It’s my first day in Thailand. As to be expected, it’s hot and unbelievably humid. I’ve been walking all day exploring the streets of Bangkok. I’m tired not only from the day’s wanderings but the long journey to get here as well. My shirt is soaked in sweat and unpleasantly sticking to my body. It’s time to head to the hotel.
There’s no better time than now to try a tuk-tuk. Being a tourist, I easily stand out and a tuk-tuk driver wastes no time stopping to pick me up. I’m not in the mood to make chitchat and the driver doesn’t seem to understand English very well either. It’s a quiet ride.
Looking behind us, I notice another tuk-tuk. As I point my camera in its direction, a man on his motorbike from the next lane also notices me. He quickly switches lanes and is now between the two tuk-tuks. He has this big smile and starts swerving from left to right. He slows down and then quickly accelerates to catch up. He flashes his headlight a few times. All this time, he has not wiped that smile from his face. In fact, he is now laughing. I finally catch on that he wants me to take photos of him. He ends up putting on his little show for about a minute or two while I immortalize the moment. After a while, he waves and heads in a different direction.
I finally arrive at the hotel and realize that I’m actually smiling. For a moment, that man made me forget about my tiredness, my sweaty discomfort and my eagerness to sit down in front of the AC in my room. They say Thailand is “The Land of Smiles” and at that moment, it truly was for me.