Thursday, April 04, 2013


Enjoy The Trip

My trip last year to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the 103rd Rotary International convention was a great adventure. It was my first time to attend the convention with huge and crazy crowd at one of the biggest convention centers in Asia - The Impact Convention Center. I went to a country that is according to the slogan – where one finds the greatest smile? I beg your pardon.

I did not find any person who smiles with me, not even my Thai Tour guide who met and greeted us at the airport. Not even the taxi driver speaks English language. My six days and five nights stay in the hotel was a nightmare. Oh! I call it now ‘the great adventure’. It is funny as I struggled to speak and gave the sign language to the hotel receptionist and room attendant in order to be served. 

I lost my way many times going back to the hotel, considering that the Impact Center is just 10 minutes to our hotel. Even the locals do not know how to get to where I was billeted. At the convention center, twice I asked, where is the Shelterbox Booth? A couple of Thai logistics told me downstairs to the right (coupled with sign language), only to discover, it’s the Starbucks café. Did it sound like that? Another one pointed me again, downstairs to the left. Only to find out, it’s the shuttle bus corner. I gave up!

I didn’t loss my patience, I pity these people. Thailand is considered the best in her tourism industry. However, Thai’s love their language so much that they do not intend to teach their front liners to speak and communicate to the tourists. Let alone the tourist lost his way and find out that they are already nowhere, and to end up paying more for the taxi cab. 

The places to see in Thailand are just simple pleasures, but they are very good in promoting their places. There are more good places to see around the world, but how come we love to keep coming back to Bangkok?! I saw so many Filipinos who were shopaholic (they shop till they drop)! They went around looking and enjoying the places like there were no others. 

On the other hand, I feel the honesty and genuine hospitality of the people even if they do not speak English. I feel the sincerity of how they love their culture and how proud they are of what they have become. No matter how hard they try to speak and understand the tourist, they are willing to help and be honest. If one lost his way, they are willing not to ask for the tab. They will say sorry and off they go without argument. They also have a way of showing their kindness and bring one personally around. There is this sales lady who ushered me to the comfort room. She was very polite. While in the Philippines, Pilipinos point directions with their fingers and mouth. /MP

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