It is Sunday morning, and we are antipating the arrival of our car and driver to assist us in heading north. We have a general plan with wiggle room, to visit some of the old cities, participate in a home stay, visit some vast culturally differing areas, celebrate the natural surrounds, and more. I am excited to visit and participate in some of the local silk raising and weaving traditions along the way!
We spent much of yesterday shopping; everything ranging from a local handicrafts market to a six-level shopping mall with an aquarium, zoo and entire floor dedicated to exotic cars!
Our visit to the small business market was truly interesting! A frenzy of vendors selling everything ranging from fried worms and grubs, fish for pets and eating, pets ranging from dogs, foxes, and rodents, some of which I didn’t recognize to handcrafted items. Of course the handcrafts grab my heart. This is the piece I couldn’t leave without. A beautiful woven scarf with locally spun, hand-dyed yarn. It consists of a shimmering cotton and silk. It was a pleasure speaking with the vendor about her family traditions from the northeast region of Thailand.
And now, we get to go to the very region where all this handmade beauty emanates from! Stay tuned!
The universe has a way of enabling correction. Apparently my writing attempt at this post was not so great the first time around, as it disappeared when I was nearly complete with it. So here comes Thailand Day 2, the best version! Harmony has many faces. We tend to maintain our own conceptions of harmony, and yet it really can be found in so many more forms. Consider the art of transportation in Thailand, for instance. To the casual Western observer, it seems to be absolute chaos! To my local Thai friend, it is “normal”. In fact he says to go to China or India to see crazy drivers! But for we westerners, Thai traffic fundamentals possess a wild energy to behold. And yet we’ve seen no accidents. Why? Harmony.
What appears to foreigners to be frenzied insanity is actually a daily harmonious endeavor of many, MANY people getting to where they need or wish to go. I asked my Thai friend about accidents and he confirms they are rare. I theorized that perhaps many of the accidents that do occur involve foreigners unfamiliar with the sophisticated ballet that is the Thai commute. I can’t overemphasize, it’s harmony at its finest!
This morning we experienced street food for breakfast, right on the ground level below the condo we are staying in. It was divine! Noodles, morning glory and meats, some of which caused me a bit of suspicion after some travel shows I’ve seen where certain, ahem, gems are commonly utilized as food. You can literally get the picture here. Pana says it is actually a minced pork and rice mixture. I will happily take his word for it.
LrAfter breakfast we were collected by a taxi to move toward the famous long tail boats for a ride up the river to the Grand Palace and other spectacular sites. What a rush that is! The river is forever churning and boiling, and it’s hard to determine whether the turbulence would exist apart from the river providing mass transit. River traffic here is as busy as US suburban roads at rush hour. Add to this the constant reminders being shouted in broken English, “This boat is overload, move to the front!”, making one feel that failure to engage in this command may cause immediate oneness with determining the water quality of said river.
ter visiting the temples and palace and sweating out our total water content it seemed, we were bound for the boats once again. To say that the boats were “overload” in the afternoon would be quite the understatement! After reaching the stop to return to our condo, we elected to ride a Tuk Tuk., an auto rickshaw essentially. It feels like a motorcycle with a backseat bench. There is no more adventurous way for a tourist to experience Thai traffic and still walk with his life. What fun this was! Unfortunately my tech-challenged ways caused me to only video-record 12 seconds of the ride, missing some of the most amazing traffic interactions along the way. Fortunately I have many days to try to overcome my technical shortfalls! To sum up everything, this has been another fabulous day in Bangkok!
Occasionally things go awry. Messages get sent that aren’t meant for the eyes of the end receiver. Sometimes such an event can cause the unexpected discontinuation of trust. When trust gets unraveled, it’s often difficult if not impossible for that trust to be restored. Such an event has occurred during this experience, which is why I must now terminate my personal Master Key Experience. The lesson herein is to treat life as if always the main character, center stage. Everyone is watching. There is no hidden backstage for performing differently. My hope is this experience will be constructive for those needing to tighten up their role. Always be your authentic best. If you are always authentic, you don’t experience the hiccups of someone unbeknownst seeing less than ideal backstage performance.
This week I am encountering myself. How I wish to show up fully, thoroughly, without my wardrobe of masks and with authenticity. It seems I’m so used to wearing those masks, I struggle to know who I really am. These tendencies were never materialized from a motivation of being fake, but that is the inherent result all the same. Like muscle that is atrophied, it becomes so easy to lose shape and strength. After long enough, I add the story that this is just the way it is.
Realizing these things finds me at a distinct crossroads. I can take the red pill or the blue pill. I can plod along on what seems as if it were an easy path and do the same thing; with the same results and the same output. Or I can double down and choose the more difficult, higher risk, more likely to stumble, rediscovery of what I don’t know that I don’t know path. And I can begin to live. I’m fighting for my life, not my mere survival and therefore the second path is inevitable.