When I think of Bangkok, I can’t help but quote my favorite musical “Chess.” The song is catchy and fun and paints the picture of a beautiful city, despite it’s shortcomings. I don’t know if it molded my expectations at all, but only one line from the song really stuck true to my experience.
“One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble.”
I traveled to Bangkok for the first time a week ago. Not gonna lie, it was pretty vicious. It was fast-paced, crowded, hot, and all I wanted to do was go back to Chiang Mai. It was like New York in ways, but terrifying because the culture was altogether unfamiliar.
Per the title, I had a really bad day in Bangkok. And calling it simply humbling does not begin to describe it.
But to those who read this blog or know my character, you know I’m not one to post something negative!
The day began fine. We got of the train, tired and a bit sick, but all in one piece. Then everything started piling up until, by noon, everyone was at each other’s throats.
First, I was surrounded by scary street people with circus-like make-up on. I’m also pretty sure half of them were lady-boys. They dumped corn all over me, insisting I pay them for feeding the birds. The rest of my group didn’t realize they’d left me behind and I really just wanted to cry. They tried to take all my baht and I barely got away.
Secondly, the rooming plans for Cambodia didn’t work out like I wanted it to. It was disheartening. *Spoiler-alert,* it worked out fine, just not like I’d originally hoped.
Thirdly, I didn’t have near enough baht to get into the Grand Palace because none of us had been certain of the plans to begin with. Instead, I had to wait outside for over an hour while the people who had enough money toured the temple.
Fourthly, my Pad Thai at lunch had mini-shrimp all over it. Which I totally would have enjoyed if shellfish didn’t make me incredibly sick. I nibbled on noodles and walked away unsatisfied.
Last complaint, I promise. When I finished shopping, I got locked out of the church we stayed in. Of course, I was alone. And it was pouring rain. Peachy.
Wow! Look at all those complaints! Now that I’ve officially shared my sorrows with you all, I’ll get on to the positive parts of this post.
Everything is an experience. Though not every experience is a good one, all of them are for good. You may not feel like getting several hundred baht peeled off your person is for good, right? But the birds got to eat something. And the lady-boys may have enough money now to eat dinner. Why did they try to get into street scams anyway? Do they have much baht to begin with? I honestly don’t know their lives.
It isn’t always easy to see how the bad experiences influence good consequences. But without the positive outlook, the negative experiences will become overwhelming! People don’t like being consumed by the negative. I mean, Debbie Downer isn’t exactly the favorite friend of the bunch. Either the bad things that happen to me will help someone else positively, or the bad things that happen to me will help me grow, change, and learn more about myself. That in itself is a good result!
This isn’t even about just looking for a silver lining. It’s about trusting that every “experience” you undergo – good or bad – is an experience that will bring about good. Let every experience humble you. Let every experience grow you. Even when you can’t see it, believe it. Or else, every day would be a bad day, wouldn’t it?