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Old Jan 29, 2008, 7:28 PM   #1
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Part 16

Child Street beggar

Thailand King Bhumibol, the world's longest-reigning monarch,

is treated with an almost religious devotion in Thailand and his

physical condition is a subject of great national concern. The 80-year-old

king's health is beginning to fail he was hospitalized in October 2008

for an undisclosed ailment. Every Monday is a day of respect a large

segment of the population wear bright yellow shirts to honor the king's

favorite color. The king's official Birthday is December 5 and for two weeks

before the official birthday, mini celebrations are held thought-out Thailand.

One day after returning from a tour, we decided to go for a long walk in

Chaing Rai. We were told that there was a pretty park not far from the hotel.

Arriving at the location, we saw a flurry of activity, construction of stages,

floral arrangements, and water fountains. After communicating, I am fluent

in hand language and picture drawing, with one young women we found out

that she was the coordinator of a mini celebration to be held the following

night and we were invited to come.

Upon arriving on December 2, the following evening we witnessed this

spectacular comprised of two events, a Buddhist prayer meeting attended by

hundreds followed by a show. Here is the prayer portion with the audience all

dressed in white. One women pointed to embroidery located on the shirt

section and said we love king. I am almost positive that we were the only

Caucasians in the area.

Black Karen Man [red turban] attends prayers for king

Try this in the US. There was a special children's section where the parents

leave their sibling unattended while they pray. Nobody bothers the children

and they stay put.

The stage show was supposed to start at 19.30 hours and everyone was

sitting patiently. Everyone that is except for us, it is 20.15 and no show.

Once again, I used my expert sign language to inquire about the delay

from anyone who could understand me. Why are the monks still praying

when the show is so late? I finally found a Thai who said when monks say

it is over it is over. The monks concluded their prayers at 20.40 and the

stage show began. During this entire delay there were no complaints

shifting in seats from anyone except us.

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Old Jan 30, 2008, 9:47 AM   #2
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Very nice series, Jerry. Just finished the entire Thai gallery at your smugsmug site. I suspect that to be you in the last photo of the Thai gallery. Thanks for taking us on vacation with you and Babs.
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