jeez, one day in bangkok can be over whelming, and tiring. tok and i spent all day going hither and yawn, 5 trips on the sky-train. but we did manage to: take my computer to the shop - but of course the screen didn't go black when it was in the shop, so they couldn't do anything; bought some software and a camera; went all over trying to buy espresso coffee beans - i didn't bring enough to last. and of course ate noodles, sticky rice and chicken, and a few other things along the way. this part of the city is alive with people, street vendors, street food, shoppers, shops, kids, teen-agers, motorbikes, cars, buses and trucks. it's busy like christmas shopping downtown the week before christmas, except it's like this everyday.
it's nice and warm out. that part i am very happy about. being cold this last winter in seattle was hard on me. if i want cold here, i can step inside any 7-11 for a few minutes. they always have the aircon cranked. you will hear me commenting on this over and over. you'll just have to skip over the "i love the weather" bits.
not understanding this language, but being with a native is interesting at times. Tok and i found a coffee supply shop today and went into see about buying a few kilos of beans. Tok and the guy in the shop talked for 10 minutes back and forth, and then she got up and said lets go. naturally, i'm wondering what's happening, are we getting coffee or not??? "No, we are not" she says. but we are going to yet-another-place to try there. so what was the 10 minutes of banter about? i still don't know, tho Tok said he was a nice helpful man. the second place did have beans, and even ground them for me. but it was $21.00 a kilo. american price the same. i bought only 2 kilo's. you can't get anything but instant coffee in Lomsak. of course it comes in 27 different forms - with milk, with flavors, with sugar in all it's combinations, but it's all instant coffee. so i had to stock up for 2 months.
this long conversation between thais with a one or two sentence summary happens all the time. i have no idea if they get into family history, the weather, the state of the government or nuclear physics before they get to "oh, by the way, the foreign guy wants coffee, can we buy some here?" part of the reason for being in that place at all. and i'll get "no coffee here" as we walk out the door. i get to do a lot of looking around, smiling, nodding and studying the little details like lighting, wiring, construction methods, pictures with incomprehensible writing on them. life is a mystery. and i have a guide!
we're off to Lomsak tomorrow. 6 hours on the bus. and i've already read 3 of the 6 books i brought with me. send books.
replies - comments and questions are welcome - ask any body who has replied. i answer every one. and do pass these travelogues on to others, post on your websites, send out on your blogs, email lists etc. anyone can goto http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/
for the collection of these emails, and the ones from last year.
I am in southeast asia April 19 - July 20 2007 ::: http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/
to where do we send books and coffee? Miss you,
Currently in OH