NT Blog 2: Busy But Calm


Before coming to Thailand, I was expecting to be in a very busy place with very busy people.  I expected the people to very fast pace like the place.  I was wrong.  Every person I met during the first week in Thailand was very calm.  Even in the midst of the busiest time, I noticed something calm about Thai people.

During the cooking class when the moths came and flooded the area and everyone was f20160517_192300reaking out, the instructor kept her calm and continued to teach us how to cook.  I felt like it was a very busy moment because everything and everyone was so chaotic with the insects.  There were moths landing in the instructor’s hair, near her face, the food, on the people in the audience,  and everywhere that I could think of, she and her husband kept going and did not lose control.  Even though I was terrified and scared, I noticed how smooth and controlled she continued to talk.  They took the situation really well and I felt like their harmonious reaction influenced everyone else calm down.

Not just the cooking instructor, but everyone I’ve encountered think about what they say before they talk.  I didn’t realize this until we had the monk chat with KK. KK is a very humble monk and I noticed how he thinks every question and his answers through before speaking.  He paused a lot to think.  He also took his time to talk and spoke slowly.  It seemed as if he wanted to make sure he didn’t say anything offensive or wrong.  After the monk chat, I started observing how Thai people speak and it’s true that the majority have quick pauses before they speak.  This made me reflect a lot about myself.  I am quick to answer and ask things but I never consider how the people I am talking to feel or interpret my words.

Reflecting about what I thought prior to this trip, I learned that Thai people are very cautious of what they say and how they act around others.  Even though they are in a very busy setting, I find that they balance it out with their calmness in how they act and talk.

Nina Thao
May 21, 2016


3 thoughts on “NT Blog 2: Busy But Calm”

  1. I noticed the calmness at the cooking school as well. I was amazed at how unbothered our teacher was. And then once we started spending more time in Chiang Mai and going up to the mountains, I saw a lot more calmnes. Part of me thinks that it’s apart of the Thai culture to be calm because Thai people are very connected to the earth and it’s natural resources that it balances out the chaoticness that occurs in their daily lives.

  2. Nina,

    Yes!! I’m am so glad that you chose to bring this up. I have been thinking about the pauses that a lot of the people make when talking and I thought maybe it had something to do with the Thai to English translation. However, after reading your post it makes a lot of sense that it is connected to being mindful and this part of their culture. I know that I am a very fast acting person and that this is something that I could use in my own life as well. Thank you for this reflection, it was very relatable. (:

  3. ……………………………

    Nina that was my pause before I responded to your thoughtful post. Your careful examples, from Bangkok to “digital monk” KK to cooking class madame help to highlight this thread of shared culture for us. Well written. Thank you.

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