The first time I went to Thailand in 2013, I found it both sad and strange that I only interacted with the locals as they worked in all things tourism infrastructure.
Then we traveled in January 2017 with our daughter who was almost 2 years old at the time, to the town of Khanom in the Gulf of Thailand.
Here I finally met locals or Thais who had come on vacation and had the opportunity to relate to the inhabitants of this country in a different way than through the prism of the services provided by them and consumed by us.
In Khanom I stayed at a small beach resort that had the occasional western tourist but was mostly frequented by Thais.
It was rumored, from the reviews read and heard, that in the resort, at the end of the week, there would be parties, noise and karaoke, the latter being a kind of national “sport” in Thailand.
When there, what to see, there came a few groups of very nice and quiet kids, who I initially thought were teenagers. It later emerged that they were on average 25 years old.
Silviu, very sociable by nature, immediately befriended them and that’s it we found ourselves invited to eat and drink with them, until late at night.
The little girl was sleeping soundly in the bungalow a stone’s throw from the meeting place. We ate all kinds of goodies prepared in traditional style, mostly based on seafood and fish, all very tasty, cooked in that simple yet complex way, specific to Thai cuisine.
Even when they had pinched themselves well from the iced whiskey with which they seasoned the evening, they did not jump the horse in any way, remaining as little noisy, calm and pleasant.
Only one girl was cracking a little in English and acted as the translator, while the rest were expressing their regret that they too could not communicate with us very much. However, we still managed to send each other through google translate, on the phones, a process that ended with continuous smiles and laughter.
They all were warm and smiling, cheerful people, emanating positive energy. The girl’s name was something like Dao – I didn’t remember the exact pronunciation, but I did remember that her name meant “star”.
For us this was the most beautiful and interesting culinary experience, not necessarily because of the goodies consumed, but the chance to interact with the locals.
We were glad that on our second trip to Thailand we chose a place frequented by few Western tourists, where we had the opportunity to meet Thai vacationers or locals.
In touristic places, you generally only meet them as people who do cleaning, food, massage, etc.
For me personally, this interaction with people from other socio-cultural backgrounds and discovering the similarities between people has always brought me great joy.
Such memories always remain well preserved, being all the more pleasant as they were generated around a social fact such as having a meal together.
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