Bangkok is a Big City like any other but……I don’t really like cities and so always feel happy to get to my little village after traveling.
Recently I was in Bangkok for 2 days. I had a dentist appointment and some computer ‘first aid ‘to take care of. I usually ride the BTS (the above ground sky train). It’s easy to figure out and – best of all – it’s air conditioned.
Clothes, books, teaching materials, a laminator, groceries and so on filled two rolling suitcases. They were heavy and just barely manageable. Some of the BTS stations have escalators up. That really helped. But mostly I was left to ‘schlep’ my ‘stuff’ up and down the stairs, making connections to the train and my hotel.
Here is the essence of Thai people: Four times I was offered a seat, rather than standing, on the sky train. And six different people helped me get my bags up and down the stairs. Unsolicited kindness.
I knew I could carry my own bags but it would take me longer, then, out of the blue, from the side, someone would take a bag and say, ‘Let me help you with that’. Young women or men with a willingness to help an older American woman.
For those of you who didn’t live through the times of ‘women’s liberation’, we used to make a point of opening our own doors, paying for our own lunch and carrying whatever we brought. It was a sign of ’consciousness’ about the strength of women and a message to the world that we were equal to men.
Thirty to forty years have passed. I’m in Thailand a 65 year old volunteer teacher. And, I am less adept at ‘lugging’ things around these days. So, I let go of my impulse to be an independent feminist and I have learned to be gracious and say thank you very much.
Beyond all that, is the spirit of Thai people. Kindness and generosity deeper than the anonymity of a city.
The spirit of everyday helpfulness prevails.
Random acts of Sweetness all the time
February 7, 2013 by lindaprinsen8