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Sunshine. Above the Waistline.

Welcome to “One Night in Bangkok” the series. Follow me through Hong Kong and Bangkok while I act as my Rotary Club‘s delegate to the International Convention in Thailand, with posts that are titled from the lyrics of the song “One Night in Bangkok.” If this is your first visit to the series, please click here to begin at the beginning.

Hong Kong is like a tightly planted, impenetrable forest, tall beings reaching the sky. People swarming around the bases in a noisy, yet ordered, cacophony of wonder. Rushing through the slot canyons of concrete and steel. Dodging trams and buses and cabs. A lone cyclist riding on the tracks, pumping pedals to stay ahead of the approaching train.

Pockets of it smell like rot around the corner from smoky incense and clustered flowers and deep fried meat. All of it wafted through the open window of the train, and I willed it all into my mouth, my eyes, my nostrils and my ears. Palpable enough to grasp between my fingers. Fragile enough to disappear too soon.

Early morning view across Causeway Bay.

Riding the tram to Central Hong Kong, especially for Carnell.

Robert Johnson, they’re occupying Hong Kong, too!! Underneath MTM’s favorite building here, the Hong Kong Bank Building designed by Norman Foster.

Lori O’Leary, I wonder if the US mashed potatoes came from Idaho?

The view across Victoria Harbor to Kowloon.

Check out the companion piece to this post by clicking here. I am still figuring out how to get technology to work with the time differences. My first attempt was a FAIL, and my post for today posted around 10PM EST yesterday  instead of 1:11AM EST today. I am also having some issues with my reader, so please be patient while I catch up on reading your blogs. The direct route will be slower, but I will get there.

I Get My Kicks Above the Waistline, Sunshine

Welcome to “One Night in Bangkok” the series. Follow me through Hong Kong and Bangkok while I act as my Rotary Club‘s delegate to the International Convention in Thailand, with posts that are titled from the lyrics of the song “One Night in Bangkok.” If this is your first visit to the series, please click here to begin at the beginning.

Dear Cayleigh:

By now, you are on your way to Scotland with your dad and your grandparents. Hearing what you think of that windswept landscape, so much a part of who you are, makes me wish away time until you can describe it to me. And, we can giggle. I love acting like a nine-year-old girl with a lovely nine-year-old girl like you.

I know you will fit in there better than I do in Hong Kong. In spite of your multiple attempts to teach me how to say hello, to introduce myself, to say ANYTHING in Mandarin, I am hopeless. My dim brain remembers none of it. I can see the intensity etched in your freckled face as you schooled me in Chinese, can even hear the patience in your voice, but all the rest of it fled.

The best thing about being here is that you are everywhere. When I see Chinese characters, I wonder what you’d think of them, how many you’d be able to read to me. I see stooped, gnarled women and fish squirming in dying juices in the market pan, inhale the bloody scent of the open air butcher shop, listen to the opus of unusual sounds ringing in my ears.

Someday, I will come back with you.

Until then, I took some pictures for you to try to read someday.

Neon. These signs are everywhere.

They fire a gun for charity every day at this spot. I thought the contrast of color and character was pretty.

A nod to my readers, who will surely get a kick out of the mistranslated word.

 

Can’t Be Too Careful With Your Company

Welcome to “One Night in Bangkok” the series. Follow me through Hong Kong and Bangkok while I act as my Rotary Club‘s delegate to the International Convention in Thailand, with posts that are titled from the lyrics of the song “One Night in Bangkok.” If this is your first visit to the series, please click here to begin at the beginning.

Welcome to my view for most of the past twenty-four hours.

The subway was breezy, winding through corridors that smelled like men’s cologne. Darkness and humanity enveloped us as we embraced the steamy brick sidewalk above-ground. At least, we are accustomed to a little humidity with our waning day.

I think I’m going to like Hong Kong.

Not Much Between Despair and Ecstasy

Welcome to “One Night in Bangkok” the series. Follow me through Hong Kong and Bangkok while I act as my Rotary Club‘s delegate to the International Convention in Thailand, with posts that are titled from the lyrics of the song “One Night in Bangkok.” If this is your first visit to the series, please click here to begin at the beginning.

Always. That’s how the prospect of travel makes me feel. Despair, over the fact that I will NOT sleep the night before the flight. Worried that I will snore through the alarm. Miss my cab. Run screaming down the runway trying to highjack my flight.

Despair also because I will NOT SLEEP on the plane. Regardless of the umpteen hours I will spend in the same seat. Or the drugs I will pop like candy take. Or the face masks and neck pillows and doo-dads I have wasted money on bought to help me relax.

Even more despair……….

MTM could sleep slung upside down by his big toes from a bar hanging by a thread from the wing of the plane as it zips through the atmosphere at 30,000 feet. While I am thrashing in my microscopic seat, trying to find a single comfortable position for ten minutes so that I can doze off, he will sleep for HOURS. And HOURS. And HOURS. We will arrive in Hong Kong, and he will resemble a flower, freshly plucked and oozing loveliness. His breath won’t stink like a sewer. He might even smile.

Me?

I will look like a hag. Hair askew. Teeth brown and rotting. Face frozen in a mask of perpetual angriness. Bags under the bags under my eyes. (Note to self: Andra After a Long Flight would be an excellent Halloween costume kit. Research its economic viability upon return from abroad.)

Still, I am ecstatic about this trip. The ecstasy always clobbers the despair in the end. I can’t wait to see the next place. Do the next thing. Discover the next treasure. Find the next outing I will want to return to again and again. Hold my man’s hand around the next unknown bend. See it together. Experience whatever.

The ecstasy of travel always comes from the companion.

And, I have the best companion in the world.

One Night In Bangkok

Coffee......is code for, um, something else, in our house......it fits.....

Actually, I have six nights in Bangkok. Four in Hong Kong. One in the bowels of an aluminum tube, sailing over continents and churning water. I am on a Rotary Mission of Goodwill, to attend the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok as the President-Elect of my Rotary Club, East Cooper Breakfast.

(Poor them. If anything proves Rotarians are not fusty, it is electing someone who calls herself a Cootchie Mama to be the leader of a club for a year.)

And, me being me and all, I decided to do a series about this adventure. Given the craziness of the rest of our lives of late, we have not planned THING ONE. I am going to get on a plane tomorrow morning and collapse from exhaustion.

(And, if that doesn’t work, I have enough Ambien to kill myself and several seat mates properly, though I shall only ingest enough to sleep. I promise.)

My bloggity mission, which will likely make the District Rotarians DIE of horror, will be to write blog posts taken from the lyrics of the song “One Night in Bangkok.”

I sincerely hope you will read along, because I’m too tired to do anything other than roll with WHATEVER happens.

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