Watcharee Visits France

Many Time Zones from Home

Between Bangkok Forever and Bangkok Between Burgundy and Boating

August 2-11, 2000

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

It was almost midnight. This is the very best time to get to catch a flight out of Bangkok to Europe. These Trans-Asian-Sleepers are very forgiving: once aboard you can skip the meal, not pop up the movie screen, forget about the earphones, ignore the in-flight magazine and go directly to sleep. Eight hours later, with only four more hours to go, it's like a short breakfast flight.

But, before all that came to be, Watcharee had her first chance to see an airport. Until this trip she has never been out of Thailand ... never been to an airport ... never been in an airplane. For her it was a new and totally wonderful experience.

This journal is running about two days behind the clock; whether it will stay that way ...

Thursday, August 3, 2000

Yes! It is still a couple of days behind what we are now doing.

We arrived in Paris this morning to a barely rising sun. Though our landing path took us directly over the town of Gonesse, Paristhere was not enough light to make out the smoldering signature smudge left by last week's AF 4950.

[How does the Hotel Grillon differ from the Hotel Gonesse? The Hotel Grillon is on the Place de Concorde while the Concorde is on the Hotel Gonesse.]

Shying from the 'flash-in-the-pan' notoriety of the one, and the unfortunate confluence of the name and address of the other, we checked into Le Parc Hotel at 55/57, av. Raymond Poincare.

All day we walked ... from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame ... with a stop to capture the view from the top of a Ferris wheel ... and another stop for lunch.

Friday, August 4, 2000 and Saturday, August 5, 2000

These two days were spent ballooning, picnicking and having fun in Burgundy. Our hotel is the Chateau de Vault de Lugny ... located in the little Burgundian village of Vault de Lugny.

Sunday, August 6, 2000 and Monday, August 7, 2000

Dear reader, since we left Bangkok much has happened elsewhere in time:

Grindling Gibbons, artist, died ... King Haakon of Norway was born ... the source of the Nile was discovered by John Speke ... Germany declared war on France ... the murder of Lizzie Borden's parents at Falls River, Massachusetts ... Friedrich Engles, Marxist, died ... the European Monetary Agreement signed ... Feast of the Transfiguration ... Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare, died ... Bolivia declared independence from Peru ... the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima ... Ottawa selected as capital of Canada ... Summer Time Act made permanent in Britain ... and more.

But, we just played and played ...

Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Much has happened in the last few hours. Though Watcharee and I are now in Beaune ... and we'll be here for two nights ... we are going to return to Bangkok on Friday. The rest of my traveling family: Annie, Patty, Lisa and Ellie will continue on to Italy for a week of ballooning in Siena. They'll be joined by my other two children, David and Christy. Various spouses will be in tow.

Here are some random snaps from my Sony Mavica.

Wednesday, August 9, 2000

Here are some non-random snaps from my Sony Mavica.

Thursday, August 10, 2000

NEWNES allows two obscure names to shine:

According to his calculations, the Greenwich Observatory was founded 325 years ago today.

Yesterday I allowed the bits and pieces of the 'girls' to walk away with the whole show. I couldn't really help it, as the sun was just perfect for capturing the Screwmaids in their summer-tan mode. If you remember, this year's Chateau d'Oex was cold and overcast for most of the week ... and though it was the very first outing for CB3, the 'girls' were never really happy with this imperfect exposure. ScrewmaidsAnd to be honest, I think that you, dear reader, enjoyed seeing them again. And, that you wouldn't mind seeing them again and again. Maybe Paul can even put a link to the day when the real Screwmaids first posed for the artist.

But, the balloon did actually fly that day. And we went quite high ... much to the discomfort of Patty and Watcharee. Luckily, Patty's fear of heights has not been passed on to Ellie. After we passed through the cloud layer at about 7,500 feet Watcharee became somewhat fetus-like. Curled up at the bottom of the basket she had a peep-hole view of the world ... though she found it to be a good time to do her nails. Annie just turned her butt to my camera. As the sun set the moon rose.

Getting on with today: this morning we took the TGV to Paris. The 300kph (180mph) run from Beaune to Paris lasted way less than three hours. Our final night in France was spent at Le Parc Hotel.

Friday, August 11, 2000

NEWNES has but one thing of interest for today:

Early this afternoon we boarded Thai Airway's non-stop 747 service to Bangkok. Though TG931 was in the sky just shy of eleven hours, the trip was into the sun and in the opposite direction from sweep of the clock hands. Meaning that we were scheduled to arrive the next morning ... on the 12th.

Yes, and on Saturday a new chapter will begin. What shall I call it? I don't know.

Next: Bangkok Again

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