Thursday, April 27, 2006

Want to eat Foie Gras? Don't come to Chicago

The dumbasses have won again. I happen to like foie gras. First time I tried it was when I went to Paris and then tried it in a few of the French restaurants here in Chicago. I don't get this. Why are lawmakers continually trying to legislate their morality upon the rest of us? Cell phone bans, smoking bans, what's next?

Ald. Joe Moore (49th), honestly, what's next? You can't find anything else wrong with the city of Chicago that could be legislated huh? Thank you for your bufoonery and clownish ridiculousness. Restriction of the sale of a food product. You certainly emulate the Jeffersonian ideals of democracy. Bravo to you sir.

If it were up to me and I lived in Mr. Moore's ward, I would do all I can to make sure that he was no longer my alderman. Enough said.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mae Sot and Songkran

Ok, I'm back in Bangkok right now. Just got back from Chaing Mai and wanted to give a couple quick notes. I'll flesh it out when I have time, but I want to get something to eat and its an election day tomorrow, so I'll have more time as a lot of places are closed.

The drive up to Mae Sot was about six or so hours from Bangkok to the North. The ride was great as we go into the mountainous terrain. The mountains reminded me somewhat of those in the Smokey mountains in Tessessee.

I met up with Julai and met her mother and one of her brothers. I made a great impression smacking my head on one of the roof beams of the garrage. It was at least a good ice breaker.

Her parents and one brother run a store with fruits, vegetables, drinks, and various other sundries. They get up real early (4:30 AM) to go to the main market for the day. One of the days, I went with to the market and helped a little bit (carrying stuff I guess is helping).

On that first night, we walked around her village. Not really an accurate description, because the homes were very close to one another. Being the only foreigner was pretty neat as I met a lot of Julai's friends and was always met with a lot of curiosity. No, suprise, no both. It was pretty fun though seeing wide eyed looks from kids who were at first terrified and then a day later asking when I was going to be there.

I met Julai's other brother a day later and we went to a couple of the local waterfalls. This was on one of the days of Songkran, the Thai New Year. It was hot, the waterfalls were absolutely packed with people trying to cool down from the heat.

It was at this time, day 2 that I had to deal with the reality of being the only foreigner. There are western toilets in the hotels, but other than that, you're using a squat toilet. I'm only going to say that I'm not a fan and am a bit terrified still of using them.

I'm off to get some western food right now. I really want a cheeseburger. More to follow, especially the trip to Chaing Mai.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mae Sot

Tuesday April 11th, 2006 Bangkok, Thailand

Quick update as I need to get some sleep.

I hate jetlag. I woke up today early and just couldn't stay awake. Of course tonight, I'll be wide awake. I'll have to take matters into my own hands tomorrow.

I'm leaving for Mae Sot, a town in the mountains of Northern Thailand close to the Myanmar border for Songkran and to see a friend of mine and meet her family. I'm looking forward to getting out early as most Thais in Bangkok head home for the holiday which runs from approximately the 13th to the 15th. After that, I'm on my way to Chaing Mai and then back to Bangkok, probably by next week.

I have no definite plans except that I need to be back in Bangkok by the 23rd to go home.

Weather here is great. Very hot, and very, very humid.

My Thai language skill although better improved, still needs a lot of work. Anyway, off to bed.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Well, its been a while since I've posted up here. I've been absolutely slammed at work for the past three weeks with several projects and the past week has been a real treat.

I've had to get my taxes done, laundry finished, photos developed, and still have to pack. Tonight, the Badgers play in their first frozen four since I was back in school, against Maine. It would be nice to see them advance. Tomorrow, is one of my favorite days of the year, Cubs Opening Day at Wrigley Field. It will be cold and miserable during the game with chances of rain, but because baseball season has started once again in Chicago, it doesn't matter to me. The promise of warmer weather is ahead.

Speaking of warmer weather, I'll be leaving for Bangkok on Saturday. Next week is Songkran, the Thai New Year. I've never been to Thailand in April, but will be reporting as often as I can. I know this time around that if my eye is a little red and irritated, I'm running to the nearest hospital without hesitation.

This trip, I'm heading to the border town of Mae Sot to meet up with a friend. Mae Sot is on the Myanmar border and is in the mountainous Northern part of Thailand. I really have no more information than that because guidebooks and the net have little on the area.

The trip to Mae Sot has become a bit of an adventure for me and I haven't even gone to the airport. I initially found out that you can use the government bus which is fairly inexpensive and takes 8 hours. I was not a huge fan of that idea and tried to see if there was another way to get there. I found out that I could fly from Bangkok to a town called Sukhothai and then take a 3 hour bus ride. A little more palatable I thought.

Earlier this week, I decided to book my internal flight. Guess what? No chance. There's only one flight a day and the day I needed to go its booked full. Damn my procrastination as it was available a week or so ago. Plan B, I'll take the train to Phitsanulok and take a bus to Mae Sot. Strike two. Trains are all booked except for steerage and the times just won't work for my schedule. Plan C, A while back, I found a limo company that offers service all over Thailand. I enquired and found that they could take me to Mae Sot for $143. About twice what I would have spent taking plan A.

Vacation begins in 3 hours, 15 minutes. Go Badgers, Go Cubs, and Go Me.