The Hassan's

Uncle Ho and
Chairman Mao

World Tour '98


(Read Other First Person Travel Stories)

Greetings from BANGKOK!

It took us 24 hours in transit to get here but we made it.When on a plane we always try not to get to know our seatmates too well. That experience is a lot like turning over a dead log in the forest, except you can't beat what you find with a big stick or run away from it. The 5'2" tall man who was nearly that big around was lodged into the window seat with his bible and canned ham. After six hours of being ignored he decided he must tell us his life's story.

Needless to say it was more disturbing than the bible and canned ham. He was in his 70's and had married a 22 year old woman from the Philippines. The American Embassy was going to take 6-9 months to clear her visa so he was commuting back and forth from south Florida to visit. Believe us it only gets worse - so let's just say that it is hard to get canned hams in the Philippines. Good travel tip for those who need a daily ration of pork.

We did survive the trip but the last quarter mile was very frightening. In Bangkok they have expressways and surface streets.The surface streets often end with no reason and offer little access to the expressways. We could see our hotel but getting to it was proving impossible. In Bangkok it is often true that "you can't get there from here". Our driver solved the problem by getting on the expressway going the wrong direction and went about 100 mph for the quarter mile it took him to get "back" to the exit he needed. It was a very strange 14.27 seconds.

We made our way into Bangkok this afternoon to go the Hard Rock Cafe. Having been here about ten times over the years we have seen all the other attractions. Stop was made at the Planet Hollywood to pick up few pins for those who requested them.

At the Hard Rock Cafe we found the staff to be really nice. We had only brought a few common pins to pass out rather than trade. The Halloween guitars were here - a blue one and a white one with little red devils with pitchforks on them. They had some other pins that we hadn't seen or heard of before. They are Victory Drum '98 pins, a red one and a green one. These are modeled after the large Victory Drum in Bangkok that historically was used when the army had a victory over one of the many armies that made it a habit of sacking the Kingdom.

We head on to Saigon tomorrow and will try and communicate from there. There is a chance that you all might get two Part 1. I had completed a longer version of this and when I went to edit it - it went somewhere. It might have gone to all of you or to cyber heaven. First we've got to find a ham.

R&RF
- JOHN & LOIS HASSAN

Copyright 1999 Lois and John Hassan

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