When I stay in a foreign city I always take an early morning walk. Get among the locals.
See what the workers are eating for breakfast. As I take my constitutional I say my prayers and thank God for another day. Ask Him to keep me healthy, sane and sober. First though, I ask my God to look after and love all my family and friends. I make the effort of naming them all, because they made the effort to love me when I was not that lovable. Sons. Wife. Mum and Dad. Sisters and their partners. Nephews and Nieces. Friends. It’s a simple act of humble kindness.
Ask for their health and happiness. Before my God I put those dear to me before my own selfish needs.
Their wellbeing before my own. I know it makes a difference.
It sets me up to be a man of kindness and action at the beginning of another day.
So, on this day I wake early and kiss my beautiful wife and tell her I love her. She looks exotic and stunning in the early morning light. Her caramel skin shines and glistens reflecting her kind, kind heart.
I have a lazy shave and a quick shower and set off for a morning walk through the River district of Bangkok, Thailand. As I walked out of my hotel I smile and nod at the security guards and doormen. The massive, shining lobby is empty. An empty hotel lobby means I’m making an effort that others cannot be bothered to make. More importantly, it means my eyes are seeing things they would not have seen if I had not got up and out into the world. When my eyes see new things my brain learns new things and that has to be a good thing. It keeps me young. It keeps me fresh.
And as usual, on this day, I see some new things. Some amazing, wonderful, beautiful things.
An ancient, old couple selling congee (rice porridge) from a tiny, street stall to a group of adoring customers. The umbrella that gives shelter to the customers seems as old as the couple. Then, a few metres down the already hot footpath, a middle aged woman hunched in her lowslung, fading wooden shop, sells crackers, chips, newspapers and lottery tickets.
Outside the shop a young man is frying gai tod (fried chicken), serving it fresh from the wok with kao (steamed rice) to an excited school boy and his mum. The young cook’s skills and deft wrist flick of the golden chicken pieces are sublime. His wife, cuts fresh mamuang (mango) and tin tin (paw paw) into plastic bags served with wooden tooth picks and a tiny wedge of manaw (lime). I love paw paw so stop and order paw paw and mango. It costs 25 baht or a dollar. The fruit is fresh, sweet and cold. The care put into the cutting and serving is a blessing. The lime and red paw paw catches in my throat and the sensation takes me straight to my spirit and back into my body. I feel my God connecting me to the ancient earth. A god of love, kindness and silence. And the silence allows this white man, standing on a Bangkok footpath in an Asian megatropolis to be taken straight back to ‘self’ by his fellow human beings. What a blessing! Amazing human interaction and communication all based around the delivery of food and kindness. There are no tricks. There is only a joyous human story. What is your human story of food and kindness?
Come and visit Dave Stewart at https://onedayonelife.com.au/