Thailand #2....... May 12 to May 24, 2008


You may ask, “Why Thailand again with so much of the world yet to see?” The short answer is “Damn communists.”

The long answer is that the original plan for this time frame involved going to Tibet. However, our friends in China closed it off to all foreigners because of some protests or something. I talked to a dude who’s buddy was in Tibet when the crap hit the fan. He took some photos with his point and shoot and emailed them to a few newspapers. He got a check for $4k and his picture was on the front page of the Times or something like that. Not bad for a few hours work. Good thing he didn’t get caught by the commies, they would have smashed that camera, if he was lucky. They may have smashed his head.

So anyway, the cheapest path out of Nepal goes through Bangkok. It is truly the gateway to SE Asia. Best airport I have been in, maybe ever.


Went back to my favorite hostel, maybe ever, Suk 11. It has character, to say the least. 12 nights was something like $240. After Nepal and India, it was 5-star. It had hot water on demand- every time I wanted it. The AC voltage never wavered. The air conditioning worked. No car horns or barking dogs at 3am. The door locked. The wi-fi worked. To quote some graffiti on the walls:

There is a place called Suk Eleven,
It is a slice of Bangkok heaven.
So take the Tuk
To the Suk
Its right behind the Seven Eleven.

If you ever travel to the Suk and can find my addition to the graffiti, I’ll buy you a frosty beverage. Here’s a hint- a Rolla Theta Xi would know what to look for and where the stairway to heaven ends. There are pictures of the Suk on the slideshow. Everything needed is within walking distance of the Suk and fairly cheap. For example, a Thai Massage: 1 hour for 250 Baht - or about $8.33. Or you could go nuts and get a 2 hour massage for 400 Baht. The English pub was under part of the hotel. They had a decent cheeseburger. With fries, it was around $5, or 150 Baht. Expensive meal by Thai standards, but I was feeling very burger deficient. A great Thai meal, say fried noodles or Pad Thai, with a Coke, would run around 60-80 Baht. You had to ‘eat local’ to get these prices. The same meal in a tourist restaurant would run you 4x as much. I could get bacon, eggs, and a latte for around $5. A Guinness was around $5, a local Chang was around $2. So bottom line, if you don’t do things like upgrade hard drives, have cameras cleaned, do tour trips, and take massage class; you can live large for around $45 per day.

Hardware Woes

Found an Apple store and had them swap hard drives in the laptop. Ran out of disk space- couldn’t delete pictures fast enough. Got 120 gigabytes free now- should come in handy for the sights of China. Speaking of pictures, every time I cranked up the aperture, I got these nasty dust spots in my pictures. John from Nepal said it was dust on the sensor. He was right. Had dust inside my lens also. Found a Nikon store and 4500 Baht later I have a clean lens, clean sensor, and overall very clean camera. I am disappointed with Nikon for not covering the lens cleaning under warranty. In my mind, dust INSIDE a very expensive lens is just not acceptable. Maybe an email to them will lead to some resolution. Maybe I’ll link this on-line complaint and they’ll see my photos and offer me a job.

Busted out the camera on the scooter ride from the Nikon store to massage class. Scooter rides here are kick butt. Nothing like zipping between cars with inches to spare on each side. At least they give you a helmet.

Massage Training

As I found myself in Bangkok with no plans and over a week to kill, I signed up for a one week Thai Massage class. 30 hours of professional instruction. Classroom and hands on practice under the supervision of Master Yoshinori. The classroom even had a skeleton, just like your high school biology classroom. Overall, $400 well spent. I highly recommend this school. If you can’t come to Bangkok, do a massage class elsewhere. You simply can not beat real time feedback and guidance when it comes to improving your touch. When you put a receiver/instructor to sleep, you know you’re doing something right.

I always knew I had good hands, but now I have a certificate to prove it.


Sidewalks paved with bricks are cool until they become loose. In certain instances, specifically during and after rainfall events, a loose brick can act like a pump and force water upward, thereby drenching your feet and lower legs. Not pleasant.

The Thai language, for lack of a better word, is the most soothing I have ever heard. To listen to it is like a song. The sounds are soft and pleasant. Maybe it helps that Thai ladies, overall, are very attractive and super friendly. Contrast this to listening to Indian or French. French gives me a headache. So does Bulgarian. French is not the language of love. If it’s not American, it may be Thai.

Apparently to type Japanese, you type the words out on a QWERTY keyboard and the computer pops up the correct symbol. I bet Chinese is the same way.

You have two bones in each thumb and big toe, while the other toes and fingers have 3 bones each.

The Clavicle is connected to the Scapula, which are both connected to the Humerus, which is connected to the Radius and Ulna, which connect to the Carpals (8), Meta-carpals (5), and Phalanges (14). The Radius is on the thumb side of your arm. I remember Scapula because it rhymes with spatula. If you had a spare skeleton laying around the campsite and you needed a spatula, you would use the scapula. Or a flattened Coke can on a stick. But that doesn’t rhyme………….

You have 12 ribs on each side: 7 true, 3 false, and 2 floating.


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