laos and is living there.
One elderly couple that was part of our group were absolute gems. They were from England but have been all over Europe. But interestingly enough, the husband told me both his father and grandfather were born in China and grew up there, speaking fluent Mandarin, before having to leave during the war, and so he ended up being born in Scotland. In the short conversations I had with the wife, I could tell that not only was she a genuinely good person, but she also had many interesting stories to tell, and I truly wish I could have spent more time learning about their lives.
Then there were two young ladies from Switzerland (either friends or sisters). Unfortunately, I did not have much interaction with them. However, I had no idea that Swiss German sounded so romantic.
Third Audience: Did I mention I love performing magic for kids?
Wow–is probably what he was thinking. All I did was a simple disappearing card trick. He stood there in awe, with his mouth agape. No words exchanged. No verbal communication. One trick, one high five, and on we went with our days.
I love interactions like this. Short–and sweet.
Yesterday I talked about building a community by introducing yourself, and how you can build a community no matter where you are. I built a community here in Bangkok. To the amazingly kind–and sometimes hectic–drivers, to our Food Tour group and our tour guide, and to that one nice Chinese family I had a conversation with on the boat, thank you.