Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Detailed Beauty

        Sawadee ka readers! Morgan Skillett here, blogging from the beautiful country of Thailand. I just finished up my classwork at The University of Kansas studying music therapy and am preparing for my upcoming internship! Approximately 10 days after I get back to my family and friends in Kansas, I will be embarking on a new journey in Hayward, CA. Its hard to believe I only have one piece of the puzzle left before I can put those glorious four letters after my name, MT-BC.

       I have been fortunate enough to travel to some of the most beautiful and incredible places with my family, but none compare to Thailand. Thailand is truly one of the most breathtaking, exotic, and dynamic places I have ever been. The culture, food, people, language, kindness, and picture perfect views are like nothing I have experienced before. The "Land of Smiles" could not hold more true to it's name. Almost instantly, when we hit Thailand soil and dug into our "new" lives here, something unexplainable happened. I know I am halfway across the world, but it sure doesn't feel like it. Thailand truly has something special about it to make a Kansas girl feel at ease, peaceful, and comfortable. 

        While wandering around in Bangkok on a free weekend day, Rebecca and I discovered the Siam Paragon Mall. Malls are numerous throughout the city, but Siam Paragon was quite a sight for sore eyes. This is a very ritzy mall, home to many high end shops and exquisite restaurants. When first stepping foot into the mall, one can see the massive crowd hastily grabbing their cameras to take a picture of something interesting. Getting in a bit closer and having a better look, we discovered this enormous display of elephants and women in elaborate dresses and beautiful scenery. All of the figures and displays were covered in orchid flowers! Rebecca and I had found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the Orchid Show. Throughout multiple levels of the malls were various displays of these beautiful flowers, making the mall smell like a greenhouse.

        One aspect of Thailand of which I am truly enamored with is how elaborate everything is. Attention to detail seems to be a large and unique part about their culture, that is truly a sight to see. The Erwan Museum is a giant three-headed elephant art display. Just taking a picture of the outside could have shocked a whole town due to its beauty and enormity. The sculpture is 43 meters tall and the elephants body is made of pure bronze. When stepping inside the museum, I was in awe of how breathtaking it was. Inside are invaluable reminders of Thailand's beautiful ancient heritage, combined with pieces of contemporary art.
       There are three separate floors, designed to illustrate the three-tiered cosmology of the concept of Tribhumi. The basement level represents the underworld, middle floor represents the human world and the top level represents the second heaven where many relics and Buddha's are kept. The basement level was my favorite, and was decorated with ceramics and pottery. All of the work, design and decoration was done by hand to make this truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. There was such obvious attention to detail and thought in every tiny piece of ceramic tile that went on this level, one can only imagine the man power it took to make this possible. I probably could have stayed in there for days discovering new things, but lucky for the rest of the group, my thirst got the best of me and had to venture out for a cool drink.

     Everywhere you travel, the type of decoration or display may vary but one can always find similarities. There are similarities in the ways temples are constructed and decorated, how flowers are decorated at a table or in front of a restaurant or how the koi ponds are created. There is something comforting about being able to travel from Krabi to Bangkok and still see some of the same special and beautiful flower decorations or hand crafted goods. It is a cultural aspect of Thailand that brings it together as one, promoting unity. That togetherness within the country through outdoor decorations and flower displays is something that I will miss when I return to the states.

      As you can tell, all is well here at the Bundit Home in Salaya, and am truly having the time of my life. Bring on the next two weeks, Thailand.

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