Published on November 24, 2014
'I should've stayed home…' As the thought of regret swelled through my mind, a group of Thai men came to greet us with ower garlands that were so redolence. It was peculiar and new, but heartwarming. The moment I saw them politely welcoming us with their hands collected as if they were praying for our joy and luck in their endearing land; I felt a bit better about this journey. "Sawadikap." A man who so kindly hung the garland around my neck spoke the only word that I knew in Thai from eavesdropping my friends who in contrast to myself, were so excited that they even researched Thai language. ! ‘Sawadikap' for guys ‘Swadika' for girls, it means ‘Greeting' or ‘Hello' in Thai. Strange how a simple word sounds more affable than just saying, "Hi" when they both mean exactly the same. Surprisingly the lugubrious emotions that I carried on the way to Thailand, soon saw a peek of hope. I wasn't expecting much of Thailand. Would it be any different to Indonesia? Same sweltering air, same lofty palm trees, and even similar looking people! Frankly I rather wanted to go somewhere cold like China, instead of Thailand. At 2:45 PM I reluctantly landed in Phuket International Airport, with a heart full of disappointment after taking a glance out the window. It was just like any other places in Jakarta. Murky sky above the breath-clogging high temperature, and the heat from noisy crowds of people gathered in the same atmosphere made it worse. พวงมาลย : (Phuang malai) are a beautiful Thai oral garland which are often given as offerings or good luck. นใจ : (nám jai) ! Noun- kindness ; spirit ; heart ! ! O, the tour guide is smiling as usual (Background). “You are all my brothers and sisters, despite the cultural differences, we’ve come this far, I love you guys and I’ll miss you.” Said O. ! © James Widodo A our'e To Heal: From Thailand ree to the rain orest สสด ครบ / ะ (Sawasdee Krab/Ka): Hello . ! Dare to care; search for the humanity By the time the piercing scent of lemon, stinky or even loathsome smell of Tom Yam Kum turned friendly, we were all saying goodbye. "You are all my brothers and sisters, despite the cultural differences, we've come this far, I love you guys and I'll miss you." Said O, such a short Thai man but with the biggest heart. The tears of a good man soon lled his eyes. Being in a country full of people with glued-on smiles on their faces would even turn the saddest person in the world happy. “Thailand Reef to the Rainforest”, a trip that has saved my soulless self is an energiser that I so greatly begrudged. Best embrace the suck; beauty truly comes from within.