Trip Start May 18, 2005
Trip End Jul 10, 2005

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Saturday, May 28, 2005

Our last day in Bangkok for this leg, anyway. Tomorrow around 0600 we will catch a cab to northern Bangkok bus station & bus to Aranyaprathet and then cross border into Cambodia. Leslie and I were in Aran years ago when we were at Kao-I-Dang refugee camp.

Last night David and I went to Patpong, a pretty wild area of Bangkok. We walked around for awhile looking for a club he wanted to go to & when we found a club he had heard about we walked around the corner to an internet cafe where I was to wait for him. Seemed prudent to be very close as the area really is rocking and rolling. Patpong reminded me of Olongapo in the Philippines, except not near as violent - everything else the same, though. The bars are all open to the street and some spill out into the street.

I stayed in the internet place for awhile, but the fact is, I really do not want to know the latest news about car bombs and what have you. So I went back outside and sat on the curb for several hours watching the show - and what a show it was. The best part for me was watching a man about my age in the street bar across from me singing karaoke -"welcome to the Hotel California" and dancing in the street until he was soaked from his head to his thighs. After the bars closed at 0100, I applauded him as he walked past. He didn't know what to think, but was willing to find out, so we talked for a good while. He told me his "secret" is that he does not drink or smoke. He has amazing stamina - I was thinking maybe he was on yam (meth), but no, he was completely straight. Enjoyable man. People in that area are all about getting something and like this man, several people responded very nicely when they realized I really was not looking for anything.

The manager of a bar next to where I was sitting on the curb told me I had to move on because they were going to put the trash where I was. Then he gave me the chair to sit in in front of the bar. Awhile later, one of the girls there offered me a cigarette and we talked a little about my son - I guess they don't get too many people there waiting for their sons. So for me, it was actually a pretty nice experience. I especially enjoyed the dancing guy.

Got back to guesthouse about 0230 or 0300. Slept in. No doubt about it, my rock & roll days (even just as a sober observer) are over.

For dinner this evening, ate all street food: pad Thai for 20 baht + pork satay (5 baht/stick) and a couple of spring rolls (10 baht each). Great food (all for less than one USD), except we also had some other chicken satay which was pretty much all fat.

Here we go, into Cambodia.
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