This post is a part of the ReadOnTheRun-Uber Talks series in which we will feature strangers that inspire us along our journey. Let's make an effort to be conscious of the people we meet throughout our journeys, spreading the spirit of curiosity, promoting empathy to the journey of others and sharing a bit of ourselves with those around us. Meet Sarawut!
Sarawut and I met during our travels in Thailand three years ago. He obviously does not drive an Uber but close. He is a boat captain of sorts. Sarawut is not his real name (yes this is a real picture of him). I've taken the liberty of naming him Sarawut for two reasons: one, I don't speak Thai therefore I didn't catch his real name upon entering his boat; Secondly, Sarawut is a really popular name in Thailand and I figured there was at least a 25% chance (stat may be a bit high) that it's actually his real name.
I have featured Sarawut here because though I don't speak Thai, I believe the spirit speaks a common language. Being in his presence was inspiring and fulfilling to the soul. To be clear Sarawut wasn't the tour guide, he drove the boat. Once in the boat I just knew I had to meet him. He took us on a tour of "old Bangkok" through the Chao Phraya River (If you are ever in #Thailand #Bangkok I would highly suggest this tour). As we sailed along the river past broken down homes, destroyed ports, and dilapidated business, Sarawut's spirit was calm, serene and grateful. Along the way we stopped in order to wave to families living on the river in this abandoned part of Bangkok. Some were eating dinner in a dining area completely exposed to the elements due to entire walls crumbling, others waved to us with bare feet walking along the muddy banks as they soothed the crying baby in their arms. Everyone offering a smile and open welcoming arms.
Despite there being a natural beauty to the scenery and a pleasant nostalgic aura, Sarawut added food to the soul. A piece of humble pie, if you will. And a peace sign for all of his "friends back in America" (per the tour guide's translation).
Sarawut thank you for reminding us that our circumstance does not have to dictate our peace; For subtly resurrecting our learnings of gratitude, as well as evoking the spirit of joy, appreciation and contentment. Lastly, for again showing us that ones spirit reflects their inner-self to the outside world. Yours, my friend, is very beautiful.
Thank you for reading this feature. Who has inspired you today?
*Names and photos may have been changed to protect the identity of those featured. All stories are actual events.