Arriving in Bangkok was easier than I anticipated…not as easy as Singapore definitely not as confusing as Kathmandu, The first thing that has struck me about Bangkok is how modern and industrialized it is. There are 11 million people who live just in Bangkok. It stands in complete contrast to Kathmandu. When we drove out of the airport in Nepal, the driver almost hit a sleeping cow(Big mistake in Nepal). Kathmandu had mostly unfinished roads with huge potholes(Remember my hospital story and the flat tire)…But Bangkok has highways…and lots of them…and skyscapers…The noise is not as loud as i thought it would be…People are very friendly…The Hotel is …well…it’s a hotel…You can stay in Bangkok for a few dollars a day, reasonably comfortably…Bangkok is OK…Kathmandu was an experience!!
Since I needed to join a tour in order to get out to the outer Islands, I met with my small group and we headed out to do the Touristy stuff…The Palace and Temple Tour was good…
Thailand is mainly Buddhist with some Muslims in the south….The temples are amazing…but I must say we all thought they seemed very Disney!!! I don’t know if that’s a compliment on Disney…but each temple felt like Epcot! Our Guide, who speaks very little and broken English, has been doing his best to give us the history of Bangkok…. Our group is 16 people Most from England, 4 from Ireland and 3 from US(2 from NY). My roommate is from Donegal in Ireland…she’s great…she is the spitting image of Melissa P. in Tampa, but with an accent!!! For all my friends and family who have expressed concern for my continuing health, please note that there is a doctor from England and an intensive care nurse from NY in my group…how could I ask for more(: The Thais speak very little English, compared to the Nepalis…oddly enough, both countries are nations that have never been colonized…yet Nepal, who does very little exporting and is 70% illiterate, stresses English while Thailand, a rather good global economy per se does not. That seems to be an issue with Thailand and Malaysia…they do not want to push English…today in the paper there was a big article on how Malaysia wants to stop using English…. I saw my first real anti American sign today on our canal tour…it was at a mosque…but everyone seems to just be happy that westerners are here…every country has been very easy and they all mention the WTC as if to say they are with us….But there is great empathy for the Afghan people in the press all over Asia and the US is definitely losing the PR war…people are mad that Americans keep wanting to fight and aren’t willing to look at the policies…I try to listen and nod…and NO, I am not arguing politics….I’m the empathetic American or Canadian if I feel uncomfortable! We are off on the train tonight for the Islands…It will be nice to relax….