Everywhere, yellow flags fly.Â This is for the King (who was born on a Monday which makes his color yellow).Â He is 84 now, and lives in the hospital, where he is being treated for lung cancer.Â Everywhere, people here wish him luck.Â Some of my pictures from today show this. It kind of feels like being in one of my favorite Yul Brenner movies.Â ButÂ in the sad bit near the end.
I took a long tail boat guided tour through the canals today and saw more Buddhas and more people, all of them smiling (Buddhas and people).Â The Thai people that I saw almost all waved happily.
In the areas I went through today, there is both great poverty and great riches, side by side.Â It is interesting to drive by people living in houses that are literally falling slowly into the canal right beside modern new homes bigger than many of our larger houses in the US.Â Mind you, everyone seemed happy or at least content.Â Of course they can’t all be, but in general I would say Thailand is high in the happiness quotient.Â It has been peaceful to be here.
I convinced the boat driver to slow down for many pictures of Thai dogs.
Now I will have to carry that happiness forward.Â I have transitioned hotels.My driver got lost.Â He doesn’t speak English.Â I don’t speak Thai.Â We asked the Swiss Embassy staff (Google Maps seemed convinced the Swiss Embassy was where the Intercontinental should be!) and they gave him directions.Â He was still lost.Â I finally placed an international call on my iPhone to the hotel and found someone who was multilingual and could help the poor frustrated (but polite) driver find the place.Â So after racking up at least twice the correct taxi fee (and I suspect much more) and spending cellular data charges to try Google maps and international phone charges to find the hotel, I suspect I spent $40 getting about ten blocks.Â The Intercontinental has me in a smoking room, and the air conditioner is stressed so it is hot.Â I can’t yet find the people I need to.Â So I will try and practice Thai smiles.Â 🙂
Off to try again to find the FutureGov people.