Friday, November 25, 2005

No news to report

Friday, November 25th, 2005 - Bangkok, Thailand (still)

Well, no news to report yet. I've been severely jetlagged all week and only went to Wat Arun a couple days ago. I'm really hating gettting up in the early afternoon. Tomorrow, I book for Vietnam. I'll need to get out of BKK for a week or so and give my impressions of HCMC and the South.

If I don't hit Vietnam early next week, it will be on the weekend with the beginning of the week spent in Chaing Mai. I know there's cold and snow back home and maybe I'm just used to the warm weather, but 70's at night feels a little cold at times. Good problem to have I know.

The spot where I used to be able to go for internet access was bulldozed for condos back in Feb., so finding a reliable place with little hassle has been a bit of a challenge. There's a place halfway down the soi (street), but I only trust the computer to enter a blog submission and nothing else. Well, gotta get going. Meeting a couple friends out here for dinner. I think I almost ate Western food the other day and decided against it. Just easier to eat Thai food.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Back Again

Saturday, November 19th 2005 - Bangkok, Thailand 19:35

Its said that you can't go back home again. I think that the same applies to Thailand. This is my 4th trip here and I'm no longer disillusioned by the hustle and bustle of this fascinating SE Asian city. Bangkok is a city that has grown up too fast with far too many trappings of the Western world.

Are the people as nice and accomodating? Yes and no. No in that I made a decent deal to get to the hotel on my first night. My bargaining skills are once again in top form and only 10 minutes after clearing customs. My lacking Thai language skills have left me the inability to tactfully let the taxi driver know that I saw him scam me for 20 baht and take local streets instead of the toll road and being scammed out of another 25 for fradulent minibar charges (c'mon people, I may look dumb, but I know what was taken from the minibar). Yes in that my friends at the bar were more than happy to see me, The cell phone airways were abuzz of my arrival and I was happy to be able to see people that I genuinely call friends again.

The thing that I now realize that wears one down is being looked at like a walking ATM machine. The common thought is that if you can afford foreign travel, you must be rich. Wrong!! I saved my ass off the past 9 months and gave up several trip opportunities to have the cash to make it here. Even with Thai speaking friends it takes its toll. A dollar here, fifty cents there, well you get the point.

Friday I checked into the Grand President service apartments. Smaller than a hotel room, but at least I have a fridge and a small, but nonfunctional kitchen. Yeah, I'm a little bitter. The bloom is off the rose. Vietnam airlines rt to Saigon $287. I'll be leaving Wednesday and searching for the 1st McDonalds in Ho Chi Minh City.

More to follow...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


7:57 AM - Chicago, IL

Plane leaves in four hours (hopefully). I've slept exactly two hours since yesterday, good times. Outside, its about 31 degrees. Much warmer in Thailand. Get me the crap out of here.

Time to get a taxi and deal with big fun at the port.

Coming up - Thailand and Vietnam Trip #4

Monday, November 14, 2005


Not sure that I've ever felt this before, but just have a general feeling of panic. I've checked that my accommodation is all set in Bangkok and will check to see that I'm alright with my flight tonight, but I'm starting to panic a bit.

I think if I can get my bag packed tonight, I'll be a little better off, but the whole going to Vietnam with no general plan has me a bit flustered right now. I think once I get to a travel agent in Bangkok and check flight prices, I'll settle down. I've never really gone by the seat of my pants on a trip and everyone that does it has usually no issues. I guess its just a big combination of nerves, anxiety, and anxiousness.

Its got to be since I was up at 4AM this morning.

1 more day of work, just need to keep my head.


Friday, November 11, 2005

This is how I feel today...

I've got 5 days to go before I leave. I've thrown clothes that I plan to take on my opened suitcase (my version of packing), bought all the toiletries that I suspect I can't get in Thailand, and will be making a call to get a malarone prescription (anti malarial drug) this afternoon. I have no issues with the Travel and Immunization Center at Northwestern Hospital, they're fantastic and do a great job. I think that my medical insurer is a bit faulty, but I'll give them a chance before I start to condemn them.

This should be a good weekend in the city, my last for a month. The weather will be fairly warm with chances of rain and there's a lot of good football to watch. Next week Friday I'll be in 90 degree temps having an adult beverage and lounging by the pool, can't wait.

Work is work. Slow and well, I'll just leave it at that. I've got a few things working before I leave on Wed., and a few more when I get back. Might be time for change all around in 2006.

I might have an update before I leave if I have time. If not, I'll try to have an update on Friday November 18th from Bangkok.

Time to cross the wild meridian.