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Sunday December 30 2007

This is the posting that was written in the Narita, Japan airport while I was in transit to the Bangkok flight. It also represents the last work on the old computer. When I purchased the new one, the technician set up the old computers hard drive as an external hard drive, so I was able to retrieve this posting and all of my saved work on the old hard drive. Pretty nifty , Huh!


December 24, 2007


As many of you know, I have decided to resume my peripatetic ways and take to the road again. After much research and internet surfing, Thailand beckoned once again. As to why, I chose Thailand, more on that later. Based on the very late arriving snow of last year in Massachusetts, I figured there wouldnt be any snow in December-January, so I decided to travel. Well, I was wrong, this is one of the best skiing Decembers in memory. I have already skied 7 days.


I decided to go to Bangkok as I havent scouted out the entire city and the environs. I do plan to go north to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai into the northern hill country. From there I may go to Myanmar or Laos, although the military dictatorship in Myanmar doesnt hold a lot of promise as a tourist destination. Que sera!


American Airlines has a flight that leaves JFK enroute to Narita, Japan and then on to Bangkok. So this morning, I boarded my flight @ 11:30 for the fourteen hour flight to Narita. Fortunately, I got a window seat in a two seat configuration. The 777 seats in economy 2-5-2 and it was bit snug but better than sitting in the middle section. After getting fed three times and doing some reading in my recently-acquired Lonely Planet Guide to South East Asia, I managed to get some shut-eye. Tokyo is fourteen hours ahead of New York and a fourteen hour flight leaves one totally disoriented. As I am in transit to another international flight, I didnt see a lot of the airport and only saw a couple of duty-free shops. The current exchange is 111 yen to the dollar and as it is Christmas day, you would think it was a bargain basement as the stores were mobbed with shoppers. There is a coolness to the Japanese consumer as they exhibit a unique style and carry it off quite well.


I have a three hour layover and it helps to have the Santa gift of an IPOD and sitting here with a laptop and an IPOD, I really feel wired in a very contemporary way. Bob Seger sounds good on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to all!


I arrive in Bangkok at midnight and hopefully my car service will be there to get me to the Davis Bangkok Hotel. The internet reveals this place to be a boutique hotel and hopefully it will be a pleasant spot. I want to stay in a different part of Bangkok as the last three times, I have stayed riverside in the Peninsula or the Shangri-La Hotels.

My plan is to stay here for four nights and improvise from there!


Just one little hitch, I booked this hotel through the American Airlines Website and the receipt indicates my room rate to include airport transfers. I had to call the hotel to arrange the airport transfer and the receptionist quoted a rather steep tariff for the transfer to the hotel. I quoted my receipt and it appears there will be a discrepancy to deal with upon arrival. The joys of travel, but heh! this is fun!


This represent my third posting! Sorry about the strange sequence!


Sunday-30 January


As I returned back to my hotel Saturday afternoon, all of a sudden, I felt my nose and throat tighten up and within minutes I was dealing with a nasty cold or a case of the flu. The only thing I can think of, as a contributing factor, was the all-day excursion on Friday and sitting in front of the auto air conditioner. Needless to say, any cold meds that I have are seriously out of date and/or expired.


I have discovered it is challenging to try and sleep when one cant breathe! All I could really do is lounge around the hotel room and wait for my airport pick-up @ 6:00 PM for the airport  transfer. I had made arrangements with the driver from yesterday to transport me and as soon as I got in the car and felt the air conditioning, I knew the source of my malady. Did you ever have that feeling? By the way, the cab is shockingly pink paint on the outside and a matching interior. Amelia would love it!


The driver was an hour early and when I checked in, I learned the flight was delayed an hour and a half. So I now have a four hour wait-part of which was arriving early and the other was the delay. I will use part of the time to reflect on my recent trip and I can only recall one flight-Mumbai to Delhi that was delayed. My flight from Dallas to Vancouver was late arriving, but that doesnt really count as a late departure. At any rate, I am merrily composing  a blog entry.


Heard the Giants had a lead on the Patriots in the fourth quarter and ended up losing the game anyway! Lets hope Big Blue does better in the playoffs!


Anyway, my flight is scheduled to arrive into Chiang Mai after 11:00 PM this evening and I will have to figure out how to get to my hotel-Amari Rincome-Chiang Mai. I did notice that I have to pay for a gala New Years dinner at the hotel regardless of whether or not I am there for the dinner. Talk about jacking up rates for a New Years celebration on the room and requiring a dinner to boot.


Anyway, I have learned to deal with the inconveniences of travel and I suppose a few cocktails will assuage the pain of a four hour wait! Happy New Year to all!


Sunday December 30 2007

posted 30 December 2007


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