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Archive for December, 2013

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Samui-Chiang Mai-Pai

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Doug had been on Koh Samui while I was in Bangkok having my teeth taken care of after we first arrived in Thailand in November 2013. While there, Doug had taken his boat, that he had just finished refurbishing, out into the open sea off Samui. It was just a little fishing boat and the boat launchers forgot to put the plug into the back of the boat. The launchers realized it but it was too late. Luk tried to call him back but he didn’t hear her.

Needless to say the boat sank and since the life vest got caught on the bottom of the boat Doug had to swim about a mile back to shore nearly drowning in the process. “You almost lost a son today,” he said, when he called me!

Fishing Boat Launch

He lost his wallet, credit card and phone with the boat so we spent quite a bit of time finagling with banks and getting him a new phone.

Understandably, Doug decided to get off Samui so he flew from Samui to Chiang Mai and I flew from Bangkok on Dec 23rd to meet him for a couple weeks. He had his motorcycle sent from Samui to Chiang Mai…through the post! Amazing!

While in Chiang Mai we took a 4-hour trip north through the mountains in a van to Pai for a couple days. Couldn’t believe how much Pai has changed into a hippie backpacker town! Seemed like there were more foreigners there than village people!

I’m about fed up with Japanese princesses who take up more than their fair share of space on the planet to take those blasted photos! And loud crude Russians! And besides that the princesses hold up the van for 20 minutes while they talk on the phone and pack the van with bags of gifts. Perhaps I’m just getting tired. Sigh.

Then…serendipity! A guy I know used to live across the street from us years ago in Salem Oregon. He turned up in my life again in the late 80’s when he happened to be the legislative fiscal officer in charge of the budget for the Commission on Hispanic Affairs where I was the Executive Director. I would run into him occasionally over the years at a coffee shop whenever I was in Salem in transit to Asia.

Well, here in Chiang Mai, one day I was strolling down a little soi near Suan Buak Haad Public Park in the SE corner of the old city and saw a nice looking new guesthouse. The Tulip. I walked into the outdoor reception area to check it out and who was sitting at a table with his laptop open on the table? Geronimo!

What are the chances?

Christmas Chiang Mai 2013

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Christian holidays are an excuse for a party in a Buddhist country. I spend it quietly…with Doug in Chiang Mai and skype calls from Greg and Josh…bless their hearts. Greg spends it quietly too in Las Vegas…making my recipe for Beef Stroganoff. Josh is busy feeding hundreds of Christmas celebrants at the American Club in Hong Kong where he is the Executive Chef. Such is the life of a family scattered all over the world. Far from each other…but close to me.

Impressions…Thai Politics

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
Meanwhile I try to track Thai politics so I know which intersection and skytrain exit to avoid. My Yellow Shirt friend feeds me information. My Thai friend who is a professor of fisheries at Kasetsart University issues warnings. I scour ... [Continue reading this entry]

Off The Tourist Grid In Bangkok

Saturday, December 21st, 2013
VX The Fifty Guesthouse in Bangkok Sukhumvit 50, a nice quiet street, is at the OnNut Sky train exit with Tesco Lotus conveniently at the corner. 10 baht takes me down 50 ... [Continue reading this entry]

King’s Birthday

Sunday, December 8th, 2013
All has been quiet today in honor of the King's birthday. American born, he is 86 today. And dearly loved by Thai people. But he is very ill and people are worried what will happen to Thailand when he passes. ... [Continue reading this entry]