Hey guys, to be honest when I decided to write this article on my time here in Bangkok , I had a much different topic in mind than what I am writing to you about today. I thought it would be a fun article about my great experiences and unbelievable trips here in Thailand (maybe I’ll come to that later), but a current issue has forced me to change my topic. As many of you probably know by now the king of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej has passed on Thursday October 13th at the age of 88 years.
Many of you may think now well what does that matter to me, he wasn’t my king. But when you live in Thailand you couldn’t help but notice. Notice a change in people, a change in society, a change in everyday live.
It is difficult to explain, especially to someone who has never been to Bangkok, but in the first weeks that we have lived here we experienced a very open, very kind and very content culture, eventhough many people suffer from poverty it seemed as if they were satisfied with their situation. But since the king has died we couldn’t help but notice that these deeply calm, happy and satisfied people have been shaken to their core. The kings death wasn’t only some ruler dying, for Thai people it was like a part of their family, a piece of their heart left them, and passing Thais on the street you can see it in each and everyone.
Thanks to our professors, we have been up to date at all time, they actually organized a line (Thai whatsapp) group to give us as many information as possible and answer all of our questions.
They have explained to us that this is a historical time for Thailand a the next years will determine the future of the country and in which direction it will head. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the uniter of the nation, a uniter who is now gone and who will be missed more than we can imagine.
Eventhough the king had died on Thursday we did go on our first trip with the University on Saturday. The sense of the trip was to give back to Thailand, therefore we went out to Klong Kone, a reforestation project, and actually got to plant Mangotrees in the ocean or to be more specific in the mud. Quite dirty I gotta say and coherent with a few injuries :-D.
But first we literally got to eat lunch in the middle of the ocean where we were served sea food in a bamboo house which to german standards still kind of frightens me when I think of the way it was built :).
After that we went to plant the trees which was coherent with a mud bath, which in my opinion some of us might have enjoyed a little to much (Jonas :)). Which was followed by a thai style wakeboarding session one of my highlights of the day. The day was rounded up with a trip to the floating market near by.
All in all, I appreciate the opportunity to spend my time here in Thailand as I have already learned so much not only about the Thai culture and people but also about the influences other cultures had on it- And ofcourse have celebrated a little ;-).
Well in that matter have a nice day
(all photographs were taken by ajarn Hong)