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Inhale. Hold. And Exhale.

I crossed the border yesterday into Thailand and it was not without it's fair share of mounting stress.


Border crossing. We had to all get off the bus, go through Cambodia Immigration, walk across the border, go through Thailand Immigration, retrieve our bags that had been removed from the bus and then get back on the bus. A 2 hour production.


I realized on the 13th that I had overstayed my visa by 2 days. In a bit of a frantic mess, after going to a business that only worked with visas for Cambodian nationals followed by a business that only worked with Cambodian's getting American visas, I eventually ended up at the Cambodian Immigration Department that works with Americans getting Cambodian visas. Did we all follow that? I know, it was complicated. Long story short, I was told that I wasn't going to be able to renew my visa and would have to pay a $10 fine/day. Okay. It was straight from the horses mouth, and so I just accepted it and kept moving along.


Yesterday on the bus ride to the border, with USD in hand to pay off my debt, our "stewardess" on the bus kept mentioning needing your "yellow card" to get through Immigration. Just a blank stare from this girl. Yep, not even a slight clue where that piece of paper went to. After a one-on-one conversation with her, she said that I could pay a fine of $5. Okay. My total was now up to $75.


My deep breathing exercises really came into play as we neared the border and began the process. I kept looking around and telling myself, "If this person can do it, I can do it," plus a few other mantras that came to mind. I was up, it my time to shine. I approached the Cambodian Immigration Officer with as much Khmer respect as I knew how. I greeted him sompas, prayer hands, and the most respectful greeting I knew, "Cham reup suor," and explained all the things I was missing. After shaking his head and saying, "no good," a few times. He looked at me, smiled and stamped my passport.


I have chills even as I write this. No money exchanged hands. He showed me immense kindness and great compassion. If I could have, I would have hugged him then and there. What a beautiful reminder of the impact we can have on others by showing the smallest amount of kindness.


I'm now sitting in lovely little café in Bangkok this morning, having a delicious americano and croissant. When I sat down, this piece of paper was tucked next to the vase on the table I chose. I couldn't have said it any clearer.




I have a day and half to be in Bangkok and am feeling the need to very leisure. Here's a little taste of the vibe so far.







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