May 11-19, 2007
Commerce and religion tugs us in two directions. While Watcharee went to Supanburi Provence to visit Wat Palelai (and the standing Buddha) I went to River City to see the Floating Market show. Earlier she visited Wat Hualampong.
Thailand has its own "Idol" show. Here are two of the top 20 contestants. I wonder what Simon would say.
We are going to have dinner at the Rain Tree buffet restaurant in the Plaza Athenee hotel. The restaurant is adjacent to Bangkok's famous G'u'az Bar.
I am stringing this meal out several days. One of the best things about the Plaza Athenee's Rain Tree buffet is the wide assortment of appetizers that are offered. Notice that even though we are deep into the first of the non "R" months (*), plenty of fresh oysters are still available here.
(*) I wonder if is still the 'rule' back in the States that you should only eat fresh oysters in the "R" months ... months with the letter "R" in their name (in other words, don't eat them in May, June, July and August)?
Today THOCBDC is stringing out the Plaza Athenee feast with healthy salads, doughy things and several main course offerings.
We could feel it here in Bangkok (buildings swayed) but it was stronger up in Chang Mai.
Currently showing : Magnitude 6.1
# Date-Time Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 08:56:18 (UTC) = Coordinated Universal Time
# Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 3:56:18 PM = local time at epicenter
Location 20.480°N, 100.820°E
Depth 33 km (20.5 miles) set by location program
# Distances 122 km (76 miles) ENE (58°) from Chiang Rai, Thailand
# 155 km (97 miles) WNW (296°) from Louangphrabang, Laos
# 167 km (104 miles) S (180°) from Yunjinghong, Yunnan, China
# 268 km (167 miles) NE (46°) from Chiang Mai, Thailand
# 337 km (209 miles) NW (326°) from VIENTIANE, Laos
River Garden is becomig a 'gated community'. Well, sort of. This month the owners will install four electronic gates to limit access to the lobby. Two (at each end of the building) will be located just after passengers exit the elevators that allow access from the parking garage to the 7th flloor lobby. And, two will do the same thing for the stairs.
A reader from Liverpool, England writes:
I read with great interest your 17 May '07 entry in which you described the additional security precautions that are about to be put into place at River Garden. Though your coverage of the treatment at one end of the building (presumably the one nearest you) was ample, nothing was really said or shown with respect to the work that needs to be done at the other end of River Garden. Please post an architectural sketch if one is available. And, can you photograph that area in its now 'unsecured' state?
Further, will you be able to keep us up to date as the construction proceeds?
Your most obsequious servant,
Mrs. Christina L. Beacon
Yes, THOCBDC will gladly do everything that you requested. If you are wondering why I included two snaps of essentially the same scene ... well, the two ladies on the stairs work in the office adjacent to the elevator and they really wanted to be in the picture.
We had just finished dinner. I was just settling in at my computer and the girls were starting to watch a local soap opera when there was this very loud explosion. Simultaneously all the electricity in the building disappeared. There was total blackness and silence. We looked out the windows but it appeared that the lights were still on at our neighbors: The Peninsula and the Shangri-La. So, it was just us without.
Within a minute the emergency generator here at River Garden kicked in. The lights in the lobby and the stairwells came on. And one elevator got juice.
But, we only had three candles to light our world so we decided to evacuate.
When we went downstairs we found out that the transformer that feeds our building had exploded. But, within minutes the group in charge of handling these things in Bangkok was already on the scene.
Most of our fellow tenants were either on the street or killing time in our open air lobby. To us it looked like the lights (and air conditioning) would be out for the night. We decide to repair for the balance of the night to the nearest hotel (the Shangri-La).
Fifteen minutes after checking in at the Shangri-La the lights at River Garden were on again.
Oh well, we didn't have to make the bed or brew coffee in the morning. And the bathroom towels were really fluffy.
Next: Part III