Notes from Margaret:
We are nearly 2 weeks into our Asian Adventure and finally starting
to settle into the rhythms of travel. Our first chunk of time
was spent in Bangkok, a world-class Asian city. My favorite part
of this city is the Chao Phraya River that sunders the former
capital, Thonburi, from the current capital, Bangkok proper.
The river is a chaotic rush of commerce and public transportation.
We rode the ferry, which is one of the quickest ways to get around
here -- the automobile traffic is pretty bad, and around rush
hour is terrible. I cannot get over being on the ferry -- one
is surrounded by quite a scene: the skyline of the city with
its temples, skyscrapers and run down buildings; the piers--
seemingly used since the dawn of time; the boats -- hull designs
out of mythology; and the raging river itself-- a morass of churning
current, water hyacinth and discarded odds and ends. For those
of you considering a visit, the river is a must see!
We've just visited the town of Ayutthaya (probably my spelling
is off --sorry), another former capital of Thailand. It has just
been named a world heritage site -- with its collection of 14th-16th
century temples and palaces. It is amazing that these places
seem relatively undiscovered by tourism. Yes, at the more popular
spots, we did run into a few tour buses, but there were a couple
where we were the only visitors. It's kind of like wandering
through a smaller scale Pompeii all by yourself. Sadly, many
of these sites were discovered by the Burmese when they invaded
years ago -- as an act of psychological warfare, many of the
temples were desecrated. There are many headless Buddhas and
smashed statues of elephants in Ayutthaya. We cannot romanticize
that these treasures merely succumbed to the elements of nature
and time like many other archaeological wonders.
So, what's it like being on the road? Seems new still. Keel and
I are getting to know how to best communicate so that we don't
drive each other crazy with being together all the time. We have
developed "The Gizmo." "The Gizmo" is a glorified
popsicle stick that is something like the Native American talking
stick. Whoever is in possession of "The Gizmo," gets
to have their way if there is any disagreement about the day's
itinerary, etc. Once you've used "The Gizmo," then
it gets handed to the other person and they get to wield its
power when the need next arises.
I continue on my inner journey
to watch myself in the face of challenge on foreign soil. I must
report that nothing dramatic has happened yet, so I patiently
await as the play develops.
Check in again as we will have
much to report about a trip to see silk farming with our friend
who works for Jim Thompson Silk. Ciao for now!