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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 17 Tokyo to Bangkok

The past few days have been rainy.  Then, this morning, a picture perfect day.  Mount Fuji saying goodbye:


Tokyo Westin breakfast was, as usual, too much, but fabulous:


I caught the Limousine bus to Narita, where the first stop is almost always the Sheraton Miyake;


When I first arrived, the ride from Narita showed zero cherry blossoms.  Today, every few seconds the Sakura is everywhere:


Check in was smooth, and I found myself in the ANA Lounge, and had a chicken curry with Kirin beer and Hakucho scotch:


I flew Thai Air.  Here is Narita Airport from the air:


The service was great, the food was fine and I watched two films, sort of.  I started with Manchester By the Sea.  Missed it earlier because I thought it would be too boring.  Well, 20 minutes into watching, I gave up because it was too boring.  Here, Casey Afleck won the Oscar for Best Actor, and .... Then, the latest version of The Magnificent Seven.  The Seven Samurai, the original The Magnificent Seven and this third one, they rank in that order.

The best part of the trip was that I sat next to who I thought was a young Thai girl who might have been 25 or so.  Turned out she gave birth to her first son 30 years ago at Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu.  Amazingly enough, this son was the pilot of this particular Thai Air flight!  Could Lily be the mother of a 30 year old?


Well, I did it again.  From the eve of today for the next four days, it is the Songkran Water Festival, or the Thai New Year, when everybody goes home.  Rossini's, my favorite Italian restaurant in the Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit, for example, is closed during my stay in Thailand.  This is also a dangerous time of the year, for people shoot water at you for fun.

Thus, the traffic getting in from the airport was light.  I splurged with the AOL government limousine for $34.  A taxi is half that, if not less.  My view:

I was planning to have free drinks in the Library and order a few things from Rossini.  I had a Chardonnay, and they do provide various appetizers and stuff:


Rather than a real restaurant meal, I crossed the walkway to the basement of Robinson's where I ordered a duck and choi sum  on noodles:


Ah, but not so easy.  You can't use cash here.  I had to walk all the way to the other side of the room and get a card worth the 75 baht, or $2.


I must have given the wrong currency amount, for when I came back the card had insufficient funds.  I had to go back, stand in line, and do it right this second time.  In my room, this is what my dinner looked like with a Singha beer while watching CNN:


See that bag of hot soup to the right?  First, trying to get the rubber band off was a major undertaking.  There was this safety factor regarding temperature.  Then when the band flew off, whoosh, the entire hot liquid poured over the meal and inundated the table.  The volume was about twice what could be held. All that paperwork to the right got saturated, and even my new camera got splashed.  Never figured out what to do with the second brown bag of liquid.  I also had no chopstick.  Life on the road can get difficult.  The entire meal, though, cost me $3, with the beer.

At least I had a great sunset:


Tomorrow?  Not sure.

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