Exploring Bangkok

Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, November 20, 2006

<B>Monday November 20th </B>
Bangkok Got up and after breakfast, we headed out to the US Embassy.  We hailed a cab and this time decided to use the meter.  We probably should have experimented on a shorter trip, but we figured we would give it a go.  This was a bit further than our trip the night before to Patpong. (It seemed like a twenty minute ride).  We were surprised to see the meter when we reached the Embassy to read 85 Baht!!!!  We were doing the meter from now on!  Well, after a quick stop (20 minutes) at the embassy for extra pages to be added to our passport, we were on our way.  We stopped by the nearest internet point to check on when Lyns friend would be in Bangkok.  No mail from Beth, but 4 or 5 emails from Lyns family to call home.  It was about three in the morning back in the States, but Lyn finally reached her cousin who gave her the bad news.  Turns out Lyns Aunt/Godmother suffered a heart attack and was on life support.

Hello all. We just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been trying to contact us and keeping us informed about things back home. We just want all of you to know our hearts, prayers, and tears are with all of you. And we wish we were home at a time like this, but we know you all want us to keep going. We love you all and miss you.

Love, Lyn and Bart

Thai street food...

This morning we woke up for breakfast which was amazing, so much to choose from and it was included in our stay at the Trang Hotel. You could have fried eggs, toast, salad, all sorts of oriental food, fresh fruit, soup, coffee, tea, and juice. After breakfast we were off to the US Embassy to have extra pages added into our passports. After a 20 minute cab ride and about 80BHT later, he dropped us off right in front. Since we held American passports we were allowed straight into security. They took our one bag with the camera and told us to follow the signs for US citizens. As soon as you walk into the office, you see people sitting to the left and two windows to the right, directly in the middle are 5 shelves attached to the wall with all sort of forms in them. We took the 'additional pages' form, filled it out and were told to go around the corner hand it to the agent as well as your passport and go back to the first room and wait for your name to be called. The form was so easy we couldn't believe it, passport number, name, address, and no fees.. Not like at home, everything cost something and takes forever. We sat down chatted with a few people and within a 1/2 hour our names were called. We could believe how easy it was 25 more pages... Where should we go first??

Next we were off to find an internet place to check our mail and see if I could meet up with Beth, an old co-worker from Chicago who is visiting Bangkok. We were really looking forward to this, since we have only seen a hand full of familiar faces so far. It would be a treat. And all we found were numerous e-mails for me to call home and one from Bart's brothers about his uncle. I just cried as I opened the mail about my aunt who had a heart attack, and I needed to call home ASAP.. As well as Pat giving us the info that Bart's Uncle Danny was in the hospital and very sick. We couldn't believe it, nothing prepares you for something like this. Bart tried to calm me down telling everything is going to be ok. But I knew it was bad from all the e-mails. So we headed back to Khoa San Road to make an international call. The only person I could reach was my cousin Amy, I felt bad because I woke her up at 3:30 AM. A she told me my Aunt Dawn wasn't going to make it, I lost it again. I was in shock and it just couldn't be real. She's so young. She was the one person to go to with everything, I can't tell you how many times I called for medical advice from Chicago. As the oldest sister of my moms family, she held our family together through thick and thin. She was the one who always said grace before every holiday dinner and you were not allowed to touch the food until she was done. At Christmas I would play her favorite Christmas song on the organ 'Oh Holy Night' and she would just sing her little heart out. I love traditions and family, every holiday we would have our pictures taken; Christmas, Easter, and of course Mother's day, because she was my godmother and the best one I could ever ask for. I always dreamed about the day I would get married, as a tradition in our family your godmother would say the reading at your wedding. All I could do is think of the future and how much it is going to change if she doesn't make it through. I can't even image how the rest of our family has felt the past 2 days. At this point I wished I was home, so I could be there for all of my family, I love each and everyone of you dearly and miss you all so much. I just needed some time to run away and cry, we found another hotel and did just that.

After a while, I needed to get out, get out of the city and just relax and let my mind go free. So we booked a trip to Koh Sumet a beautiful beach off the east coast of Thailand. And then we went for a walk to the Chao Praya River, took a cruise down the river during sunset and just thought about everything. We jumped off the boat, actually we were told this was the last stop (at Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Bridge) and we were off for some food and drinks. After fried chicken and hitting the grocery store for some drinks we headed back to the docks to only find out that we miss the last boat at 7:30PM. We walked back to the main street Charoen Krung Rd and got a taxi back to Khao San Road, while driving back we drove through China Town which looked pretty interesting. By this time we were starving and decide to eat at one of the street vendors that set up tables on the sidewalk. The food was very good and cheap, I ordered lemon pork with fried rice and Bart ordered fried ginger with Chicken and a water total was 60BHT, less than $2.00, you can't beat that.

After dinner, I wanted to try to contact my mom since I didn't get a chance to talk to her yet. I talked to my mom while Bart was on the Internet. She told me that my Aunt Dawn had passed away and that everyone was OK. They have all come to terms with what has happened. I was still crying, but not as bad, guessing maybe I was starting to come to terms with it as well or that it's not real since I am not home, I don't know which. My mom said Aunt Dawn asked about us every time she saw her and that she was so proud of us. I told my mom maybe I should come home and she said that A. Dawn wouldn't want me to do that, follow our dream of traveling. She is a great person and will be sadly missed. My mom said it was nice to hear my voice, she really needed it. And of course I tried to be funny and asked if she would do some Black Friday shopping for me. I knew she couldn't and she just said, "Not this year". We chatted a little more and then said our good byes and to send my love and sympathy to everyone back home. I went to check on Bart and all I could see were tears in his eyes. An e-mail from his mom had come through that his Uncle Danny had passed away on Sunday. We cried some more together, held each other and I responded to the e-mail, because he just couldn't do it.

We decided we needed to get some sleep since we had to get up early to meet our bus at for Koh Sumet. But of course when we returned to our hotel, we couldn't sleep. We just talked about them and our memories, hugged each other and cried some more. After awhile, Bart needed to get out and went to the internet place to e-mail his mom. In the meantime he wrote a wonderful obituary for his uncle. It spoke the truth that he would always be remembered as a happy friendly man, always wanted to give hugs to everyone and kisses for the ladies. Bart's uncle had Downs Syndrome and lived with his mom for the last few years. He was very close and loved by everyone in his family, as well as mine. Every time Ann (Bart's mom) would come over my parents house, a visit wouldn't go by without someone asking how Danny was. He made an impression on every persons life and will be sadly missed as well.

Finally, Bart returned to the room, we cried some more and finally feel asleep.

Nothing could ever prepare you for something like this. We have done so much traveling and had not even had anyone get sick, a car accident, nothing while we were away. We never talked about a 'what if'. Probably because we just never thought something like this could happen. What could you even do to prepare for something like this? It's difficult not being around to tell each and every family member of both of our families sorry and to hug them. We did think about going home, but knew both families won't want that from us. And that we won't have made it home in time for the services. We have learned a few things over the past few weeks, live life to the fullest, realize how lucky you are to have your health, family, friends, and possessions. Because everyone isn't as lucky as you and one day it could all be gone. Remember, if you love someone to always say it don't hold back, because there may not be a tomorrow and never go to bed mad. We love you all and are sorry to all Families that lost loved ones.

Love, big strong hugs, and kisses.
Love, Lyn and Bart

Our thought and prayers are out to all and now when we look up to the beautiful sky, we will see our two angels looking over us.

Danny Carr

Dawn Hobbs

Barts friend Kelly....
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