We arrived in Bangkok after a night in Tokyo. It was a long flight and we were glad to have a bed to stretch out in. Bangkok is a huge, sprawling city, as smoggy as Beijing and not as beautiful. At least we haven't seen the attractive stuff yet! Long rows of tenements flow into the urban mix of hotels, glass office towers and the occasional temple. Everything looks grey, but the sky is clear and the people are friendly.
[Image: Hotel Lobby]
Near our hotel, the streets are lined with vendors selling everything from sandals to steam irons. Every nationality is present. Mysterious women in black garments peer out from slits in their face coverings. Beautiful saris mix with the mode of the day. Pretty girls clatter along in the highest of heels past tough looking boys in jeans and T-shirts. Men in white caftans with white head scarves held in place by black, wrapped cords stare out from restaurants where hookah pipes sit on tables and tapestries hang from walls..
The streets clatter with cars of every size and color. Brilliant pink and purple taxis squeeze past trucks filled with commuters who hang from metal bars. Modern buses compete with tiny "tuk-tuks" and young people on scooters take chances at every corner. There are few bicycles here, unlike mainland China. Perhaps the short streets and many alleyways make it a dangerous place to ride.
[Image=Street Scene with pedicab driver.]
Outside the "Majestic Sky" hotel, girls line up and wait for business. They are young, pretty and well dressed. My guess is they make more than most vendors. Even the massage therapists get just a few bahts a day. Everything is for sale here, just steps from the hotel and if it's not evident, "trasvel agents" can arrange anything your heart desires.
Yesterday, we took a tour of the floating market, saw snake charmers, alligator trainers and elephants. The food stalls along the river were too numerous to choose from and the variety of interesting fruits and veggies was amazing. Like most tropical countries, there is an abundance of interesting plant life. I wish I knew more about botany because I'm fascinated by it. Long canals criss- cross the land, flooding rice paddies and provide transportation.
[image=shot of Lynn in boat]
Here, the ancient ways blend in with the new. Everyone goes with the flow and the flow goes in all directions. Today we leave for Phuket and the sandy beaches you see in the photographs. The adventure has just begun! LJ
[Image = Lynn in hotel pool mugging for the camera]
- Lynn comments sniffily on the congestion in a third world country without stopping to consider the economic pressures that drive it.
- Second, she, as expected, regards her host country as an exotic backdrop filled with bizarre people whose job it is to be denizens of the Mysterious Orient; her stupid inability to even think of obtaining silly things like a Fodor's or Lonely Planet guide make her look like a chump.
- Third, she's gotta be yanking us with her description of the local sex workers; she can't be that dense, right? Or that heartless that she doesn't know who miserable their lives are. Or that judgmental that she thinks whatever they get, they had coming. Or that unaware that her friends have to suffer the indignity of being flooded with e-mails that ask what kind of frakked-up nitwit says stuff like this.
- Another set of letters will decry her ignorance as regards the Saudi and UAE nationals that she encountered; regarding real people as extras from an Ali Baba movie isn't going to do wonders for her credibility.
- Also, who even calls the People's Republic 'Mainland China' any more?
- Finally, would it kill her to buy a style guide and learn proper punctuation, usage and spelling?