Daily Archives: April 14, 2006

Songkran Ponderance

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR, y’all! I didn’t do much by way of Songkran here aside from flicking some water at my husband this morning. Hehe. But Southern California weather today was perfect for a waterfight, quite a relief after a full week of cold, clouds, and rains.

I hope everyone is staying drenched in Thailand! Please someone throw water at somebody and say, “This one is for OakMonster!” for me. 😀

I’m usually not the one to forward “Forwards”. You know, an email that gets sent to others over and over and over again. But this one my friend back in Thailand sent to me strikes me as peculiar.

The introduction to the email said that someone posted this statement on a message board somewhere. It was said that it came out of “a foreign language book”. “Read on to see how lowly the rest of the world looks at Thailand,” the email said.

So here I am, translating the Thai version back into English for your reading pleasure.

When God was creating the world, He had with him a bag full of “ingredients”. As He formed the earth, He would reach into the bag for some wonderous things to be placed upon it. To keep the world balanced, he would put both good and bad components on each part of the land.

Every part of His world shall be equal. No corner of the world will be better than the others.

In North America, God lined the continent with the Rockies and sunny coastline but jolted it with earthquakes, spreaded the desert across the Southwest but left some of them painted and sculpted, stamped out vast farmlands but sprinkled the Plains with tornados, and placed Canada on top of the world along with the magnetic north pole and buried everything under snow and ice. In South America, God grew the lush rain forests along the Amazon but with it constant flooding and mysterious illnesses. He piled the Himalayas high up to protect the warm South Asia from invaders from the freezing north, but of course life in the area is harsh for the air is thin and the land is parched. And so on.

Every continent, every country in the world has a balance that God purposefully created.

But then, as God crossed over the Himalayas to the other side of the World, his bag was snagged on Mt. Everest. The bag ripped open and its contents came spilling out off the bag, rolling down to that piece of Asia that God had not yet touched, the piece of land shaped like an axe.

Beautiful islands and beaches, rich and furtile land, exotic fruits and flowers, wonderful cultures and culinary superiority: all these marvelous qualities God was going to spread around the world all piled onto this jutting appendix.

“Oh, no! What have I done?” God thought. “I don’t have anything bad to counter all of these!” God had just given his last earthquakes to Japan, and there was no natural disasters left in his bag. Whatever would He do to balance out this paradise?

So, on that day, God created Thais. As long as they occupy this land, this country will never progress too far, and thus keeping the balance of the World.

The writer of the email sure wants people to get all fired up. “Look at how the foreigners make fun of us! You should be angry too!”

Please. It’s not making fun of you when it’s true.

Thais are wonderful. Warm. Friendly. We are laid back. We are kind.

But face it, we are self destructive. Look at our political scenes. We can’t go 10 years without an incident. So every few years, the country has to stop while the world moves on.

We keep holding ourselves back. And we’re not going anywhere fast.

The scary thing is that I’ve always felt that way about Thailand since I was in 9th grade.

We were in a social studies class, learning about the countries around the world. My teacher pointed out that most of the 3rd world countries are in the tropics. Her theory was that the reason why we are less developed than the colder countries because we were so blessed we got lazy.

Other countries have to adapt to and fight with harsh environments to survive, so they keep developing new ways to better their conditions. People of the tropics have everything available, so we don’t have to work so hard.

Hence, while Europe and North America progress, Southeast Asia just looks on from our proverbial hammocks.

Indeed, Thailand is a truly blessed country. But we are not without flaws. What makes us better is the fact that we Thais are also blessed with sense of “Mai Pen Rai” and ability to enjoy life, finding “Sanook” in everything.

So, go on ahead, world. Have your technologies. Run along with your money. We’ll just be back here, enjoying our warm weather, perfect waters, delicious fruits, and a week long of completely senseless but fun as hell water fights.

We’ll catch up. Eventually.