La Regina del Mondo
Looks like a  Skimpy Buffet for such a Beautiful Woman

Thailand. She was always the most beautiful one, no matter where she went. She had her favorite dressmakers and special stoff handler in town and she picked the most exquisite materials to make outrageous dresses. I remember her at the hair dressers a few times week, the Thai girls adored her whiteness and loved to paint her eyes, Slavic almond shapes, similar to their own. She was then and is still a rare breed of bird, solitary and bestowed with extraordinary plumes, as you can tell from the picture.

And, she was kind. All the fat (or thin) American ladies who lived in various parts of our compound off of Sukhumvit Road and the mall, and who were either very Christian and from Alabama or brunettes from New Jersey who smoked a lot of cigarettes, ostracized  her because she paid Vilai, our domestica, a few dollars more a month for her services than was the norm.

She didn’t care. I don’t know if she even noticed the ostracization. I did because they wouldn’t let me play with their offspring in the pool. Guilt by association. But that’s another picture.

When her sister got married Vilai invited the Queen to come to the wedding and she agreed, even though, a) mingling with your help was unheard of and b) making a very long and arduous trip into the uncharted Thai countryside in 1970, as an American woman- alone- was preposterous.

It took her 7 hours to get there, one way, first by car and then a boat up river and then even a smaller boat with no motor to a forsaken little hinterland in the jungle. She had a special cream and dark gold color traditional Thai dress made for the occasion and brought some money along with her grace and charm. I always forget to ask her what shoes she wore, delicate slips or knee high boots against snakes & bugs, it’s such an important detail into who she (or any of us) is.

I don’t know how she managed to be generous her whole life, she was always buying and giving and we had the finest clothes, even though the rake spent most of it most of the time. The whole village waited for her arrival to start the wedding and once she arrived the monks fawned over her and served her food. She was delicate and shy. And proud and strong all at the same time. And, today, she still is, always against the tide always regal in her adamant beauty. My father was a lucky SOB. I never understood it.