We had a great time in Thailand, and now we are back in cloudy, rainy China. And it’s cold. I’m learning though that the weather will eventually change if you wait long enough. Hmm. It probably shouldn’t have taken 43 years for me to figure that out.
Chinese New Year has been quiet here for us since our return from Thailand, as long as you don’t count the round-the-clock fireworks. They are mostly a lot of noise with not much to show for it. Nothing like what you get in the U.S. at the 4th of July. Of course the weather may have a roll to play in that also…
Thailand was beautiful, and hot. It was a wonderful break from the winter season here. (I’m still trying to figure out why people rave about the weather here in our area. So far I’ve not seen much to rave about. Give me seasons, where I can know better what to expect.) We saw some beautiful Buddhist temples and statues. I always try to treat other’s religious views with respect, but sometimes they feel so empty to me. I can marvel at craftsmanship, but in the end it’s just gilded whatever. I don’t understand how people can pray to those things they made with their own hands. It is refreshing to me though to see people who actively live their religion, whatever it is. It feels much less stifling when people are free to worship, and the people seem happier on the whole. Still it’s nice to know about the Restored Gospel and have hope that one day everyone will be able to learn of it.
One thing that surprised me about Thailand was how much easier it was to communicate with people there than it is here in mainland China. I’m not quite sure why that is, but it sure was a wonderful relief from what is currently my "normal" life. Also, most of the "Westerners" were Germans, or other Europeans, which was a bit of a surprise. Apparently Thailand is an undiscovered country as far as the U.S. is concerned. I’ll try to post some photos soon.