Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

In Good Hands

I contracted the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu) on my trip to Thailand in 2013.  It could have been at an airport en route, on a flight or even back in the USA just before I left.  There had been some cases in the Northeastern USA not long before departure.  Who knows?  All I can say is that on my third or forth day in Bangkok, I developed a pretty serious fever.  Kade was with me, and we were both alert to this.  Not even two hours passed before we went to a local hospital (Phaya Thai 2), where I was evaluated and diagnosed.  I was placed on some anti-viral meds and antibiotics.  I was told to wear a mask and stay away from the general public until the major symptoms disappeared.  For at least a week, I was in the bed.  Luckily, I had the best nurse - Kade!  She brought warm comfort foods and plenty of fruits.  I slept a lot, and watched some cable TV.  I could tell fairly early that the anti-virals were kicking in; I was feeling better.  After two weeks, I felt like venturing out.  But when I went out on the town, I always wore my mask.  In the 13 or so years of both living in Thailand or taking trips over there, it was the only time I had been seriously sick. The care I got over there was excellent.  And when I returned to the USA and saw my family doctor, I shared the report the Bangkok hospital gave me, and put out all the prescription meds to show.  My doctor said I got highest standard of care (at Phyathai 2 International Hospital), and was given the same medication and treatment that I would have received in the USA.   

On a single day, Kade brought in all these fruits:  guava, rose apple, pineapple, pomelo, papaya and mangosteen.  Sometimes it pays to be sick!!

Once I got the green-light to do normal activities, a former student-turned friend of mine came by to visit.  In fact, she is a bonafide nurse.  She brought along some higher quality masks and some over-the-counter treatments.  Really meant a lot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Digitizing Photos


I have really been working hard the past few months to finish scanning a lot of my travel photos - mostly ones taken before digital cameras.  My goal is to back up all of them on a portable hard drive.  The best file images I will continue to post on this blog, with hopefully some good descriptions.  As for the original photos (the hard copies), only the best ones I will keep.  The rest will be thrown away.  I plan to get rid of bulky photo albums, scrapbooks and boxes of loose pictures, yet preserve them digitally.  All of the photo albums above were ones I bought in Thailand.  The small floral one (bottom middle, top photo) was one I had given my mother, and it she kept some postcards I had mailed her, and some photos I snail mailed to her from Thailand.

Monday, April 9, 2018


Trying out some new shades for an upcoming trip.  I tend to go with stylish, inexpensive pairs.  Considering that I have lost my fair share of sunglasses in the past, it only makes sense not to invest too much in them.  Steinmart and especially Target have a good selection.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Florida Hotel - Bangkok

Although I took this photo in 2011, I actually associate the Florida Hotel with my time in Bangkok in late summer of 2000.  I had completed my Asian travels, and had already met Kade.  I had returned home briefly to visit family and make arrangements to move to Bangkok, where I ended up teaching English for a few years.  Once I returned, Kade had lined up this hotel (semi-budget) for me.  I stayed here for at least a week.  The name caught me by surprise.  I don't recall seeing anything inside that explained how it got this name.  And not long before that, I had stayed in the Atlanta Hotel, off of Sukhunmvit Rd.  Bangkok is funny and very eclectic, in this way.  At some point, you stop shaking your head and asking questions.  One thing I do remember about the Florida Hotel was the restaurant.  On occasion I would eat breakfast there.  Other times, I would eat dinner.  I clearly recall seeing the cook in the kitchen slicing up a papaya.  It was the sweetest papaya ever.  And although I had already eaten papaya quite a bit in Thailand, in my mind, this was the best.  For a nice-sized plate of papaya, it was about 25 baht (60 cent usa).  There was a slice of lime, too, which was to squeeze over the papaya.  I never did that.  I just like the papaya, straight up.  It was that sweet.  And as I ate it, I felt like had discovered the most magnificent joy.  I had traveled already quite a bit, but there was a special love for Thailand.  Of course, I was also in love with the girl that would later become my wife.  It was a double high.

