A friend of mine just moved to Thailand from India. She despaired of finding beauty in Thailand. I knew what she meant — with globalization, natural beauty sometimes disappears. I mean, there are plenty of nice things about Thailand — especially if comfort is what you want. Air conditioning? western fast food? massages? You can get anything: designer Italian bags etc. But what is it that makes Thailand unique? What does Thailand have that other places don’t? That bit is disappearing. You have to look for it. But sometimes you don’t have to go far! just a mile or two from my sister’s house are these “klong” — water canals that used to be the roads of Bangkok. There are no big roads that meet this canal, and so the place has kept it’s uniqueness. I love the tiny gardens, the old wooden houses, the friendly people who in no hurry. Sure, the canals stink, there is alot of trash, and some people would even call the neighborhood a slum. But at least it’s not impersonal.