And then the first steps in Thailand seem difficult

Waking up at my balcony I see a red flower in a tree. Suddenly it moves in strokes and a bird with a red head flies away. Today I’ll collect the first moments of Thai people. But frankly, I’m not looking forward. I don’t know what the best approach is here and how Thai people are going to react. I realize I got too comfortable. The last couple of weeks most of times I was collecting a local was with me. So I had someone to help with translation problems, give me direct feedback if I did weird stuff for that culture or make suggestions. For instance after showing the handwritten card with the question in Hindi to people, Nikita advised me to show the back with the printed letters. The message in Delhi came better across when it had an official flare to it. Here in Chiang Mai I haven’t found a local to accompany me yet, so I’m on my own again. And although I did most of the collecting of the whole of Europe mostly on my own. It feels different now I’m in Asia where cultural differences have gone to a whole other level. So the rest of the day I’m mostly doing different tasks than hopping on my bike. Nevertheless, I’m curious what is going to happen. So off to the university campus and no excuses anymore. The gates are decorated with bows and balloons. A lot of photographers taking pictures of people in dresses with hats. It’s graduation day.
First I try non-graduates. A middle aged couple sits in the grass. They hesitate. “Can everybody draw?” “Everybody may join” So they call in a group of kids which starts drawing rapidly: Watching a movie at home, singing or playing soccer. A group of Chinese parents is with their kids on holiday. The other mothers come in. Joyce’s mother doesn’t feel inclined to draw, so 6 year old Joyce decides to help her and draw what she thinks her mother would draw: the family.”
I still don’t know how Thai will react but my confidence has grown again. I walk to the benches near the lake. Two thai boys have difficulty to understand me but with a big smile they participate and draw how they are sitting on the bench. Also other people on the benches are very enthusiastic, not only about the drawing but also the pastries they ate to day: pie and muffins. All the Thai I ask say yes. I’ve never had a score this high. The lake shines, a group of graduates draws while the sun sets down and bird flies by.

2014-01-24 17.46.51

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