An Exciting Future, February 4, 2015
“Quote) “As the wheels of the aircraft touched down on the runway at the new Bangkok International Airport called Suvarnabhumi, Craig knew that he was going to have his hands full with Lek.” (end of quote) This is the opening line of the book. It foreshadows what is to come, in a sublime, subtle, yet profound manner. It is full of psychological meaning, that if not intentional, must surely be considered a “Freudian slip of the pen” by Author Owen Jones. Regardless of whether conscious or subconsciously, we have been afforded a very revealing look into the thought processes of this talented author. The reader is prepared for difficulties ahead, obstacles that must be overcome, and challenges that must be dealt with.There are cultural gems related to food, clothing, greetings, language, customs and traditions liberally sprinkled throughout the book. Author Owen Jones has a deep grasp of his unique landscape which he presents masterfully to the uninitiated reader. Let me give you one which I found particularly interesting: (quote) “Every Thai village has a Buddhist temple, called a Wat, in the same way that every European village has a church. Similar to their European counterparts, many traditional villages have more than one Wat, although there is only one real denomination of Buddhism in Thailand. In Europe, there might be a Catholic Church, a Protestant Church and a Methodist Church, but in Thailand there are only two active forms of the Buddhist religion.” (end of quote)Here is another cultural gem related to marriage. The conversation is exquisite in the way it reveals the clash of two cultures with different norms: (quote)
“What and deny my friends and family a wedding and a party? What about face? What will people think?.” She paused as she remembered Goong’s words. “Well, no and yes. We must talk about this. Have you thought about how much you will give me to marry you?”
“What? You expect me to pay you to marry me?”
“It is normal in Thailand, but not pay to marry. Sin sod. I don’t know the English. You must give me and my mother money. It is traditional. You don’t have in the UK?”
“I’ll pay you the same as you pay me. Nothing. Oh, wait a moment… You mean ‘dowry’. In the UK the father of the wife used to pay the man to marry his daughter and he would also pay for the wedding party.”
“Oh, no! In Thailand the future husband must give the girl gold and the girl’s mother money. How much will you give for me? I am beautiful, not too old and will take care of you all my life. 250,000 Baht is cheap, neh?” (end of quote)
Fabulous dialogue, deliciously delightful, as the two people discuss what can only be rightfully called, at this point, “An Exciting Future”. I draw particular attention to the latter dialogue between Lek and Craig because it brings back fond memories of my own marriage, in which my beautiful Chilean wife “jumped the broom”, and I danced the Chilean national dance, “La Cueca”.
Let me sum up this book in three words: An Exciting Future. This story is all about a moment, frozen in time, in which the future is full of promise, full of possibility, and it stretches out its hand and whispers your name softly and gently under a moonlit night. Grab a copy of this beautiful book. You are in for an enormously exquisite treat of unimaginable ecstasy. I recommend this delightful book to young and old most enthusiastically.