I heard this term for the first time about a year and a half ago. It’s used to describe someone visiting a place for the first time – everything is new to them and they notice so much because it is so different. If you’ve lived in a city or a country for a long time, chances everything has become ‘normal’ to you. You lose your ‘fresh eyes’ quickly if you’re in a place for a long time.
My Mom and my Aunt are flying as I type this. They will land in Bangkok tonight and then on Tuesday fly up to Mae Hong Son. For the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about ‘fresh eyes’ and trying to imagine the things that they’ll point out to me, or ask me about, or take pictures of.
Palm trees, banana trees, colourful flowers.
Geckos, gecko poo, lizards, snakes, insects of the gigantic variety.
Chickens pecking and fluttering all around, dogs roaming free, water buffalo wandering along the sides of roads.
Many people riding motorbikes, many riding without helmets, many carrying their babies or small children with them as they ride.
Monks in their bright orange robes, temples, spirit houses, chedis.
Vendors selling food along the sides of roads, meat balls on sticks, drinks in a bag.
Meat at the market with flies all over the place, fresh fruit and veggies that look exotic and you don’t know the name of.
Houses on stilts, houses made of bamboo, or wood, or cement or various combinations of those materials, houses without screens and holes in floors and in the walls.
Children in school uniforms with similar hairstyles, children calling out “good morning” at various times throughout the day.
I’m sure I’ll be adding more to the list. Feel free to add if you still have fresh eyes, or can remember a bit of when you did have fresh eyes in Thailand.