2012 and Beyond ...

Continuation of a journey


Sample imageMay 21, 2013 - It is very hard to explain how one ends up with three sets of motorcycle keys while washing an elephant in northern Thailand, barely a week after leaving a meditation retreat in Malaysia. But there are good reasons why riding and maintaining my website have fallen behind in terms of of priorities. One of the issues, in hindsight minor, was a nasty virus that wiped out random chunks of my hard drive. Even with all the backups I make, it took me a few days to recover. But back to the elephants.

It is entirely possible to wash an elephant top to bottom with a simple household brush. I now also have the dubious talent of being able to determine if elephant scat is from an old or young elephant, whether it is healthy etc.

It all started when my friend Illa wanted to come for a visit, as she did when I was in Costa Rica. Since Kuala Lumpur wasn't the most interesting place to fly into, we decided to meet in Bangkok. I rode to Bangkok and dropped off my bike at my friend Moritz's place for a few weeks. I paid my ever joyful dentist in Bangkok another visit and got away with a minor cleaning and a clean bill of health. I think this is the fourth year in a row I visited her. I guess I spend a lot of time here...

A week after I left Malaysia, Illa arrived for a three week visit. Since this was her first trip to Asia, we did all the local touristy things such as visit Wat Pho, Wat Prakeh and the Grand Palace.

Of course lots of boat trips on the Chao Praya river to get to various places.

One thing I had not done was visit a floating market here in Bangkok, so we ticked that box as well.

Bangkok is a city of contrasts. The wealthy get richer and the poorer don't get ahead.

Siam Paragon is always good for a laugh as to what you can buy in a mall here.

As in Costa Rica, my accommodations and restaurant choices improved markedly while Illa was here. One night we splurged and went to Vertigo. If the height and exposure don't make you queasy, the bill will. The view was worth it though.

Mostly we went on a food discovery quest and ended up in small local places with stunning food like Steve Cafe.

We went to Chiang Mai and hung out there for a good ten days as well. Aside from a near-daily massage, we visited a lot of places I wanted to go back to, like Wat Umong.

Madame Tussauds can learn a thing or two from the Thais as well.

We ended up renting two motorcycles, one for around town, a Honda Wave or what not and a more robust item for longer trips.

After a very enjoyable three weeks with Illa in Thailand, I am back in Bangkok figuring out what comes next. My desire to go south to Indonesia and Australia has evaporated. I'll likely do a loop to the north, spend a day in Burma (now possible with the bike) and hop into Laos and Cambodia.

On another note, my friends Andy and Linda released a new video clip the other month, which is quite well done. He is a musician with a band in Melbourne called Legends of Motorsport and she is a movie editor. With some careful planning, they shot a short clip combining scenes from Morocco and Bolivia. It's amazing what one can do with a guitar, a crappy laptop and a decent camera. Link is here.