kingdom of thailand (part 2)

• There are portraits of the king and queen everywhere in the country.  The king looks kind and smart, the queen on the other hand, well, nevermind, let’s change the subject.

• I thought I had felt heat that 4th of July a few years ago playing basketball on hot asphalt in Atlanta, but Bangkok, even in October, is in the 90s.  And it’s super humid.

• Thailand felt safe the entire time.  No pickpocket attempts, no weird late-night run-ins, nothing but smiles for the most part.  The two issues with relocating permanently might be the language barrier and the job availabilities in the creative realm.  But that’s certainly not a completely prohibitive scenario.

• In terms of the world economy, surprisingly the dollar has been sharply getting stronger against British Sterling (£) and the Euro (€), but not making any headway against the Japanese Yen.  The Thai Baht stayed at about 34:1 against the dollar during our trip.

Wat Jedee Luang in Chiang Mai.

Fishing in the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

My sister in Chiang Mai.  Sometimes when we went places, her mohawk/fauxhawk was a conversation starter.

Bangkok.  I really like the way some things are sorta left to decay seemingly because there’s just not a lot of effort and energy put into fixing things that don’t really require use.  Also, it seems like you could leave a bicycle against a tree somewhere and come back in a few weeks to retrieve it.  It’s a far cry from the need to throw a bodega lock on anything for even a 20 second bathroom stop in a park in NYC.

Sometimes you have to eat like a king.  That’s lobster on the left.  That’s my sister and Jenn in the top of the frame.  Chinatown in Bangkok.

There’s probably a healthy and unhealthy number of dead animal photos one can possess.

Dogs like this one were everywhere.  Some were in pretty rough shape.  It was sad at times.  But there were also many dogs that were cared for as pets.  People didn’t seem to neglect these guys completely, but it did look like they lived a tough life.

No derailleurs allowed in Thailand, it seems.

• In addition, here are a few more shots.  If you’d like larger versions of anything, as usual, drop me a line and we’ll see what we can do.

kingdom of thailand (part 1)

Outside a car repair shop in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

So I just got in from ten days over in Thailand.  Jenn and I decided to visit my sister who’s been over there since March, and my parents also decided to schedule a trip and have it partially overlap.  Here are some initial general thoughts:

1. Contrary to my previous opinion, just because food is served on an airplane, it’s not automatically “magical.”  Something about being served three different meals while crammed into the same seat starts to lose its charm fast.  I took a picture of nearly every meal I ate during the 10 days, but at the moment it sorta sickens me to look at them, haha.

2. A taxi travelling about 84 miles per hour through dense Bangkok traffic creating it’s own lanes when neccesary is even scarier than it sounds.

3. 7/11s (the convenience store) and motor scooters rule Thailand.  I challenge you to travel anywhere and not see either one every five minutes.  At stoplights in the cities, a large mob of bikes always forms in front of all lanes.

4. Having to negotiate prices with absolutely everything is cute the first twenty times.  Bargaining is exhausting.

5. Spending a year in Thailand is definitely causing my sister to mature fast, she keeps getting smarter and more professional.  Thanks to her for orchestrating everything, and the negotiations for things in Thai, I could barely learn a handful of words.

6. Reconsider street meat.  Back home in NYC, I tend to only trust a handful of Salvadorian and Mexican trucks, but street side food in Thailand is making me reconsider some of my local options.

7. While not Thai, the Mandarin word for “I don’t want any” is incredibly fun to say, especially with the suggested intonation.

8. The woman Dustin Hoffman hooks up with in The Graduate (1967) is super attractive.

9. Hat’s warnings turned out to be very true: far too many middle-aged white guys with hired, super young Thai girls.  Creepy.

10. Don’t use your two year old children to beg naked out on the sidewalk.  It’s 93 degrees in October, and that’s not cool.

Now, let me add though that it’s an amazing place, and is a lot of fun.  I’m not sure why those initial thoughts sound more negative than positive: it was a blast.  Tropical flora and fauna is underrated.

• I’ll upload some more shots soon, a few more from Bangkok, and some from Chiang Mai.  In the meantime, these are from the first few days of the trip: Bangkok and Kanchanaburi.

Bangkok, with two tuk-tuks on the street.


This kid at a roadside restaurant in the middle of nowhere kept wanting to play with my camera.

Kanchanaburi has some hot springs, with a cold river (in the foreground) to cool off.

Walking some tracks near the River Kwai.

My sister lives in fairly modest quarters: she shares an apartment with 5 other people without air conditioning, hot water, phone, internet, or beds.

Ants make quick order of things.  I had never seen ants move as fast as they did.

En route to Bangkok.

fish jerky

A mysterious package arrives.

A variety of seafood-flavored items explode out — a little preview of late October, courtesy of my sister, Hillary, who’s living in Thailand.  Everything, except for some of the cuttlefish jerky, was consumed within the first 24 hours.  Don’t sleep on the shrimp chips and hot sauce combo (or squid-flavored peas, or even beer pretzels, good times).

• Happy birthday to Pam this past weekend.  Johnny Juice, Marta, Chris Griggs, Lou, Jenn, and I celebrated over drinks and mexican corn.  Not just any corn, this crap is phenomenal.  It’s grilled with mayonaise, kojita cheese, cayanne pepper, and lime juice.  $2 at Habana Outpost.

• The next day, Jenn and I met up with Steve Nghe, Will Hall, Frank, and a few others for a painful (location-wise) Midtown Dallas BBQ experience.  Good to see everyone, but no way it’s going to happen again in the center of all that is Midtown.

• On Sunday, Jenn and I met up with Marta and Pam again in the main fields of Prospect Park. Luckily, this was before my rear hub spontaneously stripped on my bike, hopefully we’ll be back in business within a day or two.

Albany, NY.

100% custom Schwinn in Midtown.

• A quick work-related mention: one of the largest projects I’ve worked on has reached fruition (last Thursday):  Represent BK.

All quiet on the southern front.