Encounters With a Kind Thai Woman

March 26, 2014
Encounters With a Kind Thai Woman

The golden sun is going down on another day here in Chiang Mai, Thailand — the land of kindness. I realize that the country as a whole is known as the “Land of Smiles.” However, I have never before witnessed as many outward, generous expressions of kindness as I have in this city.

I went to the dentist today to have the first teeth cleaning that I’ve had in an awfully long time, and naturally I was white knuckling the chair and squirming because my teeth have become very sensitive of late. The sweet woman dentist was so attentive and even empathized with me about her own sensitive teeth as she held my forearm in a gesture of comfort while turning the teeth cleaner down to the lowest speed.

I stayed for a few more minutes, both of us laughing as we tried to understand each other.

Later on, I went back to the same dentist’s office to bring in the other portion of my payment. I spoke with a different Thai woman at the reception desk, whose English was a bit limited, but she generally understood what I said when I broke it down. She began to tell me a bit about herself and brought up wanting to learn English, but had no time since she worked every day. She also mentioned that her sister was a Catholic nun and that she goes to visit her at the convent often.

I stayed for a few more minutes, both of us laughing as we tried to understand each other. When I went to open the door to leave, the woman said, “God bless you” with a huge smile on her face. I couldn’t help but return the sentiment, since she was such a sweetheart and did so well with her English conversation.

Encounters With Kind Thai Women, Thailand Travel Information
Gina in Chiang Mai

Next, I went to AUM, my beloved vegetarian restaurant, and had the nourishing, creamy avocado maki with the bright carrot, orange and ginger juice. I was craving something a bit sweet afterwards, so I stopped into a nondescript cafe on my stroll home. I crossed the threshold and greeted the proprietress with the customary, “Sawadee ka” and she answered me immediately in English with a warm, “Hello. How are you?” This woman exuded non-judgment, warmth, kindness, and confidence in herself and in her establishment, and made me feel right at home.

She told me how much she loved my embroidered cotton tunic because it looked so lightweight and the blue color matched my eyes. Who doesn’t like getting complimented upon meeting someone for the first time? She guided me over to the pastry case so I could decide what kind of sweet I wanted, and I chose the perfect, delectable almond brownie.

This woman exuded non-judgment, warmth, kindness, and confidence in herself and in her establishment, and made me feel right at home.

I took my cute, baby pink cushioned seat and surveyed the scene, which slightly resembled a British teahouse that I used to frequent in San Francisco. The late afternoon light filled the entire place, brightening up even the dark cherry wood of the tables and chairs. It matched the warmth that I was receiving from Yupa, the proprietress. I stayed only for a short time, but the place made such a positive impression on me. In fact, I knew I would return.

I cannot help but feel so incredibly blessed to be in Thailand and to be having these magical interactions with seemingly complete strangers. It convinces me evermore that there is so much good left in this world. God bless me, indeed.


Encounters With a Kind Thai Woman

Related Reading

Living in Northern Thailand: The Real Deal with Laura Lopez-Blazquez
Visiting Koh Phi Phi, Thailand on a Budget
9 Things that Surprised Me about Traveling in Thailand
First Time Thailand… It’s Now or Never
Travel Thailand: Land of Smiles
How the Phi Phi Islands Surprised Me
6 Lessons I Learned While Teaching in the “Land of Smiles”

Have you traveled to Thailand? What were your impressions? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear  from you. Top photo by Unsplash. 

About Gina Rodondi

Gina is a yoga instructor and travel enthusiast who currently resides in Portland, Oregon. She caught the travel bug pretty early on in life, but didn’t have the opportunity to travel abroad until June 2013, when she embarked on her first transcontinental journey to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to get TESOL certified through Languagecorps Asia. It was her goal to acquire this certification to teach English to young children and therefore be able to economically sustain all the jet-setting she planned to do. She has had the pleasure of not only bowing into the peace and wonder of Cambodia, but also has ventured to southern and northern Thailand, and also Luang Prabang, Laos. After five months of adventure, she came to the conclusion that she needed to go back to home turf and really integrate everything that she learned about herself and from the bright people she encountered. The experience was one that enriched her life on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level and truly created the space for lasting change.

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