Thailand's Outstanding Orchids

Thailand's Outstanding Orchids
Thailand's Outstanding Orchids .I once went to buy flowers for an ailing aunt, a Khunying who happened to favour things Thai. I asked for orchids, but the shop only had long-stemmed red roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, gladioli and other imported flowers. "Thai flowers are not so long-lasting as the imported ones," the florist said, oblivious of the fact that some of her flowers were already starting to wilt. "And most people who come to buy in this shop wouldn't dream of giving only local flowers."

ROYAL VISIT: HRH Princess Srirasm and HRH Prince Dhipankara Rasmijoti were escorted by Bilaibhan Sampatisiri, left, and Sanhapit Bodiratnangkura, right, chairperson and secretarial director, respectively, of the Nai Lert Park Hotel Co Ltd, at the opening of the 24th Annual Flower Show at the Swissotel Nai Lert Park Bangkok.

It was when I was leaving that she said orchids were krajok, a derogatory word for low class, without taste, or dirt cheap. For all I know, she could have meant me!

To be fair, a basket of imported flowers won't burn a hole in one's pocket, but I knew my aunt would appreciate home-grown orchids better than imported carnations. When I asked for orchids I was not exactly thinking of the ubiquitous Madame Pompadour or other common Dendrobium varieties. I was thinking along the lines of vandas and cattleyas, alone or in combination with other flowers, yet the florist did not understand this.
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