This week, my post-Sweden life began by stepping off a plane in a part of the world I had never before experienced, South East Asia. While I had been to Shanghai as a teenager (back when going to China wasn’t cool), I had never been this far south on our globe - quite the shock after having never been that far north in Sweden.
My vision of Bangkok before arriving was a huge, chaotic, congestion-filled, dirty, hot and unruly city that would be, well, quite a change from Scandinavia.
This perception is accurate, but I’ve already learned to get past the initial traumatic welcome to one of the world’s biggest cities (10 million live in Bangkok) and discover what lies behind the big city organized chaos.
Two things strike the unsuspecting visitor to Thailand: Warmth of climate and warmth of people. For those of you in Sweden, brace yourselves. Thailand has been hovring at about 30 degrees this week (88 Farenheit). Yeah, it's tropical. Yeah, it's nice. Yeah, even for someone who generally prefers the cooler weather, it's not so bad.
My advice when travelling to any part of the world: Get past the initial impressions of the place, be they positive or negative, and get to know the people. After just five full days in Bangkok, the warmth of hospitality and welcome that Thai people have developed a reputation for is clear.
Check back next week for more from Thailand and what my post-Sweden life is bringing…
1. Thailand’s flag.
2. Temples abound throughout Thailand, but the most illustrious and ornate are found in the heart of touristy Bangkok.
3. More mesmerizing temples.
4. Three examples of transportation in Bangkok: Taxi, bus and “tuk-tuk,” the tourist’s favorite way to get from point A to point B in Bangkok.
5. Welcome to Thailand, Sean.