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A “Conversation?”

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Amazing things you see. A SE Asian man and an older Thai woman at the next table in the breakfast room of my hotel. For 30 minutes now they both have been talking over each other with no let up. I’m fascinated to see how long they keep it up. Not for one second has either of them stopped talking!

How do they know what to say next?!

OMG! Thais Are Crazy To Drive You All Over Thailand!

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Tina at her home In Chom Thong

Bottom of Waterfall

Doug, my son, and I have been here nearly a month and to get out of busy Chiang Mai for a day we were supposed to be driven to Tina’s home in Chom Thong about 3 hours in the countryside. Tina is the gf of a friend of Doug’s. But oh no, as if this wasn’t enough driving, she had to take us to a waterfall up a winding road on the way! Doug got sick and with my back and leg I couldn’t even walk up to the waterfall. There were hordes of people because tomorrow is Father’s Day and this was a long weekend. Then she wanted to take us all the way to the top of the mountain! Noooooo Doug and I yelled!

Then further on the way to her home she wanted to take us clear to the top of another mountain where we could see a temple at the top! Noooooo! We yelled again!

We felt bad. Tina was just trying to pleasure us! What made it worse was that she, a Thai, only paid 30 baht for her entry fee and Doug and I, foreigners, had to pay 300 baht each for our misery! That is about $8.50! Dual pricing for foreign visitors all over Thailand! I’m surprised they didn’t make us pay for taking photos. But without cameras, thank goodness for superphones! 😉

We were so relieved to get to Tina’s home town outside of which we walked among the houses of all her family members. She pointed out all the different interesting fruit trees and herbal plants they use in cooking and healing. Took a photo of her holding a huge Jackfruit hanging from a tree.

I remembered a friend of mine in Salem who was in the Peace Corps in Thailand in the 70’s and who visited good friends on a subsequent trip to Chiang Mai. She said she spent almost the entire time being driven around in a car!!! What is it??? I shall remember this when people come visit me! 😉 An hour is the max!

Hanoi Visa Run

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Having flown into Thailand without getting a visa beforehand, I only had a 30 day tourist visa. So I flew to Hanoi using the convenient online Viet Nam visa application and stayed ... [Continue reading this entry]

Coincidence In Bangkok!

Friday, December 25th, 2015
I love coincidences! A couple days ago I was walking on the flyway across Ratchipidisek Rd in Bangkok when I happened to look down to the street far below. I was sure I saw one of my favorite Couchsurfers who I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Spirit Prayer

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
It was an amazing experience. I was in my familiar Governor's Cup coffee shop in Salem Oregon talking with my friend when I told her I didn’t know what to do with all the Indian rocks my father inadvertently dug ... [Continue reading this entry]

I’m In My Glory

Monday, November 24th, 2014
This past week, Ivan, my temporary Italian roomie, who has been living in Oaxaca many years but split with his girlfriend and lost his apartment cooked Pasta Bolognaise for me, Angie and her mom. Angie is the sister of Lumina, ... [Continue reading this entry]

OMG…70 Hours From BKK To PDX

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
The flight back to the States from Thailand included a transit through Tokyo, Japan. But it snowed in Tokyo and the Narita airport closed. Waited in Bangkok airport 12 hours for an alternate flight to Hanada airport. With her ... [Continue reading this entry]


Monday, September 30th, 2013
OMG, it's almost been a year since my last RTW! I am planning my next trip back to Thailand to get some teeth in November and to see my sons in Thailand and Hong Kong. I am beginning ... [Continue reading this entry]

New Zealand Next?

Monday, February 18th, 2013
Met a really nice bright young Swiss guy in the breakfast room while at the Sarisanee who has been living in New Zealand. He talked up NZ and of course now I want to go there! He, a self-described punker ... [Continue reading this entry]

Video Skype Mishap

Monday, May 24th, 2010
You can just imagine the look on my son Josh's face in Hong Kong today as my chair collapsed out from under me in Las Vegas as I disappeared from view in his skype video frame! He he. Fell on ... [Continue reading this entry]

Why We Don’t Like Some Places We Travel

Monday, May 24th, 2010
On there is a thread on a forum with people talking about places they didn't like and why.  After reading a few posts, a very funny couchsurfing friend who I shall call the "Green Lady of England" finally let ... [Continue reading this entry]

Last Days In Jinghong

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
Joe, a gregarious Dai tour guide who hangs out at the tourist haunts looking for business invited me to join him and his family and friends, including a young French couple, at the new BBQ restaurants on the road along ... [Continue reading this entry]

Just Hanging Out

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
Yesterday an older woman from Ireland and I tried to find the Night Market at the end of the bridge over the Mekong River where you used to be able to get great BBQ meat cooked over coal fires. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Almost Didn’t Make The Plane To Kunming

