Is there any better way to start the New Year than having a peaceful bicycle ride through Surin’s countryside roads?

Not for me, at least.
On the afternoon of January 1st, I found myself surrounded by the dried rice fields and their total silence.
The only visible living beings were few cows, some bullocks and some beautiful white feathered birds.
The sky was as blue as it can be only decorated by some white clouds that sometimes were hiding the shining sun.
I was slowly riding my bike, looking around me when an old and beautiful song started playing in my mind, it was like I could listen to Mr. Armstrong’s voice singing: “…what a wonderful world”.

Yes is still a wonderful world to live in, no matter that a minority of human beings are trying their evil best to destroy it, this remains such a wonderful world.

And as I was approaching my village I heard some noises, some music still coming out from a New Year’s Party loudspeaker and some children laughing and shouting.
I looked at my right and I saw few kids diving, jumping and swimming in a small pond having lot of fun… and once again I told to myself “… what a wonderful world”.

All this just reminded me that life is basically a simple and wonderful thing, even with all its struggles, pain and grief, and I felt lucky to be still part of it… and while thinking about this another questions popped up my mind…”Who actually needs Siam Paragorn, a Platinium Fashion Mall and always much more extreme consumerism?”
Not me, at least.

For this old Khun Phu a really nice and quiet way to start another year.

Ban Naudom, January 1st, 2549


5 responses to “WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

  1. Very sensitive…

    Often thought of moments like this. Basically, in life, for me, its a continuing fight between happiness and pleasure!

  2. I, too, used to take many bicycle rides into the countryside around Chiang Mai for exactly the same kinds of experiences that you speak of. I thought it was my little secret. (We don’t want too many people to know, otherwise it will be gone.)
    How lucky you are to be near the beauty and tranquility of the fields and forests for some balance in life. Thank you, dhannybhoy, for taking me along on your bike ride.
    By the way, you’d be wealthy if you could bottle and sell your outlook on life.

  3. Ah, the rustic peace of the Isaan ricefields! Your blog evoked the pleasant feelings I once had when I was gliding along the nearly-empty Isaan highways on my rollerblade. Very calming and peaceful.

    In the meantime, let’s not forget that beyond the facade of serenity the Northeast has its own set of problems, some of which are just as severe as those of materialistic Bangkok.

  4. Dear Siam Jai, thanks for your feed back, i just would like to add that being a social worker, working in a Bkk slum and in Issarn I am perfectly aware about what is hiding the wonderful facade of Issarn and i can tell that you are perfectly right in your comment. Is terribly unfortunate what happens here in Issarn, but this is not taking away anything from the beauty of the place. But i can confirm that Issarn’s problems are as severe as the ones in BKK… and in India and Nepal… . Happy new year anyway and thanks.

  5. Just think of the people who work for US$1 a day in some third world countries, and have to work a drudgery all day, having no free time to enjoy a peaceful bicycle ride.