It’s been four years since I was in Bangkok, Thailand again. Coming back to visit family in Asia was something I was looking forward to during my sophomore year. Summer vacation was going to be a good one for sure.
We left baggage claim and headed towards the door. My grandparents and uncle picked us up and took us straight to our uncle’s house. I stared out the window and saw the city life. This was not home anymore. This was not Hawaii. There were no mountains or oceans nearby. We were surrounded by tall buildings and billboards. I felt a bit homesick, but I was excited to see my cousins and enjoy my summer vacation out of the country.
Unfortunately the second day in Bangkok, I had to go to the hospital. I had an infection in my left foot. It was swollen that it was a difficulty to walk around. I was confused as I was put in a room full of nurses and doctors that could not speak English. With my mother on the side, she translated for me. She so happened to have a camera with her and wanted to document that I went to the hospital. Having a swollen foot limited my ability to get outside or do anything. So for a week I had to stay at my uncle’s house while the others went out shopping without me. I took antibiotics, and I hoped I would get better. As the week went by, I could walk again.
Coming from a community in Hawaii we called home, a place full of Mormons, to Thailand, a place of Buddhists was a big change for me. Shiny, bald headed monks wrapped in bright orange cloth were usually seen walking around or chanting and holding incenses in their hands. I was always curious about their culture and traditions. Staying at my uncle’s house during our stay in Thailand, I had the opportunity to observe their religion. At every house, there was a gold and red pedestal inside and outside their house. I would wake every morning with the smell of incense in the room. My aunty would prepare food such as tea, fruits, or meat and place in front of the pedestal. Then in a reverent and humble matter, she placed her palms together vertically and bowed.
During our stay we really made worth of our time there since we knew that this would be the last time we would be traveling together as an immediate family. We went out shopping, to adventure parks (http://www.dreamworld-th.com/english/), went to the far mountains, and went to restaurants. It was fun to be with our family. Every night was like a party at our uncle’s house. All the kids would play upstairs having pillow fights and dance around with the music blasted while the adults were downstairs at the dining table eating like there was no tomorrow.
Weeks past by and it was time to go back home. I honestly did not want to go home, and I begged my parents to extend our stay. Leaving Thailand was sad for me. It was as if I were leaving my “second” home. It was nice while it lasted to be surrounded by family and experiencing a different culture of our own. We hugged goodbye and went our separate ways. I had always missed my family in Asia and only look forward to visit them again someday.
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