AS A WAY OF LIFE
nomads, writer, speaker, photographer
South Of Thailand
We crossed this imaginary line, the border that took us in a new world. We left the land of our daughter to enter Thailand. Thailand has a fabulous ability to marvel its travelers. It takes them at the same time in the ease of the voyage and in the uniqueness, in a journey that brings an inner transformation but also guarantee at any time the comfort to rely on the known. The otherness is within reach, we can find it on each curve, on each alley and yet it is softened by the ease to quench ours vital need with elegance and refinement.
The magic of Thailand is its comfort made of exotic flavors, that its dishes illustrate perfectly. In this way, this Thailand offered us a place to find our balance, a balance among the three of us within the movement. It gave us the fabulous freedom to live as nomads again, with the security to find a place to sleep for the night and food nearly everywhere. It reassured us in our life choices. However it pushed us slowly further and further, in order to live once again in full autonomy in a tent in the mountainous forests.
But we had to travel a long way and an inner path to reach it; to reach these wild landscapes we dreamt of and to reach this confidence in life that freed our limitations.
Thailand knew how to quench our desire for discoveries and magic. It showed us its paradisaical beaches, where cliffs fall in the water composed of myriads of green shimmers that reflects with the tropical forests, where the white shiny sand meet the corals, where the schools of fish play in the waves. It showed us its fantastic thai temples, the wat, perched on hilltops, lulled by the waves, integrated into the landscapes surrounded by cliffs, buried in the caves among bats with a fabulous light that comes from outside and that crosses with one ray the time of rocks. It showed us its wild hills near the Birman border, where the crisp air reminded us of the spaces of freedom. It took us in the middle of karstic mountains in outstanding canyons, in the alley of giants. It took us in a festival of flavors, where the tastes combine to create the exoticism in all its delicacy, where jasmine rice mingles with green curry, where spices create powerful emanations of ginger, galanga, lemongrass, chilli, lime leaves and fish sauce, where the seafood expose all its savors in a harmony of fragrance.
However, Thailand is particularly stunning for its way, for the way opening in front of us. It is the small roads that took us in the countryside that fascinated us, this way made of little things, this path where splendid discoveries emerged, in places we never expected them. This is the attentions of the population for Nayla, it is the burst of laughter, the wave of the hands, the large smiles, the sawa dii with hand clasped, the sens of lightness of the thai population. A way of living that places pleasure in the centre of social ties, the pleasure to do things together, the pleasure to be together.
A laugh that makes the thai life vibrating, but that also silences the tears. This is a way of being which culturally banishes all display of emotions not to loose face. This is the mask that illuminate the faces and that sometimes is so heavy to wear.
Difficult like its political situation with multiple coups and with the actual demonstrations. It is also the weight the land is bearing, it is the dark energies of history, like the symbolic bridge on the river Kwai or the anger of the earth in the tsunami, it is the vice and debauchery of humanity, from the narcotic traffickers to networks of prostitution.
It is maybe this amalgam that attracts the travelers, an energy of simplicity, brilliant beauty and exoticism and darkness from the contradictions that floats on its land. In Thailand, we are confronted with the cultural diversity, this diversity that questions, the otherness, like the exoticism of this markets where all sorts of insects and improbable things are cooked and eaten. Thailand can be lived in all shades, it can be heavenly or baffling, exotic or challenging, delicate or raw, sensual or transformative.