Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Stardate 58588.5 - Back from Thailand

I've decided to change this blog somewhat. I started this effort as an experiment in seeing what the hell blogging was all about, and because my job as a technology consultant demands that I know a little bit about pretty much everything. But the blogs are terribly uninteresting so far, and I don't think even my friends are reading them.

But I tend to have a lot of opinions on pretty much everything, so I will start to write things that I feel strongly about.

My wife and I just returned from 2 weeks in Thailand (actually 3 for her, as she was attending the AIDS Conference there for a week prior to our vacation). A couple of observations:

  1. Thailand is very inexpensive. My lunch on the last day was traditional Pad Thai, a bottle of beer (Beer Chang rocks! http://www.bottledbeer.co.uk/index.html?beerid=924), and a 0.5L bottle of water. With a small tip, it was 100 Thai Bhat, which is $2.50 US.
  2. As I am clearly not Asian, people did attempt to overcharge us a couple of times, specifically taxi drivers. It was better to get a Taxi driver who spoke no English, because he would use the meter, than it was to get one who spoke English, because he wanted to negotiate a much higher fee than the meter would indicate.
  3. No one walks anywhere in Thailand. We live in NYC and walk everywhere. Whenever we were walking in Bangkok or Chang Mai, we were constantly approached by Tuk-Tuk drivers, sometimes Taxis, and the taxi-trucks who wanted to drive us around. We had a hard time explaining that we just wanted to walk.
  4. Cathy Pacific is a nice airline to fly, and as I was in business class I really enjoyed it. The JFK to Hong Kong flight is quite long, but my wife was on Singapore Air on the longest commercial flight in the world - Newark to Singapore clocks in at about 18.5 hours. And since she was traveling on the UN's dime, she was in coach. The coach section was quite nice on Singapore Air, but it was still coach. I was traveling on Air Miles (I am Platinum on American and consequently the One World Alliance) and decided to spend the extra miles and do business.
  5. I had a celebrity sighting on my LAX to JFK leg as I was returning to NYC. I saw Graham Norton (sp?) of the Graham Norton Effect and a friend( http://www.comcentral.com/tv_shows/grahamnortoneffect/). They were in First Class.

Those are all the observations I have time for today. Now that I am back in NYC and am frequently annoyed by people, I'm sure I'll have some rants and raves to write later.

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