Living in Thailand is my first experience living in a kingdom with a presiding king. Being American makes the whole king thing completely foreign, but I rather like it. Especially in Thailand. The king of Thailand is the longest reigning king in the world, and the country utterly reveres him. I've never seen anything like it. The outpouring of love for him is based on his connections with all the people of Thailand--he is a king that often traveled around Thailand in his younger years and met with those who are very poor. He was born in Boston, schooled in Switzerland and then came to Bangkok to be king--a real Renaissance man. The king is so important in Thailand that even at our international school, we stand for the king's anthem before every assembly (he is a jazz saxophonist who composed his own anthem! how cool is that?!), there are skyscrapers with one entire side as a picture of the king and queen, and one day a week, the people of Thailand were pink polos because the king like the color pink. That's his picture at the entrance to our school.
In celebration of the king's upcoming 82nd birthday on Monday, many wore pink or yellow (the queen's color) at school today. Even Sojo was a part of the fun, telling us when we came home about the king's birthday in her pink shirt.
As the king's birthday gives us a long weekend, we are headed to the beach for a little fun in the sun. Exploring a new beach this time called Rayong, which is about 3 hours by van. Should be fun!
Oops! The other big news is that Sojo has learned how to draw a happy face. Look carefully...