<i>“SAWASDEE ka,”</i> the familiar Thai greeting is uttered as Jirapatsorn Jantranikul hands me the <i>malai chum rui</i> and ushers me to the lobby lounge of the Siam Kempinski Bangkok Hotel. The <i>malai<i/> is a souvenir hand bouquet made of jasmine buds and flowers in season. It’s similar to that of the <i>lei</i> (garland) in the Hawaiian culture, where it’s used as an offering, a gift or a souvenir.
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