The land of smiles. I have had the fortune to go three times to Bangkok. Once with my parents as a child, when we lived in the country. The other time was many years later, with my wife and children. Finally, on the way home from business in Malaysia, I stopped by to see my folks in Bangkok. These pictures are from my last trip to Thailand. There are places you go in life that are magical. Magical because of something that connects with you as a person. I know my father loved Thailand more than anything. The people, the climate the plants everything spoke to him on many levels. It was wonderful to see him lit up and excited to be once again in Thailand.
The memories I have of Bangkok are very different. Not that disliked the country; I loved it. It is just that what I saw as an 11, 12-year-old child was very different. I wasn’t heading off to work every day. For me, I was in school. My parents had me attending a tough British school (Bangkok Pantana School or BPS(. The British school was known as a tough academic school. At the time we were in Thailand the international school had a huge drug problem. So BPS it was for my sister and I (she was homeschooled the first semester because there were no openings in her grade). I suspect the thing I remember most about BPS was the punishment book. Each of us had a composition book that we wrote sentences in.
I will not talk in Mr. Butterworth’s class.
One would think, that in fact that was written in the book on one page 25 or 30 times. It was not sally filling page after page with that line. I did not much like Mr. Butterworht. Nor, did I much like taking french. I guess the two worlds are colliding resulted in me having to write the sentence in my book over and over as a child. America Schools and English Schools were very different. Taking a dictionary home every single day, because our homework was defined 24 words a day.
But I loved being in Thailand. I made friends with people from all over the world. Plus I learned what it meant to be part of a minority. That knowledge has stayed with me ever since.