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008
YUqE3FCf1Hd9CjfG1qqmt0-2006171132705308.gif Hard to believe I was in Beijing for two weeks. But you know what they say about stinking guests if they stay too long. So today I flew to Kunming in Yunnan Province in the south ... [Continue reading this entry]

Almost Lost On The Subway

Sunday, February 10th, 2008
This week Josh and I went to the Beijing Exhibition which is a miniature replica of the city in a huge building. Josh says they have one of these in every major city. Very well done! Then we ... [Continue reading this entry]

Just For Fun

Friday, June 15th, 2007
Meri and Mary Rain, volunteers at the Casa de los Amigos where Barbara and I stayed in Mexico City came to visit me this week. They were great fun and kept me company on my birthday as we sat ... [Continue reading this entry]

International Driving

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007
Don't know if it's just Oaxaca or maybe it's the whole of Mexico. However, my dentist says that drivers in Oaxaca are worse than in Mexico City! But in Xalapa they were ever so polite...big fines meted out ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Dongle?

Saturday, March 31st, 2007
New Luxury tax on internet usage in Thailand All internet accounts to be taxed with 970 Baht/month. ($235) Hardware dongle required for internet use BANGKOK: -- The government has announced heavy investment to upgrade Thailand's international bandwidth, but has introduced an internet tax ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dual Pricing

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
Found a hilarious travel article on Bootnall today about the luxury tax...or dual pricing for foreigners as it is called: The Luxury Tax - Asia, Europe, South America By: Adam Jeffries Schwartz The following is a guide to how the luxury tax is ... [Continue reading this entry]

San Andreas Huayapam Fiesta

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006
Last week, with friends, I attended the annual San Andreas Huayapam Fiesta about 25 minutes northeast of Oaxaca City. Very well organized with a lot of people for such a small pueblo. There was a local band that ... [Continue reading this entry]

Conversation In The Zocalo

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
It is creepy odd...the dirty war at night we don't see...the bustling life of the Zocalo by day. Monday was Mike's last day in Oaxaca. Merilla & Peter, expats from Australia, Mike and Gerardo and I met for coffee at ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sunday Morning In Oaxaca

Sunday, August 20th, 2006
I am cranky this morning. I was up all night because of a very noisy wedding party in the courtyard below my apartment window. So I went to my favorite food stall in the Benito Juarez market where I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lovely Oaxacan Family

Friday, August 18th, 2006
Last night I visited a gentle sincere Oaxacan family that lives about 20 minutes in the mountains northwest of the city in San Andreas Huayapam. The couple roasts fragrant locally grown coffee and delivers it to outlets all over. I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Whats To Love About Oaxaca

Saturday, August 12th, 2006
Juanita, the Mexican-American woman I met at Pachote Market, will ride down here with me in my car in September...a road trip to Las Vegas to see Greg, to Phoenix to see friends and across Texas to the border at ... [Continue reading this entry]

Long Bus Tour

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006
Took a tour of Colonial Reforma the northern part of the city. Went to immigration to get my year-long visa and on the way the bus driver got into a stand-off with a car whose driver was yelling ... [Continue reading this entry]


Friday, August 4th, 2006
When I was in China a couple years ago, I met a lovely British woman in her 30's using an internet next to me in the bar at the Camellia Hotel in Kunming. We have kept in touch while ... [Continue reading this entry]

Unexpected Adventures

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006
At Pachote Organic Market while sampling Mezcal, an alcoholic beverage made in Oaxaca from the agave plant, I met Juanita, a lovely Mexican-American woman, who was here visiting her daughter. We connected immediately and it turns out that ... [Continue reading this entry]

One Oaxacan Migrant Family

Monday, June 26th, 2006
Yesterday I went to Tule...a small town of about 15,000 near Oaxaca City. What a charming place. Most of the men are gone up north, my driver said (as a huge brand new black diesel pickup backed up ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mexican Cumbia Dancing

Sunday, June 11th, 2006
I had forgotten how much fun it is to dance to Mexican music! I think I am a Mexican trapped in a gringo body! Last Friday, Gerardo and his mom, Socorroo, invited me, a few of her friends, Michael, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Emails From Leila

Saturday, April 15th, 2006
WOW what a city. BANGKOK is alive. It is New year for them amd they celebrate with water. The streets are alive with people walking arround with water pistols and clay. Everyome is om thr street. You goota srr it ... [Continue reading this entry]

Songkran Water Festival

Saturday, April 15th, 2006
Day before yesterday was New Years in Lao. Yesterday was New Years in Thailand, although the celebration continues for several days in these countries. We get it again! Leila took a cheap bus to Kao San Road while I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Tuk Tuk Tour

Saturday, April 15th, 2006
After the Lao Cotton Company party, Villa, the driver, took a nap in his tuk tuk while we rested in our room. Later that night we toured the city under the lights. Villa, it turns out, is not just ... [Continue reading this entry]

Sabaidee Pi Mai Lao!

