Monday 28thJanuary 2019 – Bangkok
After a day further exploring Bangkok, I went out to a very local Thai restaurant in Sathorn for a delicious dinner and returned to my hotel to pack as I had an early flight to Delhi the next morning. Packing and re-packing is not my favourite occupation, but a frequent one on a trip like this, so I was procrastinating by doing trip admin. At 8.45pm an email appeared in my in-box which put a huge smile on my face.
The letter I had posted on Saturday to the relatives of Harry’s generous host Phya Vidura Dharmabinet in Thailand in 1966, had been received and they had made contact. I was amazed, firstly that the address that one of my kind Thai IH alumni had found me was correct enough to reach them, secondly that the letter which was posted about 11am on Saturday had reached them on Monday (in the UK this would probably not have been the case).
It turns out I was so close to the right place when I went on my adventures to try and hand deliver the letter on Saturday (see Thai Trip Inspiration blog post).
That aside, I was so delighted as I could pass on my gratitude to them for their grandfather’s hospitality and in return they very kindly shared these photos of the house where Harry would have stayed for his two weeks in Bangkok.
Even more wonderful is the fact that there are both New York and Berkeley I-House alumni amongst Phya’s children and wider family, so they are still involved in the story and ‘passing the light on’ of the International House idea. I am sure Harry would have been delighted.
I am sad my time in Bangkok was not long enough for us to actually meet but I hope we will one day. In the mean time I am still smiling and grateful to Phya for inspiring Harry’s trip and mine.
Postscript to postscript – I received this photo of Harry and Phya Vidura Dharmabinet which must have been from the 1966 trip, from Phya’s relatives… wonderful!