Tag Archives: Thailand

Passage to India

3 Oct

They say in India that to have patience, mercy, and understanding means to have a good mind. How convenient that in India to travel you’ll need a huge dosage of patience and mercy.

And you’ll need to understand that different folks simply have different strokes. And you have to be okay with it. Well enough of that now. How about some photos.

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As I wrote in an earlier post, Thailand was beautiful. But I didn’t have to work hard to find that there. In India, mind you I spent most of my time in the northern part, I had to work to find it. Not convinced?

A woman and child, begged for a photo and immediately afterward wanted money, charging me for taking it.
“Photo?” they ask innocently. They even begin to smile to show me what the photo could look like.
I nod. Take a photo. I show them.
They shake their heads, they don’t care, “Money, money, money!”
I’m shaken, speechless, and I hand them ten rupees.
They run off to the next tourist in line.

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A View of Thailand

1 Oct

 

In Thailand there is a proverb: 

In the spirit of making hay, I took some photos. Would you like to have a little gander? I know that you are just dying, sitting on the edge of your seat to see what it is I saw while I was there…okay okay okay. Well here they are:

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Did I convince you? Will you come? No? Take a look at some of the beach views from Koh Samui (and island down in the Southern part of Thailand) :

Breather, and now:

 

Embracing my small artistic gene:

 

Thanks for having a look. I’ma go keep making hay whilst the sun shineth.

 

Uncovering Needed Beauty

19 Sep
Fishing boat, Koh Samui, Thailand

Fishing boat, Koh Samui, Thailand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently went for a little travel. Down to the lovely Thailand and lovely (more or less) India. I thought I’d look for beauty in completely opposite countries. Both are a culture shock.

There is a constant bubble of sound that seems to follow you wherever you go in India. Sometimes it felt as if I couldn’t turn around without someone staring, touching, yelling, crying…anything really. There is no such thing as personal space only the relentless look of derision and judgment at having white skin. To the people on the street; white skin means money and stupidity. Street vendors, tuk-tuk drivers, “guides”, are automatically allowed an attempt at cheating you, you’ve risked coming here and what happens in India, stays in India.

Great.

But what am I saying? That all of my experiences there were on the negative side of the spectrum of perception? Not in the slightest. It simply became more of a challenge to discover the “beautiful.” In many countries they put their lovely aspects on display, not India, nothing is hidden. It’s all there for you to see, and that is why you should go, because it helps you realize that there is power in having to work at loving something. Let me tell you that while I loved Thailand, I loved India more, simply because I had to toil to love it. Thailand laid all of its beauty out there for me to see, India hid it from me and I was on a hunt to find it. And I did.

Take a breath, the next bit will be a tad cliché.

Dear India. I found its beauty in the holy towns where women washed in the brown waters that met the steps. It was in the smiling faces of those children in the school at the Jaisiyaram Ashram. In the smiles of the happy Ashram workers; they’re always singing, laughing at something. Beauty and love in the kiss that Nanniji lay upon my forehead when I left the Ashram. “Goodbye,” she said and smiled.

There was beauty in the way that families are so connected there, just a tight support group. In the face of Ankit, a little boy who stated decisively “I will be the Leader of India, and clean it up.” I saw a beautiful monkey, who then stole my crackers and stared at me defiantly, challenging me to take them back. I threw my head back and laughed.

Where else? Let me tell you.

In the forts and temples, the mosques. But of course that is a given.

I saw it in the priest who blessed me in the name of Krishna, and then demanded a donation. When I cried in frustration at his incessant urges, he fell over, almost landing in the mucky water that is called “holy”. He said, “Now see, you are crying and I fell over. Everything is connected.” I gave him some money. Yes there was beauty in that. Its small but it’s there. Oh! I saw it in the family I stayed with in Varanasi. How the father adored his mother, and loved his children, he was a lighthearted fellow, very quick to help and tell a joke. I saw beauty in the willingness of our driver, Lucky, (who doesn’t earn much), to give twenty rupees here and there to the children who pleaded to him with hungry eyes. He put me to shame, and there is small beauty in shame; it reminds me of my humanity.

Need I go on?

The beauty I discovered in Thailand, was precious, albeit at times more superficial. I stayed on an island, in a bungalow. Met a beautiful Chinese woman named Eva. She’d grown up in Italy and had an Italian accent. In fact the only thing Chinese about her was her appearance. But she smoked and drank like tomorrow didn’t matter. I’ve never met someone so free and uncaring. There was beauty in that. Before I left she said to me “Tricia you are only here for one night. I just met you, but I know you like to talk, and I know you like to live.”

