My Romantic View of Bangkok

Warm tropical weather, Sunlight reflecting of Golden Wats (Temples),
images of Buddha, friendly Thai people, warm smiles, Wai-ing one
another, Monks, and there is Silom, Patpong, a vibrant sex industry.
Complicated city planning; high end private residence beside a run
down shop house, which is beside the BTS, which is opposite an office
building which is beside a mall, which has a cheap street food stall
outside along the busy road with many pink taxi.

Such are the images of Bangkok that filled my mind. Colorful,
full-flavored, strong aroma, complex…like hot and creamy green
curry.

The Thai people, at least from those I’ve met, are spiritual (or
supernatural). It’s not hard to see that! they are so many temples
across their city. They Wai to images and statues of Buddha whenever
they walk past it, whether they are in a mall, in a car (if they stop
beside a statue), along the road, or in the temple.

They talk about gaining merit, having good karma for the next life.
Some of the thai young men become monks for a period of time,
collecting alms, living in temple, because of a belief that such an
action will bring good merit or blessings to their elders, namely
parents.

During the Songkran, Malls have small statues of Buddha set up in
their complex, so shoppers who visits them can invoke blessings by
pouring water over those little statues.

Then a walk along Silom and Patpong… You see ping pong shows, Go Go
shows, a vibrant GLBT community.

I was wondering whether the Thais notices anything “odd” about this.
Are they compartmentalizing the “spiritual” and “secular”? Then, I
figured that a lot of my queries raised from my own preconceptions. My
views of what it “should” be, rather then BE.

You see, it’s not just about black or white, sweet or sour, spicy or
not spicy… It’s precisely in the Siam, that Phat Thai can be both
sweet and spicy, beautifully blended together. Many can co-exist,
nothing really is that different.

It is my opinion the reason why so many people have fallen in love
with Thailand is not just because of what it offers materially, it’s
about an idea, and Idea that you can have a slow long boat ride in the
Chao Phraya River in the day seeing beautiful temples and feeling just
as free while having a good time in clubs at night.

What is it? Its the sense of forgiving..

It means that though you have done many things, and life has been
complicated, you tasted sour, bitter, sweet and spicy, but in the end,
it’s all Mai Peng Rai (it’s ok), it’s thai food. Its good. You take a
deep breathe, You smile. You bow humbly to the universe, you forgive
yourself, be grateful of what you have and have not. Life goes on.

Sabai sabai.
Moses Hng

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