An Ode to Mai Pen Rai

mai pen rai [my pen lie] -Thai phrase, meaning, never mind; don’t worry about it; oh well. This phrase quite accurately explains many aspects of the lifestyle and attitudes of the Thai culture.


An Ode to Mai Pen Rai

Dirty floors, blackened feet.

broken shoes from this concrete.

Another day of endless heat.

Mai pen rai


People cutting me in line,

Cannot read “cash only” sign.

Wish the language here was mine.

Mai pen rai


People think that I speak Thai.

And when I look for clothes to buy,

They say, “Too small for you – no try!”

Ohhh….mai pen rai


Streets are full, no garbage cans.

Always late, a change of plans.

Where’s someone who understands?

MAI PEN RAI!


Mosquitoes biting

Soi dogs fighting

I could keep writing…

Mai pen rai

But even here God’s in control,

And in His care, I place my soul.

To know His Love…my only goal.

Smile. Breathe. Trust and pray.

For at the end of every day,

He always gives me grace to say…

Mai…pen…rai.


*Please note, this poem was not meant to be negative — more like…silly! Just thought I’d share some of the frustrations of Bangkok life. Keepin’ it real. 🙂

5 thoughts on “An Ode to Mai Pen Rai

  1. haha… takes me back to days in asia as well. =) Filipinos have a similar saying "bahala na". Enjoyed reading your poem… made me laugh, and remember to be praying for you more! =)Miss you friend. When do you come back to the Northwest?! I so want to see you and hear stories and see pictures and such!

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