The Things That Seem Normal Now
As I wake up and to birds singing, geckos chirping, and feel the tropical climate of Thailand, even after 1 year and 8 months, I am filled with gratitude for yet another day of living in this amazing country. After having been here for this long, certain things just seem normal now that might not have before. Here are a few:
Saying sawadee kha and pressing my hands together in a prayer like position called a ‘wai’ to say hello. Saying khap khun kha for thank you.
Dodgy traffic with 3 people on a motorbike, no one wearing a helmet, songthaews, tuk tuks, motorbikes, slow driving new car owners, crazy driving truck and mini-bus drivers, bicycles, sidecars, and of course pedestrians. Everyone weaves in and out, and merging is done gracefully. Almost no one honks their horns, regardless of how many close calls there are. Considering how horrible the overall driving is, there are relatively few accidents…but there are accidents. The middle lines on the road appear to be optional. Driving on the left side of the road has become second nature.
My senses are filled with sights, sounds, and smells.Things I hear are karaoke in the distance, monks chanting, frogs, dogs barking, motorbikes, tuk tuks, tokay gecko chirps. Now I don’t even react to the loud gunshot type sound I hear, and figuring it’s just another firecracker, even if it’s in the middle of the day.
Scents range from gardenia to sewage to garlic frying to incense.
It’s hot all the time yet people stay covered up and even go swimming in jeans. Families stay close and kids playing around/working in the restaurant bar, or store of their family. Once a year there is huge water fight where people throw water at each other and where no one gets angry.
Smiles instead of frowns.
Freedom instead of fear.
Every day something surprises, delights, or amuses me. It’s never going to be entirely what you expect. It gives me a thrill and joy to live in this incredible place I now call home. Khap khun kha prathet Thai.