Looking back at my three months in Thailand, one of the most outstanding features of this country
is the vibrancy and richness of color.
Having lived previously in Chicago's urban environment, my entire wardrobe was predominantly black
and grey. The rare color was a splash in a scarf or piece of jewelry. And most city dwellers dressed in the
same colors. So my visual landscape was also mostly black and grey. The Chicago skyline does have
beautiful architecture and some variance in building color, and on a sunny day, the sky and the
lakefront provide color. Not to minimize the beauty of Chicago, but color is not one of its prominent attributes.
In Chiang Mai, there is color everywhere. The lush nature during rainy season bursts with richness
and brightness. The abundance of temples glisten and shine in golden splendor with carpets and
flowers of many hues providing color to further enliven the golds of Buddha statues and pillars.
The food stands that line the streets, display fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the landscape.
The red trucks and blue Tuk-tuks add to the color of the street scenes.
And the beautiful fabrics that elephant pants, skirts and tops are made from adds yet more color and
pattern. The colors are not orchestrated in a planned and well thought out manner. Part of the charm
is that everything is random and not planned as part of a whole.
Details and planning are evident in each individual food stand or shop or temple, but the overall layout
appears to be pretty ad hoc. Each burst of color seems to be its own visual miracle, like the flowering
bush in the graphic. That bush is right outside my door, and I watched its blossoms unfold and grow
more vibrant day by day.
There are certainly plenty of grey and black cars and people wearing dark colors in Chiang Mai.
But with so much more color available for the eyes, it is the color that stands out and captures my attention.
I've been wearing elephant pants of assorted colors and patterns since I got here. I even wear two
different patterns at times - quite unusual for me. And I love the color! It feels so alive and full of energy
and joy to me. Not sure how well it will go over in Chicago land, but I plan to continue wearing my
elephant pants and sharing color with the world.
Sending You Love from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
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