“Thank you Eva.”

I saw beauty in Bangkok, in the different markets, the different senses of “need”. There, the rush is not a rush, but an ambling sense of the word “go”. what I mean is that, stress doesn’t seem to exist here in the outskirts of Bangkok. The same goes for India, there is a relaxed atmosphere despite the noise. There was beauty in what I call the “train market”, a market set on the train tracks. 10 times a day they move their produce and fresh meats from the track to make way for the train. But when the train comes, it’s not a big deal, it rolls through at a slow lull of a pace. Everyone is relaxed and calm. Nothing to see here.

Where was I?

Right, beauty. There was beauty in Thailand, in the elderly woman with leathery creases in her face, when she gave me this tiny apple-star fruit. She smiled a toothless smile and made a motion to eat it with her leathery hands. Ah such a precious sight. Perhaps I didn’t have to look as hard in Thailand. Oh well, beauty is beauty.

I have written that word quite a bit. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, well, read it again and tell me which words seems to appear in each paragraph or sentence. After you do that, tell me how hard you search for it wherever you are. Because I can guarantee that if you’re depressed/angry, and you challenge yourself to search for it. Your outlook and attitude are sure to change.

Recently went for a bit of travel. Down to the lovely Thailand, and the lovely (more or less) India. And while I was there I sought out beauty.

…expectations

25 Aug

I thought that when I had started this trip I would have been inspired to write tons and perceive insight from everything that I have learned so far. But as it is I am too caught up in the moments to stop and write something down.
Silly me, as a writer I should have already learnt to set aside time for the day to look back and reflect or think about something…anything. But alas I have not, my mind and soul are to free to stick to any regiment. Or perhaps I am just forgetful…perhaps that is the actual cause.
But here is what I have discovered about myself do far on this trip. That I need to calm down. Almost everyone I have met has told me that I’m a little uptight and need to let loose. Then I think to myself that of course I’m letting loose. Aren’t I here on this trip, learning and freeing my mind? But then to some people I am the over planner. I know exactly at what time things need to be done and at exactly what time I need to be somewhere.
I know my mother at this point would say, “There is nothing wrong with that.” and of course there isn’t but there is something wrong in not letting yourself go with a flow and see what happens. You never know who you will meet in your travels.

Staying at Jaisiyaram in Vrindavan…

I just finished having dinner at the ashram and it was delicious and silent too for that matter, because we were all busy eating.
The boys (various boys from families too poor to support them), sat in silence also at the other end of the table. Every once in a while I look over and smile at them and they smile back and shyly look down at their plates. They live here and go to school here, their life is here. And they are so excited by the simple things in life that it shakes my senses and almost stirs me to tears.

Yesterday I sat beside Naniji, and with my handy-dandy iPad asked her how she was that day. Well there must have been a mistake because when her grandson came to translate, she said to him “How can I tell her that I am 90+ years old?”
My foolish mistake in accidentally asking her how old she was…of course she was not embarrassed, but I was. But she lovingly patted my back and shook her head as if to say nothing shocked her anymore in this life.

What else have I learned here in this journey?

1. I’ve learned that no matter how hard you try you meet people, amazing people. They’re everywhere and are so ready to meet you and get to know you.
2. I’ve learned that fear and regret are only as big as you let them get, and no matter what the world spins and life goes on. So forget about fear and regret…move on with life and live it.
3. I’ve learned that even in the most chaotic places (like India) there is a rhyme and there is a reason, I’m just too foreign to see it.
4. Stress, when it plagues you…is obviously never a good thing~ duh.
5. Sing and smile while you work, it makes it more enjoyable even in the nastiest jobs. There is a man at the ashram who is always smiling, they call him Baboo (spelling). He serves our meals, and anyways, he is always quite the happy camper.
6. Be down. And by this I don’t mean on the ground…I mean be up for anything. Someone wants to try something new? Don’t say no, say yes and see what adventure you might have. You never know what will happen.

Hmmm that’s all I can think of thus far, but I will keep the list running, keep the thoughts flowing, and all that jazz. But until I do, here’s cheers from me in India 🙂

Jaisiyaram

Thai Times

1 Apr

I need to go to this country. It is just teeming with beauty!

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