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Tuesday, November 24, 2015


GAWA 24:  Over the past quarter century, I've been to Bangkok numerous times.  To the left is the Hyatt Erawan Hotel, and that green-roofed structure in the front is where the shrine was bombed by terrorists on August 17, killing 20 and inuring 125.  The shrine actually today looks better than it looked before the explosion.

In the early days, you could have two suits made for less than $100.  So I decided to have my tailor do safari shirts.  What you see below is the 5th generation.  The material is more comfortable, and there are four zippered pockets.  I brought a copy of the 4th generation, and they copied it with some minor adjustments.  Everything was completed in 36 hours.  Price?  A little more expensive than two decades ago. 

GAWA 25:  Dubai is truly astonishing.  However, it suffers from air pollution.  In the midst of this mucky air is the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.

GAWA 26:  I balance ridiculously expensive meals with cheaper fast food combinations I have in my room.  Here, in Dubai, virtually across the street, I found a Panda for some hot & sour soup and a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken, with some red wine.

GAWA 27:  For a while I contemplated staying one night in the Burj Al Arab, where rooms start at $2,000/night.  If the price could be worked down to $1,000/night, I would have splurged.  Anyway, here is what it looks like.

GAWA 28:  Then, on to Istanbul.  Here is an inside view of the Blue Mosque (more accurately, Sultan Ahmed, or Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish, was built in the early 1600's, mostly of blue tiles).

GAWA 29:  Baklava (invented in Turkey) and Turkish coffee at Beyti.

GAWA 30:  A final breakfast view from my hotel in Istanbul.

GAWA 31:  In Milan, I walked around my hotel, found a market which sold sashimi, but no rice.  so I got a bag of potato chips and invented a new kind of sushi, which I had with some Italian beer and red wine.  As the meal was sort of Japanese, I watched NHK, where their English channel is prominent throughout the world.

GAWA 32:  One of the main reasons I went on this GAWA is to attend the Milan World Expo, with the theme:  Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.  I have pretty much been to all of the World Fairs (the Expo is for Exposition) since 1962 when it was held in Seattle.  Here is a typical scene.


GAWA 33:  The next World's Fair will be held in Kazakstan in 2017, then in 2020, Dubai.  If I'm still capable, I might actually make that my final Expo, for the Year 2020, this Vision thing, has long been my longevity goal.  Twenty million came to Milan 2015.  Here is just another photo from Day 2 of Milan.

GAWA 34:  Glassmakers from Murano, an island of Venice, have been the leaders in this field for centuries.  Here are two examples:

GAWA 35:  During breakfast at my hotel in Venice, this bold Blue Bar Pigeon joined me on my table for breakfast.  Here he is flying away.  Why show this photo?  Well, this "same" Blue Bar appeared at every European city I visited.

GAWA 36:  During no doubt the best meal I had on this trip at Quadri, he couldn't get in, but watched me eat from outside the window.

GAWA 37:  I then moved back to the St. Regis, and the chef made me a black truffles saffron risotto, which was a work of art and a gustatorial treat, too.  Certainly in the top ten of anything I've ever consumed.

GAWA 38:  On to Franfurt in the Fall.

Tomorrow, Part 4 will feature my 14-day Tauck European River Cruise.


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