My last weekend in Thailand

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Well I had a busy last weekend in Thailand before leaving May 15 for Korea.  Went to the Saxophone Pub Friday night, listed in Lonely Planet as a good music venue and also it is listed in the BK English magazine and other publications as a good place.  It is just down the street from The Victory, my place and in fact one can go out of a certain skytrain exit off the skywalk and practically into its front door.  Got there about 8 p.m. and it was about 1/4 full and a local was playing guitar and singing ballands from Cat Stevens, etc. easy listening music and all recognizable. But by 9 p.m. wwhen a trio of guitars, a drummer and a keyboardist came on stage and really rocked with jazz tunes such as "The Thrill is Gone" by BB King, the place was full.  They made their instruments 'sing', just a  bunch of young guys, one was the singer, and boy could they play! I was going to leave at 9, but was sitting beside a woman, Laila Wang who said I shouldn't go yet, the good music was just starting, so we ended up chatting the rest of the night, she owns her own printing business in Bangkok and spoke excellent English.  So I stayed for the next set  - by then I think the place was overcrowded and I had my eye on where the exit  was in case of a fire etc. - At 11:30 group after that called 'T-Bone' was  billed as a reggae band and I expected to hear some Bob Marley but they played 'Thai reggae' and some other rockin tunes that were not reggae but the locals knew the words!  The group consisted of about 7 people, a trumpet, a french horn,  keyboardist, drummer and 2 guitars. Wow!  Another great group. The crowd was a mixture of locals, ex pats who work in Bangkok and tourists - and people were really into the music.  I ended up staying until closing time, at 1:30 a.m.
Wanted to go the next two nights but it didn't work out as I met Kim Unger, who I met on the Skytrain, for dinner and Sun night, Connie, who I met in Saigon, Vietnam and who lives in Bangkok, picked me up with her friend and took me to dinner.  I had  a lot of running around during the days getting pics developed, getting another day pack, etc. I didn't make it back to the Saxophone Pub and will definitely go there next time!
MOnday morning I had to get up at 3 am for my 7:10 flight to Seoul via Taipei.  Taxi ride only took 25 minutes! not bad for a huge city like Bangkok, and cost 183 baht, about $6 US.  The night manager came outside to the street with me to hail a taxi down and make sure driver knew where I wanted to go (but everyone knows Suvarnabhumi Airport).  I was 'his first fare" and always if you are the first purchaser on that day from anyone who is selling on the street, your money is considered 'lucky' and they use it to bless all their products or they consider you a good omen.
By the way, something I wanted to report was that I notice a Canadian connection quite often, here and there. For example, the young guy from 'Corner Gas' played a major part in a movie that was on Star Movie, and it was coproduced by Saskatchewan Film Commission with a Hollywood producer. It was called "Best Friends" and was actually a good movie.  ALso the Alcoa- Alcan merger has been in the news as has been Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton for a possible takeover (diamond mines owners in NWT)that there are Canada. In the English language China Times newspaper there was a pic of a female Quebec MP who is running for premier I believe; and on the plane to Korea, they played 'practical jokes' video from Just for Laughs, produced and filmed in Montreal.  However, when I am asked where I am from, and reply "Canada", most people have nothing to say, unless it is 'cold' or 'lots of nature' but they don't know what to ask, or have no other context about Canada. Not sure what they would say if I said 'US' and maybe I should have tried it!
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