How did forty years of marriage begin?
My husband and I met in high school. He chased after me for years, constantly vying for my attention. He would walk me home from school and would ask me to be his girlfriend. I just wanted to have friends so every time he asked me, I would say no. He was very persistent. Then one day my girlfriend told me that she wanted Andelfo! I saw the two of them together and decided I had to have him before it was too late!
So the next day he walked me to the bus stop. I told him, “Ask me the question that you always ask me”. He asked me what my favourite movie was? He asked me if I had band rehearsal that weekend? He asked me if I would go to the basketball game on Friday?
I insisted that he ask me the question that was most important to him, the one that he asked every time, but he would not ask, he was enjoying the moment. So I had to to remind him, “You always ask me to be your girlfriend”. He smiled and said, “Oh! That question.” I shook my head and said, “If you ask me again I will say yes”. That was many, many years
You love to travel! What has been your most recent adventure?
Last month I went to Bhutan and Nepal with my travel buddy and dear friend Soraya. She loves adventure as much as I do!
We first went to Bhutan, a mysterious land north of India and south of Tibet in the Eastern Himalayas. It is a truly unique country to visit. We visited many beautiful places but what impacted me the most was the house of the King. It is not a palace at all but just a small house house next door to a big monastery. The King of Bhutan is legitimately modest and serves as an example to royals around the world.
After visiting Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, we drove up a mountain up to Punakha, a province in the country. It took three hours to drive there and we had to climb up to 12,000 metres above sea level.
We enjoyed viewing all the way from Thimphu and Punakha colourful gigantic flags waving in the winds and 108 stupas. The stupas are beautiful monuments to Buddhism and relics of the past.
Along the winding roads to Punakha are speed limit signs suggesting a maximum of 40kph. I asked the guide why he drove so slow. There was no traffic and it would have been fine if he went fast.
“The recommended speed is 40kph and if I go faster it will just save us four minutes but will endanger us and all of the people that come our way”, he replied. All the signs come as recommendations, not as prohibitions. People follow them because they believe them.
The country has many amazing monasteries with the highlight being the Tiger’s Nest. It is believed that Guru Ripoche, founding father of Bhutanese Buddhism, arrived there on the back of a tigress and meditated in the monastery.
To reach the peak of the Tiger’s Nest, we hiked for three hours plus half an hour on a mule. It was totally worth it and our guide entertained us with the amazing history of the mountaintop monastery. Another monastery we visited was the Taktsang Palphug Monastery.
In Thimphu I bought the most unique, colourful, handmade leather boots. The villagers make them in the mountains for their everyday use and they pass them down from child to child when they don’t fit anymore. I can’t wait to wear them in a next adventure!
What was Nepal like?
Our trip to Nepal was fascinating as we were able to visit the impressive art and architecture of the Kathmandu world. One of the highlights was Durbar Square where you can find the oldest stupas. The historical site harks back to 460 AD and was built by King Manadeva. The stupa provides an enchanting view of the city.
We also visited the palace of Hanuman Dhoka which houses the living Goddess Kumari. The young Goddess appears for visitors. You can see her for just a few minutes at exactly 11am everyday on the balcony.
Photos of the Goddess are strictly forbidden but there are postcards of her for sale, I’ve included a picture of her below. It is very interesting to see that they still conserve her costume. The Goddess is selected from many candidates at the age of 8 years old and will be there until she is 14. She lives a recluse and secluded life, only seeing her father. She is barred from seeing anyone else. When she is done serving her term as Goddess she returns to her normal life. Many can not adjust to regular life again and have problems but the families will still offer up their daughters to become the Goddess as it is considered a grand honour for the family.
Fitting with the adventurous nature of our travels we went paragliding in the Pokhara mountains. The drive to the paragliding site was along a narrow road through the mountains. Our driver went very fast along the dangerously winding roads. I told Soraya that if we arrive in one piece, the paragliding would be not dangerous at all!
You have a very active social life. We attended the Colombian Concert, we saw how your music had all Thais and foreigners dancing, tell us about the concert.
The Colombian Music Concert was the highlight of this year. We brought the Eibar Vallenato Group for a concert to the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC). Eibar and his group’s music was so captivating that he had Latinos, Thai’s and foreigners dancing and singing in the aisles. It was incredible that even those who did not understand the lyrics could enjoy the music and engage with a completely different culture. Vallenato transmitted a radiant energy and rhythm.
What other events have you been to?
We were invited to the Opera Dinner at Vertigo Too. It was a great choice for a special night. The performance was filled with the magic of Broadway musicals, jazz, and pieces of the renowned classic play Les Miserables.
We had a delicious dinner accompanied with some dear friends. The dinner included a mouthwatering duck and orange sauce for dinner. I suggest you reserve well ahead of time as I am sure it will be again filled in advance. We are ready to return to the Opera for excerpts from Carmen on September 13.
We recently had dinner at the Korean residence as a farewell for our dear friend Enno and Juri, the Ambassadors of Austria. The Korean Ambassadors were not only great hosts but they have one of the most beautiful embassy residences in Bangkok, with an alluring collection of art from Korea. We had a great night full of interesting stories and the company of dear friends. The charming couple from Austria were be sorely missed.
Residing in Bangkok has allowed us to create a fascinating group of friends. We regularly enjoy dinners at the Colombian residence with friends from all walks of life. Our friends are academics, artists, business people and politicians who join us for music and friendship in a family atmosphere. This was last Saturday at our Summer Get Together.
You are always so busy with new and interesting art projects in different countries. Do you have any art projects here in Bangkok?
Yes, the Embassy of Colombia and the Museum of Chulalongkorn University will be exhibiting a powerful art collection called ”Winds of Peace.”
The collection is an honouring of the Colombian peace agreement which was a great achievement for our country and we want to celebrate it through the eyes of our artists.
I heard that you have succeeded in bringing Sotheby’s to Bangkok for a unique contemporary art auction in October. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes I am so excited! On Wednesday October 4th, we will have a Museum Night Opening Reception in the presence of celebrities, Ambassador’s, diplomats, and VIPs from the business, political and academic world along of course with
all of the art collectors.
The auction by Sotheby’s, who are sending in a team from Hong Kong specifically, is organised to benefit underprivileged children in Bangkok through the Yuvabadhana Foundation. It is a rare opportunity to be able to acquire international art directly from the artists here in Bangkok and to raise funds for the little children.
For the Museum Opening Night reception and Art Auction information
you can contact [email protected]