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The Pepper Lady

In Thailand, one traveler’s photo helped honor a tradition—and a memory

Posted on 7/5/2016 12:47:00 PM in Traveler Insights

Oftentimes in Thai markets, the vendors are as colorful—and more memorable—than the wares they sell.

By Don P., 16-time traveler & 18-time Vacation Ambassador from Indio, CA

We have lots of stories from our travels, but for me, the most memorable story has to do with a photo. This picture, taken on the Discover Thailand trip with O.A.T., is of a woman who was selling peppers at a flower and vegetable market in Bangkok. The photo itself is not especially interesting or well done, but the story is stunning.

Don’s photo of “the pepper lady.”

Shortly after we got home from the trip, I got an email from Maggie, our Thai Trip Experience Leader. Apparently, the woman we had referred to as "the pepper lady" was killed in a hit-and-run a few days after we left Thailand. According to Maggie, a significant Thai funeral custom is for a picture of the deceased to be displayed at the grave site. The family did not have a photo.

Maggie asked if I had a photo, and, if I did, would I send it to her. I had this photo and sent it special delivery. The reply I got took my breath away. The family was so overwhelmed to have the picture that they said they would offer many prayers for me. What more could a traveler ask for than to have made some difference in the lives of those one has met. That is a memory to treasure.

Discover the enduring traditions of the Thai people when you join O.A.T. for Discover Thailand.

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The Pepper Lady

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