The Thailand I live, may not be the Thailand you know. I haven’t been able to find a reference point for it in any literature I’ve found. I know few people who relate to it.
I train Muay Thai or Thai boxing, fulltime.
Tourist attractions and most things status quo rarely interest me. As a result, I’ve tried to follow my own path in this country, as well as within the culture of Muay Thai.
At the time of this writing, Thailand has been my base in Asia for approximately two years.
Thailand has changed me. At times I feel as though there is a Western me and an Eastern me, neither really fitting into either stereotyped cultural norms and neither fully in agreement with one another.
What I once thought were universal truths, principles defined by the human existence, not by culture, are constantly being negotiated, questioned, with no resolve.
These principles include honour, integrity and compassion. Unarmed truth is often received with expressionless suspicion and hidden contempt, motivation easily concealed by a warm smile.
This is a country where, at times I have found myself on the brink of losing faith in humanity, just to be shown kindness and support by strangers who wanted nothing in return.
Friday, February 18, 2011