Thom’s Thursday Thoughts on Thailand

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We were originally planning to go to Australia.

But Qantas decided to charge not just one arm but also TWO legs for economy fares, so Tom and I looked at each other.

“Well, let’s not go bankrupt now.”

We decided on Thailand instead, to where the fares were cheap ($1350 including a flight to Taipei and a return to New York!) and where our friend Susie now lives. On the day we arrived she greeted us with sunglasses because of an eye infection and for the next two days took photos like this while Tom made fun of her.

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“Old Pirate-Eye here.”

The last time I was in Thailand was when I was seven or eight, with my cousin Karen and grandparents. I don’t remember much except that I ate a bad crab, got the worst diarrhea ever, and lost twelve pounds in two weeks, most of which was spent shivering in the back of a tour bus filled with middle aged Taiwanese people, because you know, that’s how all world travelers rolled back then.

My cousin and I also got our hair braided into cornrows and were then told to pose for photos in front of a graveyard. Because, why not?

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Smiling just a tad too big.

Anyway, Tom has also been to Thailand but not in the way we’ve been seeing it. Tonight is New Year’s and tomorrow we head off to Koh Lanta, Chiang Mai and Sukhothai. We arrived two days ago and have been fighting our jet lag tooth and nail. I feel it gets worse the older I get. Tom disagrees, but this week’s Thom’s Thursday Thoughts might side with me.

Tom is still sharp but jetlag + heat + tourist crowds = less thoughts. At least ones I manage to catch and record. What I do have though, is a photographic record of Tom during our first morning in Bangkok.

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Tom models linen pants from the Grand Palace’s Royal Pants Rental.
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Double happiness? Almost every Chinese tourist we saw (and there were over 1000) was posing like this.
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Crossing the Royal Field en route to lunch, I saw this monk, whom I thought was walking and praying in solitude. He came closer and Tom corrected me: “Nope, he’s on Insta.”
Lunch: Thai beef noodle soup.
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Tom’s first Thai foot massage.
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And Thai haircut. It was a shame he couldn’t try any of the stunning Thai looks from 1950.
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Freshly shorn and happily beered.
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A selfie from the boat, a faster and more pleasant mode of transportation than the NYC Subway. Also how Susie gets home from work.
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And Tom’s gem of the week, specific to a certain type of Thai tourist: “You can spot a hooker-banger from a mile away.”

I’ll leave you with this unabashed, inspiring young Chinese lady we observed at The Grand Palace, reminding you in the New Year to live the life you want to live. And to take the selfies you want to take.

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