Thursday, April 13th, 2006
Lao New Year (and in Thailand) is a time to encourage young people to absorb the spirit of cleaning their temples, houses, stupas of their ancestors and apparently the bodies of anyone, especially the foreigners they come across. The purpose ... [Continue reading this entry]

Thai Rock Band

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006
After dinner with Susan, Leila and I looked for some music and found a night club with a terrific Thai band playing Rod Stewart, Eagles and Pink Floyd's "The Wall." Leila turned into a 15 year old...singing along with ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
1wXSp3CkNsDoJl3s0SgHmw-2006171144731304.gif Seeing the Mekong in Vientiane during dry season was a worse shock than seeing it in Luang Prabang...down hundreds of yards from the water line in the wet season. Leila, my Australian travel ... [Continue reading this entry]


Monday, April 10th, 2006
Never come to Northern Thailand or Lao during the dry season which is now. Slash and burn fires send smoke against the mountains and beyond. You won't see anything and the Mekong River will be down to a trickle.

Lao “Disco”

Monday, April 3rd, 2006
ySKKSpbtXBjgyhP6z8LuC0-2006217035001655.gif Last night a lively 50 year old woman that teaches kindergarten in Alberta Canada, a young woman from California who is a consultant to a California educational testing company, an even younger woman from ... [Continue reading this entry]

Luang Prabang Lao

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006
DSC00495.JPG Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its unique, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Breakfast at Smile Guesthouse

Saturday, March 25th, 2006
I have changed hotels. I am now at the brand new Bau-Tong Lodge with free WiFi that is down little soi 3 off Loi Kroh...for half the cost of the Galare Guesthouse where I was for the last three ... [Continue reading this entry]

Northern Style Thai Massage

Saturday, March 25th, 2006
This last week I found a very small, unassuming massage shop...very simple understated Thai Lanna-style salon with rough dark stained wood...a couple couches draped with yellow ochre and red umber raw silk cloth. Branches of pussy willow fill a huge ... [Continue reading this entry]


Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
Yesterday morning I walked to the Post Office around the corner and down the street and then slowly swung a wide path through the city...dawdling in used book stores, Jonesing for all the quality crafts and household items in shop ... [Continue reading this entry]

British Humor

Monday, March 6th, 2006
Ending the BBC news report today on the Oscar winners, the anchor noticed that the Icelandic singer Bjork was nowhere to be seen. "She was wearing the white feathered swan dress she wore her Oscar year," he said, "and ... [Continue reading this entry]

International Night On Koh Samui

Saturday, February 25th, 2006
We're back on Samui and I have rented a brand new furnished one bedroom house for $12.00 a night at "Solitude Resort" on a mountainside about a mile from Doug and Luk's bungalow. The first evening we were welcomed by our ... [Continue reading this entry]

“11 Minutes” Outranks Mao

Thursday, July 14th, 2005
On my way to my BTS Skytrain station, I stop for lunch at The Emporium, an upscale indoor shopping mall where there is a variety of restaurants on the 5th floor. A young Asian woman sitting next to me ... [Continue reading this entry]

Stories Of The Bangkok Street

Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
Ten baht (25 cents) for a motorcycle taxi gets me to the American educated dentist down the soi and around the corner in little more than a minute...scared to death that the trucks, cars, motorcycles, light poles, ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Bus To Trang

Friday, May 20th, 2005
While I was on Koh Samui visiting Luk, while Doug was in Oregon, we decided to hop a bus for Trang where Luk's family lives. This is my second visit here. We stayed in a nice hotel...Luk trying ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Talk By Shirin Ebadi

Thursday, April 14th, 2005
Bob has been in the north for the last week so I joined the Foreign Correspondents Club the other day as a way of meeting other English speaking people in Bangkok. Membership is reciprocal with Foreign Correspondents Clubs around ... [Continue reading this entry]

Trekking Northern Thailand

Saturday, April 2nd, 2005
gatQye8keZlS3vpnwrOvxg-2006186163905868.gif As soon as we returned to Bangkok from Bali Bob took a train to Chiang Mai for a trek in northern Thailand near Mae Son Hong. I stayed in Bangkok to have some ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jazz In Familiar Old Quarter Hanoi

Friday, April 1st, 2005
I had to check out of Thailand...thought my visa was 90 days that I got in Kunming in December but it was only 60 days. So at the end of March I had to pay a hefty fine at ... [Continue reading this entry]

Keeping Body and Soul Together

Friday, April 1st, 2005
In Bangkok we got a good deal for a month in a beautiful completely furnished apartment on a dead-end street in the upscale Saladaeng area...close to the Skytrain and the new subway that is running again after a recent accident. ... [Continue reading this entry]