Saturday, April 7, 2018


I am not big on selfies, and certainly mirror selfies.  However, in this case, I had to show how much I sweated when I took about a 15 minute stroll in Bangkok.  It was that humid.  When I lived in Thailand, I was a good 20-25 pounds lighter, and it was a consistent weight.  I actually exercise more today, in the USA, and my diet is good.  Probably, though, portion sizes are significantly larger.  But I think as much has to do with the weather differences, and the everyday walking I did in Bangkok.  You're sweating, and you're on the move.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Out with friends in Bangkok

Former students of mine (AUA - Rajdamri) met me.  We went to a British pub on Sukhumvit Road, then met up with my wife and her some of her friends at a restaurant.  After that, it was noodles near Chulalongkorn University.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Bangkok Perks

I had this brunch once in Bangkok.  I was meeting a German lady I had befriended years before, and she treated me.  The JW Marriott is on the same soi (small lane) as The Atlanta Hotel, where I stayed several nights in 2000.  When I stayed there, I would often walk down to the Marriott, and hang out on a comfy sofa or chair in their lobby.  I would order a fruit shake - often, coconut or cantaloupe - and a snack mix.  I would always grab their free New York Times, and then read as much as could.  But the greatest treat was flirting with the female staff, who were dressed impeccably, spoke pretty good English and seemed very happy to wait on me.  I would stay usually for an hour at least.  I discovered, when I was an expat living in Bangkok, the savviest expats were those who knew which hotel lobbies were best for resting during a long lull between classes (if you were an ESL teacher), or ideal for kicking back and reading a newspaper or talking politics with a friend, or simply walking in to use a super clean, very plush restroom without having to be a guest.  I very quickly became savvy - let's put it that way.  Probably helps to be a white male (or somebody who clearly looks like a tourist).  It also is a plus to walk with confidence, and with a purpose.  What's worse case scenario?  "Are you guest?"  "No, but I just want to use the lobby restroom."  "Sorry, it's only for guests."  "Okay. No problem."  How many times do you think that happened?  Zero.  And I have been in the lobbies of most of the big name hotels in Bangkok!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Bowling Night in Bangkok

Kade and I met up with one of her very good friends: Rose.  We were going bowling in Bangkok.  It's very popular there, and has been as long as I remember.  I went bowling a few times back in 2000, with Kade and her friends.  Now, the guy on the right is one of my former students.  I invited him to come bowl with us.  Fun night!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Reminders of Home

If you are from the USA, see if any products in a typical Thailand convenience store remind you of home.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Thai Tea

A refreshing drink in Thailand is Cha Yen Sai Nom (Iced Tea w/ Milk).  You can get it at street kiosks, in malls, at restaurants, as a fountain drink in convenience stores.  It's everywhere - as are numerous other tea and coffee products, cold and hot.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Stripping it Down

When you strip it all down, when you're traveling, something simple as tasting an exotic fruit can make you as happy as anything.  For some reason, the rest of the time, we like to complicate things.

Ones I enjoy in Thailand:  papaya, mango, rambutan, longan, coconuts, durian, custard apple, sapodilla, jackfruit, pomelo, pineapple, guava, langsat, lychee

Monday, March 19, 2018

Yanhee Hospital - Bangkok


We flew Korean Air to Bangkok in 2009.  It was a hastily-planned trip to see  Kade's sister, who had been admitted into Yanhee Hospital due to a Lupus flare-up.  I took these three photos from an upper floor viewing area/garden - a spot for families to get some sunshine and de-stress a bit.

And a bit on into the trip, after Kade's sister had been released from the hospital, one of Kade's friends drove us past the hospital on evening.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Day with Rose

We met up with one of Kade's good friends at the office where she worked.  Afterwards, we rode back with her to her home, and then later had a fabulous dinner alongside a pretty lake.