I had a revelation the other day as I was walking home from my Zumba class. It was a Saturday morning, hot and sunny. I got to the street where I was supposed to turn, and there was a seemingly never-ending line of cars going through the intersection. It was so long of a line, that the idea of trying to cross the street there brought about visions of creating my own real-life version of Frogger. That’s not something I want to be a part of, so I didn’t cross, and instead just kept walking. I ended up on some very quiet back roads. There were hardly any cars and I saw just a few locals walking. There were a handful of food stalls, but not nearly as many as there are on the main roads. I passed by houses that were gated off and had trees surrounding them. I heard birds. It was so peaceful, and I was practically skipping with the joy of it. And then I realized…hmm, I don’t think I actually like living in big cities.* Smart move marrying the diplomat.
*NYC is the exception to this rule. NYC is a special beast that I will always love, regardless of how ridiculously crowded and noisy it is.
So the Jim Thompson House is an institution. It’s a must-see if you come to Bangkok, so we finally dragged our butts out to see it, and it was so worth it.
The history of Jim Thompson is a pretty interesting one. He was an American, born in my home state of Delaware, who served in the military for several years. After WWII ended, his service sent him to Thailand, and he ended up loving it so much that he returned and “retired” there. In actuality, he ended up starting a Thai silk business that turned out to be incredibly successful, and helped build up the Thai silk industry. One thing you notice immediately here is the amount of Jim Thompson stores throughout the city that carry his (expensive) Thai silk products. Basically, he’s popular. Just a little.
During our first week here in Bangkok, we decided to go grocery shopping – as one does when they move to a new place and realize they have no food and are 100% over eating out every night. Not a bad idea, right? Well, we went, but we chose the wrong store to go to: Big C.