Where in the World is Alf? (Part XXIV)

Following Part XXIII

July 2003

Sunday, July 20, 2003

The "World's Best" awards (*) are out!

We live right across the river from the #1 hotel in the world: The Peninsula. (**) In fact, this photograph was obviously taken from our back yard.

And, according to the same 'awards' people, Watcharee and I live in the #3 city in the world: Bangkok.


* Being a 'reader's survey' this carries but mixed weight in my mind.

** The Oriental Hotel, our old home, has drifted to 10th place in the world. But, it was #1 for at least a couple of years. Remember, though, 'reader's surveys' are notoriously fickle.


Monday, July 21, 2003

You remember Ning, don't you? Of course you do...or should!

She was the concierge for my first Screwless Tuskers Elephant Polo Team (OK, it didn't actually get on the ground in 2002 ... but, stick around, as it will a real team in September, less than two months away).

But, even before that Ning was the artistic director for the first meeting of the Patpong Corkscrew Club. OK, now do you remember her? Right?

And for six or seven years before that the girl worked at the Fitness Club at The Oriental Hotel ... but, enough of that ...

... anyway, she is no longer in Thailand! Now Ning is working on board the ship SS The Imagination: a cruise ship that works the Caribbean. I am not sure what her exact position is ... but, she just sent me some 'food' pictures, which suggests 'kitchen'. But, I am not sure if the pictures were gathered on a shore excursion or if they were harvested from her ship's own galley (crew or passenger).


Tuesday, July 22, 2003

From Heidi Julavits' The Effect of Living Backwards:

"....four Basque separatists, who had fuel supplies hidden at more than six hundred airfields around the world, overpowered the crew of Aire Espana Flight 2019. The impeccably behaved fifty-three passengers and six crew members did nothing to challenge the hijackers, and were held hostage for a record-breaking 543 days. Once they were rescued at an airfield outside Buenos Aires, the hostages exhibited some of the most severe cases of Lansberger's syndrome ever documented. None of them wanted to get off the plane, even after their captors had disappeared into the pampas. They took up the arms left by their captors and fought off the rescue workers for an impressive forty-seven hours. The photos in my textbook showed the passengers and the crew being dragged down the metal stairs in handcuffs; one woman clutched the railing, another flailed her fists against a uniformed man while unleashing a perfect arc of saliva into his face, her spit photo-frozen like a beautiful icicle. A passenger coalition formed a few months later and won a legal suit against Aire Espana that claimed that the hostages deserved frequent flyer miles for all 1,234,890 miles flown by Flight 2019. Subsequently it was almost impossible to fly Aire Espana without encountering at least one of the former hostages."

- Alice Vickery-Plourde, a student at the International Institute for Terrorist Studies (Lucerne)


PS:

SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Ever wanted to wish upon a star? Well, you have 70,000 million million million to choose from. That's the total number of stars in the known universe, according to a study by Australian astronomers. It's also about 10 times as many stars as grains of sand on all the world's beaches and deserts. The figure -- 7 followed by 22 zeros or, more accurately, 70 sextillion -- was calculated by a team of stargazers based at the Australian National University.


And that's only the stars we can actually see.

Astronomers say there are more stars than grains of sand in all of Earth's deserts and beaches.


Wednesday, July 23, 2003

My Canadian friend, Derek, happened upon this antique car while on a business trip to Edmonton. Though he is a car buff he was not able to identify it. Any ideas?


PS: CNN is years behind THOCBDC.


Bangkok's museum of the macabre is one of
Thailand's more unusual tourist attractions
.


PPS:


Thursday, July 24, 2003

We are in the fast food mode now; no need to dirty too many plates with the airport taxi not far away.


PS: Yikes, lightning strikes Patpong 2!


Friday, July 25, 2003

The cupboard is almost bare.


Saturday, July 26, 2003 (Last Full Day Here)

We (err, I) will miss the Florida beach:


Sunday, July 27, 2003

Packing ... almost ready to head back home ... will write from Bangkok!

Alf and Watcharee


Monday, July 28, 2003

[In transit!]

Next: Back in Bangkok

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