A few days in Bangkok
Trip Start Dec 06, 2006
12Trip End Jan 06, 2007
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Got into new Bangkok airport at 1100. A nice note re flight: One of the stewardesses said to Leslie, "I remember you. You flew from LA to Hong Kong." The story was that Leslie talked with her at the HK airport early in the the morning while we were waiting for the bus five days ago (inhaling the the magical smells of HK arrival - aviation fuel/exhaust & indefinable smells - that later, once we were in the city, became the fragrances of food, exhaust, incense, & indefinable) and yeah, Leslie had said earlier in the airport, that was the woman I talked with when we got here. Easy flight HK -BK.
David and Stephane (David's friend frm BK) picked us up and we went straight to Stephane's flat in the Japanese area of BK - walking into his flat was like walking into an upscale CK/LK house.
Hit the streets and discovered BK is, in fact, "same-same, but different" - traffic is brutal, air and noise pollution extreme, people generally nice (even, in some cases when behind the wheel - maybe because of our age). Got an okay snack and back to flat. Leslie slept & DK and I worked on computer together. Good and easy to be back with Dave, sitting side by side, kind of mashed together, happy as clams. Lots to be happy about here!
We went to dinner at a small Thai restaurant: green curry, tom kha gai (piquant coconut soup with chicken), beef with crispy fried basil leaves on top, laarb (chicken, lime, onions, etc.), some kind of omelet, rice, and of course prik nam pla (chiilies & fish sauce). On the way back to the flat, stopped and got some sticky rice with coconut milk and mangoes on top - WooHoo! Thanks, Stephane. I pretty much passed out around 9:30 and awoke in the middle of the night with Thai version of Delhi belly (from snack earlier in the day).
In the morning felt fine except very tired. Leslie and David off to change money and shop. I dozed into the early afternoon and Stephane and I had lunch at the Ho Ho Hong Kong Cafe.
In most respects, this s a relaxing time. Good for us all to be together. Stephane's home is beautiful - spacious, polished teak floors, objets everywhere (from Burma, Thailand, China, Bhutan, Cambodia), airconditioning that realy works, etc., etc. He is a wonderful host - fixing breakfast in the morning, taking us out or fixing dinner - very gracious in every respect.
Am going to fix this when we return: piece of shrimp or crab on top of thin sliced lemon grass, basil or other herb, cut up lime with rind, Indonesian soy - all in a cone made of betel leaf. See little white containers for how to serve.
In fanal analysis, BK just a very relaxing stopover for Leslie and me. Time to be with David, eat well, talk, hang out ... relaxing until Friday morning. We saddle up and headed out for 0700 flight. Got there in in good time, checked in (no overweight bags) and then there was a huge bottleneck at passport control. The clock ticking, British woman behind us saying over and over gain, "Oh. this is very stressful, very stressful (like we needed a reminder). Finally another station opened next to ours and we dashed up for instant clearing (except one of the British woman's sons tried to cut in between Leslie and me). We end up literally running for the flight and were the last people on. Man next to me was passed out - oh, so that's why this seat is empty. Otherwise a good flight.
Immigration at Phnom Penh very confusing, but so much easier than Poipet (the land entry BK - Cambodia). Hang Philinda (David's friend in Phnom Penh) and her Dad were there to pick us up and away we went ...