I can’t quite believe it myself but I am writing this in the comfort of an air-conditioned email business in downtown Patong, Thailand.
It is plus 36 degrees outside on the bustling streets of this medium-sized fishing and tourism city. The sun has gone down and the streets have come alive with the night life that seems from another planet.
It has taken me days to adjust to the heat and culture of this complex and ancient land. Not much is familiar here except for the strange fact that the Thai people remind me so much of the Crees from the James Bay coast.
I was shocked to discover that the Thai thought I was one of theirs and time after time tried to talk to me in their language. I was really surprised when I found out that Native North Americans are held in high esteem by the Thai. We are seen as mystical and powerful beings in the old stereotype image of any Indian in a head dress and riding a pony.
The Thai referred to Native North Americans as “Indian-Den.” When they realized I am Native and that I come from northern Canada, they greet me with wonder and want to shake my hand and spend time with me. I try to share a little bit about my culture with the Thai I meet and I am learning a lot from them.
It is not easy visiting a strange country like this on the other side of the world. Thanks to my friend Dawn Elliot of worldwide travel in Timmins, this trip is just about perfect and one I will never forget.
I’ve always wanted to travel but I never thought it would happen. It seems strange to me when I call home to mom and dad, and although they are half a world away, it seems like they are right next me. Thanks to the magic of modern technology and a few good friends, I’m happy to send you greetings from Thailand.