The reason why I have white coloured shirts was because I used them when my mum passed away a few years ago. I was able to pull them out again when my dad followed suit. A month ago, I attended a funeral by a student's dad as he left the world unexpectedly. And then this month, the demise of the King of Thailand.
I wrote an article about the King many years ago and it was about an accidental trip with a friend of mine when he visited Bangkok. It was the 5th of December and knowing that it was the King's birthday, I told my friend that we could visit a different place away from the crowd that were gathered along the Grand Palace. However, we got off the wrong boat station and ended being at the vicinity of the palace.
While I was so curious as to why the people were shouting and gasping, I joined the crowd and saw the King, passing by in his motorcade waving to all the spectators. I was there and I waved my hand as well. Tears came running down my cheeks as if I have seen an angel and an angel he was.
The finest recollection was a class I had with an older student where she introduced to me the best works of the King during his reign. It was the self-sustaining project that I admired most. Also, he once told the people of Thailand that fruits should be available for all and that was the reason why the prices of fruits and vegetables are regulated. Durian for one is a rich man's fruit but not here, everyone can afford to eat one.
Today, when I went out to the supermarket, to the mall, or even to the local market, the people were all garbed in black, including me. There were no loud music, no music at all at the malls, but solemn faces and quiet demeanour. The restaurant where I had my dinner was unusually eerie because of the silence, though the place was filled of people.
My respect goes to the King who had served his people for many, many years being the longest reigning King in the world. My respect also goes to the people of Thailand for their reverence and honoured deference to the King.
We will be mourning for a year and within these days, a new change is to come. My condolences to all Thais and since I have been here for many years, I do feel it is my obligation to hold in high regard King Bhumibol the Great in my heart.