TCB in Bangkok
Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
196Trip End Feb 28, 2013
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Taking Care of Business
We are back in Bangkok again to take care of some business; visa and medical. We are not here this time to see the sites. We will spend more time in our hotel room reading, writing, watching movies, playing cards, etc.- things we might be doing if we were at home in the USA.
Thai food is fantastic, especially here in Thailand. but made our first meal the tasty salad bar at Sizzler Restaurant in the nearby mall to satisfy our craving for plentiful vegetables. Sizzler here is busy with young Thais.
We decided to move to Tanatawey Place where we stayed for a month in Feb/March. It is a bit larger and more comfortable than our usual hotel choices. It is a 5 minute walk from Praso where we stayed just one night. We were disappointed that Ms. Lek no longer works at Tanatawey. All the Tanatawey staff members are friendly but Ms. Lek was, by far, the most capable.
Dave knew exactly where the Indian visa office was so all went smooth and painless. We posted a separated blog about those details. But it is impressive how India has turned bureaucracy into an art. Others try to streamline by getting rid paperwork. India tries to process mountains of useless paperwork more efficiently. The visa rules are nonsense too. For Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia you can just show up. They want the tourism revenue. India, one of the largest, poorest and most populated countries on the planet, wants to make tourism more difficult.
Taking Care of Doctors
Now with our #1 To-Do thing out of the way, and two weeks before our flight out, we had time for follow-up doctor appointments.
I'm due for a colonoscopy, a recheck of a spot they found on my kidney in February, and both of us need a melanoma skin screening. After some research, we decided to go to Yanhee Hospital first. It is located across the Chao Phraya River in the Bang Phlat district. We planned to look at a few internationally accredited hospitals before deciding which to choose. But Yan Hee International looked modern and they were ready, willing, and able to take care of us on the spot! We made a separate post of Yan Hee International Hospital experience too but I'll add a little more here.
At the hospital, we were assigned a translator, a friendly young girl. The mostly slender female clerical staff and nurses at the desks wear pale violet tailored suits with short tight skirts and nurses wear crisp starched caps reminding me of certain movies depicting man's fantasies. As we sat and waited for our turn, two lovely young girls on roller skates zipped by us, delivering files and folders from department to department. Highly efficient I must say. That surely impressed me then. Imagine a hospital in Bangkok making me nostalgic about my first and wonderful impressions of "the good life during the 60’s" in the USA with it’s drive in restaurants, wait staff on roller skates.
- A sizable amount of business at the hospital is from cosmetic surgery.
- The elevators are decorated with posters that promise "boy toy" results!!
I had an upper abdomen 64 slice CT SCAN to rule out cancer for small nodule that was found on kidney in February. It checked out fine in fact it shrunk a little.
In the late afternoon, I went for dreaded colonoscopy. The worst was the prepping in the morning where I had to down 1 gallon laxative. Then, at the hospital, I got an enormous enema. The nurses were a bit clumsy when taking blood and had a difficult time putting the drip needle in my hand.
Picked up the Visas
On Friday, after the week processing time, we picked up our passports with Indian re-entry visas. The whole process went smooth and took 45 minutes.
Malls, Metros, and Walking the Neighborhoods
All the subway and mall entrances have security screening. From the looks of it, it would not take much to outsmart them. Random bags get cursory glance with flashlight. There was news of another incident in a mall in south Thailand. An incendiary bomb destroyed property but nobody was injured. A rebel group was blamed.
Daily downpours are a given this time of year and do not offer cool relief. We are soaked with or without rain due to the stifling humidity.
Back to Shoshanna’s near Khao San for Israeli Food
We made it back to Khao San one day. It took us longer to get there by bus than our flight from KL to Bangkok. We had fun and enjoyed a great Middle Eastern lunch at Shoshanna’s. Everything our little heart’s desire is available.
Riding the River Taxi
For fun, we took the river taxi from near Khao San to the Rama 7 bridge and walked to the rest of the way to hospital for results of colonoscopy. All good news.
New $90 Hard Drive
Our picture files have overgrown our storage space. We can’t throw enough of them away. We haven’t bought in yet to storing them in the 'cloud’ and bought a 1TB portable hard drive instead. That should last us through India at least…..
We went to the movie theater to see TED. After some previews, the lights came up, and we were asked to stand to pay respect for the King. Everyone obediently stood while a song played and images of the King were shown on the screen.
The movie was a bit lame but had few funny moments.
Posting a Package in Bangkok
We posted a 1.35kg package to the US with my journals and some tea. Sending it ‘surface’ was quite economical (461baht/$14.82 including 16 baht for a box). But we had to find the big post office for surface mail. We searched on foot during a torrential downpour and were pointed in the right direction several times until we found it. We got home like drenched puppies but happy to have succeeded.
We had a successful and relaxing time in Bangkok but now we are excited to start our adventures in India.
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