November 17 -- Bangkok, Thailand
This place is so incredible:
the people, the food, the sights. Everyone's so warm and friendly.
I don't even mind that they're trying to rip me off left, right,
and centre. Got to get better at haggling, though...
November 20 -- Bangkok, Thailand
having a blast, have met all kinds of people--and I mean, all
kinds--and will leave Bangkok in a day or two or three. I don't
know where I'm headed, and that's the best part.
November 23 -- Bangkok, Thailand
Bankok's wearing me down. Traffic.
Pollution. Hawkers. I'm on overload. My system's in shock from
total change in diet and activity. I'm really sick. I think it's
from some squid I ate yesterday. I can't keep anything down (not
that I want to even try). I tried some of the diarrhea medication
the doctor gave me, but it's just making it worse. Things to remember
-- don't eat street vendor seafood in Bangkok. Don't get in a
Tuk Tuk. Take water wherever you go.
December 1 -- Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thought for sure I'd die on
the back of that motorcycle. We had no helmets. I was stupid to
put my life in the hands of a testosterone-driven guy. Pierre
was going so fast (120 km/hr!!) I couldn't even keep my eyes open.
At times we were airborne for whole, long, seconds. Resolved I
would die and calmed down a bit into a rather peaceful death trance,
the wind thrumming a rapid-fire dirge in my ears. I still can't
believe I'm all in one piece. I won't be doing that again. Other
than that, though, it was a great day. I rode an elephant!
December 4 -- Mae Hong Sa, Thailand
I can finally see why people
love travelling so much. I suspected it would be mind-expanding,
but never knew the heart would grow so much, too. I miss my music,
though. A couple of times I've wept into my pineapple juice when
the ex-pat radio station's played a favourite old pop song. My
senses are heightened beyond anything I've known before.
December 12 -- Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand
My dreams are changing. The
landscape, the breadth, the subject matter, all expanding.
December 14 -- Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand
I've never been so sick. All
at once. I'm throwing up. I have severe stomach pain and diarrhea.
I have a cold so bad I can hardly breathe and my throat hurts
so much when I cough my eyes shed tears. I went to the pharmacist
on this island and she said I have an infection in my throat.
She gave me some antibiotics, and no sooner had I taken the first
two when I remembered my doctor telling me NEVER to take antibiotics
over here --they'll affect your stomach. Too late. I threw them
away but my stomach, which was already really hurting, has got
me twisted into an agonizing position that sleep can't creep up
on. Plus I have the worst period cramps I can remember and I put
my back out somehow (how?). Walking around helps a little, but
I'm stooped and quite often I find myself cursing out loud. If
it weren't so darn painful it would be utterly hilarious. I'm
December 16 -- Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand
Feeling better, mostly. But
nobody's heard of Joni Mitchell here, and it's killing me.
December 20 -- Ko Lanta Yai, Thailand
It's nice to have a clean washroom,
and I only have to kill a few bugs and spiders. The geckos and
praying mantises do the rest.
December 25 -- Ko Lanta Yai, Thailand
Last night, Christmas Eve,
we had a huge party, farangs [foreigners] and Thais. Seafood,
games, fireworks, presents, and even a funny little Christmas
tree, Charlie Brownish, stuck in the sand. Friends got me to emcee
the games, the Thai dancing, and the gift exchange. So much fun,
my face still hurts from non-stop laughing and smiling.