Thailand and good manners

We’ve already lost count of the number of luxury hotels we’ve checked into in Thailand in the last 11 days, the signature spas treatments and massages we’ve enjoyed, and the sublime sunset vistas we’ve savored from spacious suites and private villas overlooking infinity pools, palm-covered islands and the sea. More on those potentially hedonistic experiences (if only we weren’t working!) and the thoughts they’re provoking about travel later. My husband Terence and I are here in Thailand to review hotels, spas and restaurants, and it’s been hectic to say the least. What has struck us most so far (sorry for the silence, by the way) has been the genuine friendliness of the gentle Thai people. It never fails to put a smile on our faces. On our first day in Bangkok, Terence noticed a Thai woman struggling with a stroller with baby down the stairs of the Sky Train. He jumped over the railing and helped her the rest of the way down the two flights of stairs. When they made it to the bottom the lady let go of the stroller, clasped her hands in the traditional ‘wai’, and thanked him with a little bow and a smile. The gesture was performed with such elegance and beauty that it made us wonder what’s happened to manners in other parts of the world. Terence said it made his day and I think he secretly spent the rest of the day looking for women with strollers to help out, like a boy scout on a mission!