Saturday, November 17, 2007

Postcards from Thailand


Views from my hotel over the Chao Phraya river. The sheen on the lower picture is because it was taken through glass.

Well, with the exception of losing the folder containing my itinerary (I've got an email record so it should be ok) I've arrived safely in Thailand and recovering from the physical trauma of spending 18 hours in an economy class seat designed for a midget and the cognitive dissonance of losing a whole day from my calendar (I took off on Friday and arrived on Sunday). Here are a few random observations from the past 30 hours:

• Over the entire trip (two flights) I was offered "...Chicken or Pasta..." on the three meal occasions. How's that for imagination.

• The chicken curry was uncontaminated with a single molecule of piquant spice.

• Old fashioned Boeing 747s have more legroom than newer 777s.

• United Airlines offer the worst entertainment system choices in the airline industry: while not a particularly big fan of British Airways, UA would do well to take a look at their rival's movie system and library.

• At a three hour layover at Tokyo's Narita airport, I felt an strong urge to travel into the city and find an iaido dojo. Aikido's Hombu dojo also beckoned.

• Despite my love of most things Japanese, shopping and eating opportunities at Narita were minimal. There was no cell phone signal, either.

• Bangkok's international airport is a architectural marvel.

• Overall there seems to be a lot new money in Thailand: the skyline is dominated by high-rise, high-tech buildings.

• To compensate for more than 24 hours of barely edible airline food, I've just had the best breakfast I can remember.

More notes from the road soon. Now I'm off to look at some Buddhas...

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