Postcard & Hope

Many items sold along Chiang Mai’s walking street are locally made like this postcard. It is designed by a group of University student. So many kind and style. I picked this one “Ho Chi Minh” as I have heard and read some Great story of Vietnamese who fought for independent and freedom from Great Powers like French and the United State. Recently I also watched movie series “Young Indiana Jones” that some scene featuring young Ho Chi Minh in Paris at the UN-like meeting whereby Young Indiana Jones acted as advisor to the US Envoy.

The word on the postcard reads  “Without terrible cold-snap winter, we would never appreciate the warmth and the beauty of the spring”. Sort of.

My recollection as I looked at postcard is the place I was born. It is along “Vietnamese Rd.” (ซอยวัดญวน) part of Aranyaprathet Municipality bordered with Cambodia where my childhood’s sense was influenced by vibrant culture of Vietnamese migrants – neighbors, food, temple and some dialects – as well as other Thai-speaking ethnic groups (Loa, Yo and Phuan).

There, people living peacefully together.

After all, like someone said, we are limited ourselves not by the place of birth, not by the color of skin, but by the size of our hope.


No Styrofoam Please

This is cool stuff! I visited Chiang Mai last week and took a walk along the walking street from Tha Pae gate toward Wat Pra Sing. I had a really good sense of hope, of course, not about buying stuff but something that I really admired – citizen action!

At Wat Pan Oan (วัดพันอ้น) one of several buddhist temples along the street crowded by hundred of food stalls where people stopped over and had something to eat. Here no styrofoam allow! Big sign hanging from the tree read “no foam for for food project” (sponsor by one businessman who want to encourage market for green products – I don’t remember his name). There is waste segregation station where young volunteer standing to help people to put their own food waste into the right slot. Food waste including leftover liquid drink will be put on one big bin. This is very important as people seem to both enjoying eating and shopping.

Zero Waste Station

I forgot to ask young volunteer boy taking care of waste station where all these stuff go. As far as informal waste management practice concerned, all food waste will go to composting, all recyclables will go to recycling facility, other items can reuse or reprocess. As styrofoam is not allow it makes waste management more promising

This is cool stuff! Small steps that will finally influence the big systems to which we are connected. Help cutting consumption of unsustainable products like “styrofoam” is a good start to help transform the wider waste management system in the country.

If you have chance to walk, shop, and eat along Chiang Mai’s walking street you can do your own bit – help the guy at waste separation station at Wat Pan Oan and enjoy it. Every time you design a bit of our lives to reduce your impact, support good efforts and make your lives more comfortable, beautiful, and exciting, you are sending a powerful message to everyone around you.