Busy times, and a few firsts

It seems I haven’t blogged since forever, so it’s time to catch up.
August was still the rainy season here so it has been quite wet. A number of areas of the country have been flooded; this after the drought that was so bad that many other areas still have low water, despite the rains. Here in BKK it rains predictably about sundown almost every day, a real deluge for about 20 minutes that floods certain streets, with other rainfalls periodically. Grey or otherwise cloudy skies are generally the order of the day, though it is still hot – in the 80’s during the day (though not the 90’s, thankfully, with this humidity). There have also been some really spectacular thunder storms in the middle of the night – crashing and banging ain’t the word for it; more like a war zone. 2 weeks ago we had a really nice week, sun every day, and I thought the rains were over. No such luck as it started again this week. It’s a bugger when it rains in the morning, as all the taxi’s are taken, and then when you do eventually get one it can take ½ an hour more to get to work ‘cos of traffic. Roll on the “nice” part of the year – cold season!
The trip to Vietnam, HoChi Minh City (HCMC) was very interesting, as reported by Trish. The tunnels were particularly spectacular. I can’t imagine whole villages of families living down there for years, only coming out at night or to fight. We went into a few, just the entrance and the bunker parts, but still very impressive. Trish was very brave as she crawled 25 yards along one of them. I couldn’t get my body into a shape to get down them, with the packs, (my excuse), but she did it. She followed an old Japanese guy and his wife through, and the guy collapsed when he came out. That all added to the whole tunnels experience. HCMC itself was interesting too, actually reminding me of a bombed out city, which might have been deceptive as there was a lot of rebuilding going on. It’s difficult to get that straight bin your head though when most of the tourist experince of that city is related to the war, the American Imperialists and their Lackies. As a fist time experience for, this was my first trip to a communist country. Now we want to go back to see Hanoi, as we have heard that it is quite different.
The first weekend of September we went away again, this time to Hua Hin on the Thai Gulf coast. This is one of the closest seaside resorts, and is better than going down the Easten leg to Pattaye as that is a city built by the yanks during and after the Vietnam war for R&R, if you’d like to call it that. It still got the reputation of being “sin city” asia, Pattaya that is. Hua Hin is quite different as the King of Thailand lives there. Anyway, we had a voucher for 2 nights at the Sofitel Resort that we bought in a charity auction last year. The Sofitel was built in the 20’s as a Railway Hotel, and is VERY old colonial. A really lovely place. You can imagine, verandahs, tropical gardens with topiary (some huge elephants), open air restaurants with afternoon tea served on the balcony, several pools and of course, right on the beach so you can walk into the 85 degree sae water right from your pool side lounger. What a life.
Another first for us was an Indian Wedding (party) we went to recently. We were invited, because of our connections to the Canadian Community here, to go to a Sikh reception. This was apparently attended by about 1500 people in the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt here, and included reps from ost of the embassies and the larger foreign companies here. The wedding was the daughter of a guy that runs one of the best tailors on BKK – they have pictures of Presidents, Royalty, all sorts of people buying in their shop. They sponsor our club events (and many other clubs) and seem to dress all the best dressed males in BKK (yes I do have one of their suits). That was very interesting too to find out about an Indian Wedding. This was the last day of what had been a 5 day celebration, with the actual wedding somewhere in the middle. The food was fabulous (buffet) of course, and sooooo much of it! Didn’t eat for days afterwards.
Now we are gearing up for the social rounds, starting with the Canadian Thanksgiving ball on 1 October. That same day we have some Habberjam’s coming to visit us, They have been travelling round the world, and live in NZ. Found them through the internet. Then we hav visitors planned every month through January, if everything works out, so we are looking forward to all of that.
The next thing you know it will be Christmas.






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