The King and I

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After traveling in Laos and southern Thailand on a trip in 2001, I found myself in Bangkok on the first of December awaiting my flight home in a week. The city was decorated with yellow banners and pictures of the King for his birthday on Dec. 5th.

Thinking that there might be some special celebration, that morning I walked from my guest house to the area around the King’s residence. I wandered into a huge auditorium and found myself among 500 well-dressed Thais. Just before a program was to commence, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej himself approached me and asked where I was from. He told me that the year before, he had sent a video of his birthday celebration to President Clinton.

He had an usher seat me, and at noon he approached me with a general requesting that he seat me for lunch at one of the tables on the patio. I sat with a small group of professional women, and the King joined us for one course. The program was an all-day affair, with Thai dancing and music and the presentation of awards and scholarships.

Thinking no one would believe me, I asked His Majesty if I could have my picture taken with him and he graciously consented. No wonder the people of his country love him and the royal family!

ANITA LEES
Vista, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

After traveling in Laos and southern Thailand on a trip in 2001, I found myself in Bangkok on the first of December awaiting my flight home in a week. The city was decorated with yellow banners and pictures of the King for his birthday on Dec. 5th.

Thinking that there might be some special celebration, that morning I walked from my guest house to the area around the King’s residence. I wandered into a huge auditorium and found myself among 500 well-dressed Thais. Just before a program was to commence, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej himself approached me and asked where I was from. He told me that the year before, he had sent a video of his birthday celebration to President Clinton.

He had an usher seat me, and at noon he approached me with a general requesting that he seat me for lunch at one of the tables on the patio. I sat with a small group of professional women, and the King joined us for one course. The program was an all-day affair, with Thai dancing and music and the presentation of awards and scholarships.

Thinking no one would believe me, I asked His Majesty if I could have my picture taken with him and he graciously consented. No wonder the people of his country love him and the royal family!

ANITA LEES
Vista, CA