I loved Bangkok! The busyness of the streets awakened my senses – delectable food smells on every corner, the vibrancy of the colors, fashion, and ornate temples, but I cannot feel the pleasure of any trip unless the warmth of the people touches me. They did.
In a travel log about Bangkok, I read a warning that as a dark-skinned black, the Thai people would not welcome me. It seems that Thais had experienced some negative interactions with Africans who are mostly dark-skinned. My ‘consciousness’ orientation did not allow for mistreatment. I expected and gave a smile, and for the month I was there, I never experienced anything less than respect and kindness. From the clerks and attendants at the condo where I resided to the shopkeepers, drivers, and servers, there was always a warm greeting followed by “Ma’am.”
Thais are relatively reserved, and they are reverent and respectful to order and tradition. The street pace was fast, but upon waiting for and entering the skyway, people patiently await the entry line for exiting passengers. It is a well-oiled concert. We rode motor scooters to and from the skyway, and when we parked them, we left them unlocked! No worry. My brother, Bernie, reflected, “I once mistakenly left my wallet in my scooter. When I rushed to look for it, it was there, untampered with.” However, then he disclaimed, “…but make sure your purse is in front of you.” Pickpocketing is rampant. Bernie also noted that usually, Thais are not the guilty parties.
Every street and the public restrooms were clean enough to eat on. Of course, Sarin was quick to warn me that my visit was limited to the upscale community of Bangkok.
Despite the reported Human Rights crisis in Thailand, the LBGTQ community is widespread with all genders working in all walks of life there. The malls are glorious and find an international audience taking part in many of the events. I also witnessed young girls with older men walking the mall. I discovered the mall also served as a hook-up place. Some of those same girls are in the nightlife of Bangkok. My Sister-in-law, Sarin, filled me in.
The girls come from the country areas outside of Bangkok. Their households are impoverished, and “the parents send the girls to Bangkok to make money.” I saw a documentary on girls whose only ambition/dream was to build homes for their family. Very sad. The “hustle” reflects the state of commerce in Bangkok. Everything costs little or nothing, but Thais make less than ‘nothing’ to support their families. The irony is that the cost of living is what attracts the many tourists and folks who move there.
I met a musician, an ex-advertising person, as well as my brother’s friends in media that have made Bangkok their home. I also ran into tourists like myself who reveled in their visit to the Ancient City.
And of course, the babies.
Stay tuned for #4!!
Originally from Chicago, Vicki Goldston, (Victorine), now calls Florence, AL, the Shoals area, home. She has three children, (including a son-in-love), and 3 grand children, all who add texture to the fabric of her life.
Teaching Conscious Living through God Within You, Vicki is the Pastor Emeritus of Living Spirit Church, an Independent, New Thought ministry, in Florence, AL. Minister Vicki is an Inspirational Speaker; a Contributing Author of a Chicken Soup book, The Miracle of Tithing, by Mark Victor Hansen; and the author of her own book, Be S.A.F.E. (Still, Aware, Faithful, and Excellent). She is the president of Camp Goldston Publishing, LLC. and the founder of Garden Spices Magazine. She facilitates her workshop, Abundance Therapy, and is the Founder/Facilitator of Revelations: A Ministry. She is also a member of the African Dance Troupe, POZA and The C.O.R.E. Drummers.
Her slogan is: “It’s all good/God” and Minister Vicki believes “love” has the final word.