Thailand, the land of smiles!
A poster with this phrase already alerted me to this fact in some hostel in the past.
For the second consecutive year I was going to get rid of the harsh German winter and I could not be happier about it.
The arrival in Bangkok was peaceful, although it lasted a little longer than desired, but this will be addressed in another post.
New adaptation to a time zone, to food, to the temperature and especially to the local people.
After a night of sudden awakening and a few hours of sleep, I decided that I would venture into town to analyze a room for rent and the location of the office, where I will work for the next 6 months.
Google Maps showed me that bus number 3 would take me to the place, and the bus stop was right in front of the hotel where I was staying. Simple and efficient, even with all the names described only in Thai.
But it was not like that.
Taxi prices are relatively low in comparison to other countries, causing the colorful and old buses to be frequented mostly by the local people.
Upon arriving at the stop, no sign of my vehicle.
Realizing that I was a bit lost, a nice lady approached me and told that the bus I was looking for did not pass that street.
Previous experiences in Asia have taught me that some advices can not be trusted, even if they come from someone with good will. In the past Google has already proved right, so why would it be different now?
I continued at the same spot.
53, 111, 43, 42, but nothing of the damned 3.
Half an hour passed and I decided to take action.
I walked into the store in front of the bus stop and asked for my destination.
Apparently they did not speak English, but they understood my problem. A young Thai man brought me up the street and began gesturing to show me where I should go.
I find it magical the moment they realize that I do not understand anything of their language, but still they continue to speak as if I am an expert.
In this mixture of incomprehensible gestures and words a holy soul came to save me. Fruit seller and with a translator in her phone, the young Thai girl showed me in English that the bus really existed and it leaves from the place where I was previously. Besides, she was willing to wait with me. Talk a bit here, a bit there (through the translator obviously) and the bus did not arrive.
I decided to go walking anyway, after all it was “only” 5 km. I tried to explain this to my new friend and she motioned for me to wait right there. A few minutes passed and she appeared again, this time with her motorcycle and the invitation to take me to the place where a bus could carry me further
As a final message in the translator I received this: “I love making new friends. Good luck in Bangkok. “
How not to love this country?
Inside the bus, full of fans, with bright colors, a ticket collector with a certain age, many students and curious glances, I balanced myself until they announced that I should get off, just a few blocks away from my final destination.
I checked the apartment and signed the contract with them, so it was time to go to the office, to locate myself and not have any new surprises the next day, when I would finally start working.
Around the corner I was approached by a tuk tuk driver (those 3 wheel vehicles that take tourists around). I explained that I would live in Thailand for 6 months and that I was not willing to go around on that day, but he was more interested in my attire.
Still motivated by the promotion of my team (Paraná Clube) to the first division of the Brazilian championship, I wore the white mantle, with blue and red adornments, coincidentally the colors of the flag of my home. By stating that I am Brazilian, the words “football”, “Ronaldo” and “Neymar” sprang from the driver’s mouth, and with them an offer to buy my Paraná Clube’s jersey.
“Sorry buddy, I can not sell or exchange it. This one has no price, but I can try to come back with another one here and we change it for one from Thailand, deal? “
With this message I left with one more smile in return, and they would be more to come. Every exchange of sight with a saleswoman, a stranger, or any local Thai, make the teeth to shine, in a kind and welcoming way.
In just one day I was able to recover from the coldness, sadness and darkness that hung in the beginning of Berliner winter.
Thailand, the wonderful land of smiles!
This entry was posted in Asia