A rainy Monday morning, a holiday here in Thailand although I am going to log onto the VPN and get some work done after completing this post. Thought I would take a few minutes just to share a few notes with you. Pictures, food porn, travelogues, political intrigue, etc. will resume with the next entry.
- Yesterday I did some exploring as I took the “railway to nowhere” down to Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram provinces. These are two local lines that are remnants of the World War II era and still provide an important transportation service for locals living in the outskirts of Bangkok. The purpose of the trip was as a proving run for some visitors I’m having in June. I shot loads of video and took a number of pictures so I’ll organize and share those in the next future.
- This weekend I read an interesting essay titled Harmony and Hate: The Strange Thai Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on a blog written by a Thai named Kaewmala. She writes the essay, in English, to a Thai audience, exploring how it is that a society so doused in the ideals of peace, harmony, and joining our hearts in one is able to splinter into such hateful political discourse in the current “red versus yellow” mess. I found it to be very insightful because at the heart of the problem, she argues, is an education system that discourages independent, critical thought. A note before you click through: Kaewmala’s blog is called “Thai Sex Talk” (or is it Thais Ex Talk?) – don’t worry, it isn’t about erotic services or anything, just relationships – but if you’re clicking through at work it may get caught up by your company’s monitoring software.
- Sometime in the next week I need to book our tickets to the US for July. My grandparents both turn 90 this year and to celebrate we’re having a family reunion on my mother’s side of the family in July. I wasn’t originally planning on coming back to the US quite so soon – our last trip was in March – but this isn’t an event that can be missed if I can at all avoid it. Sadly, due to some extenuating circumstances I’ve chosen not to write about yet, I don’t think we’ll be able to afford to add on additional stops as we had hoped to do. I was really hoping to swing by Toronto on the return from Kansas City. Maybe next year…
- Finally, I’ve received lots of good news in the past few weeks. Our friends Lalima and Aaron gave birth to their second child. Dr. Zakiah and her husband Mohamed, who welcomed me into their home during a visit to Quincy last summer, have a third grandson now as their son and daughter-in-law started a family. Our friend Andy, who served as our witness when we applied for our marriage license last summer, called from Omaha to announce his engagement to Sugi. Our friend Paul, a frequent visitor to Thailand over the years, wrote from San Francisco to announce his engagement to Hey Jung. And in perhaps most surprising news our friends Dr. Chris and Antony, a Singaporean-Australian couple who live in Hong Kong, shared with us that they will be having two children through surrogate mothers in the US of all places. I’m so glad they will have the opportunity to fulfill their dream of starting their own family.
With what seems to be nearly ceaseless bad news in the media, it is nice to pause and reflect sometimes on all the little joys – no, great joys – that surround us and those we care about.