The King and I

In Thailand, the King is everywhere. And when I mean everywhere, I mean you can't go a day without seeing some image of the king on a poster, a banner, money, calendars, you name it. Every time we entered and exited a town, you'd see a giant banner over the road in royal yellow with his portrait, and everyone had a calendar with images of him and his family in their homes and businesses. The nostalgic black and white photos from the 50s seemed especially popular.

People really seem to love him – he is like an uber popstar beyond Michael Jackson status. Legendary to the nth power. I sort of felt like he was a benevolent spirit watching over us as we traveled through Thailand. And I think I figured out why all of the portraits are from the three-quarters view – he's got an ocular prosthetic!

Random trivia fact: he was born in Mount Auburn hospital in Cambridge, MA.