Dispatch Number One

Sawadee ka!
Here I am in Bangkok. The total flight time was over 17 hours, and I got here at 11:30 p.m. Bangkok is 14 hours ahead of Seattle time. It was 80 + degrees with 90% humidity–totally different from 54 degrees and damp in Seattle! On the way to the hotel I saw roadside food stalls, and it looks like Chinatown was hopping in places late at night. I’m not terribly jetlagged, but am taking it easy this afternoon as I acclimate to time and climate changes. The hotel I’m at is in Chinatown and I took a stroll for a couple hours. All sorts of goods, from military gear, including a cheap rifle, to batiks, were offered. I was one of the few western faces around, and no one bothered me at all. Alleyways with smells of rice, frying bananas, fish, fruit, pollution, and some unidentified smells as well. Saw a dried up Khlong (canal) that looked like it doubled as a toilet. Poverty is here too but haven’t seen many beggars. Traffic is a big here, and my asthma is feeling it to a degree, though I’m glad I wore a mask outside.
Weirdest thing I saw on my way yesterday was a toilet in Narita International that in addition to having a functioning flush mechanism, gave options that included making a flushing sound…
Tomorrow I’ll try to see a few sights before hooking up with the tour group. Take care. Let’s hope the market crash halts quickly!

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