THAILAND ARRIVAL ..ON TO PATTAYA

Well the  lift off on Southwest was OK .   I found it was necessary to board a transfer bus
to the international terminal after I arrived at LAX airport.  I did that then asked a passenger
how did I know when I got to the right terminal so I could get off.  He said to watch for signs
so when I saw China Air I got off and went to the ticket counter to get my boarding pass.  
No one was there.  I saw a man behind the counter  and asked when the counter would be
open.  He said Noon.  I returned at noon and got in a small line waiting for an agent to appear.
 The people were going to France.  The signs had changed so I asked the same man where to
find China Air.  He said I had to go to Somebralie Terminal .  I got directions and after walking
10 miles, I arrived at Somebralie….Tom Bradly Terminal.  China Air was at the end, of course.
 I checked in but the agent said my bag was too heavy for carry on so I checked it then had to
take it to a special area and stand in line to drop it with security .   There were 100’s of bags
awaiting the xray machine so the attendant directed me to another area further down.  I stood
in line there …less time.  Then I had to find gate 102.   The signs said ALL GATES so I stood in
line to discover 102 was on the South side not the North.  I walked through and around the
corner to discover the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal was under construction and
after navigating a few detours, I saw a sign 101-106 Gates so got on the moving walkway and
then another.  Finally I was at 106…then 105…then the walkway was broken and I started
picking up the pace afraid I might miss my flight. Finally arriving at 102, I discovered the
plane had been delayed so now I was in desperate need of a bathroom.  There were three stalls
.  One occupied and the other 2 for handicapped  and one of those was occupied so I did the
unthinkable and took the other.  How often do you ever see anyone in a wheelchair in the bath
room.  No sooner did I sit down when there was a handicapped oriental in a wheelchair trying
to access  a toilet.  I hurried as fast as I could and apologized on the way out but I do nøt think
he understood and his companion might have but he looked mad and was nøt buying my
apology.  I returned to 102 just in time to wait some more while the crew of  30 all dressed in
pink boarded.  I am not exaggerating, there were at least 30.  This is a BIG plane
(notice the upstairs first class section) and I think they are going to wait until they fill it before
they take off.  I’m in seat 68 F which I think is the bathroom in the back which would be fitting
. Not the bathroom but the next thing up from the bathroom…the last row and wedged in
between a Taiwanese business man and one hot lady in a Mini skirt with legs she likes to
show off and rightfully should.  Opps…she covered them with her blanket. This is going to be
boring.  13 hours later, 2 movies, no sleep, and the seat of the occupant in front of me only 15
inches from my face, we land in Taiwan.  I hate going to a country I have never been and not
getting out of the airport. 
The next leg of the trip
was in an aisle seat on a plane that also had an upstairs. I sat next to Eric, a Vietnam Vet
that sold his Sport Shoe distributorship last year. He has been traveling ever since he got
amnesia in the Vietnam war and almost has 100 countries under his belt.  We hit it off after
I ordered a double wine to save the waitress a trip back.  He reordered then I reordered then
he reordered…well you get the point.  He talked me into sharing a cab with his travel buddy
Kurt, who was waiting for us when we arrived. I cancelled my stay in Bangkok and we left for
Pattaya. A two hour and two beer taxi ride
and we were in Pattaya at 4am that seemed like 10pm with all the traffic and people in the
streets.  I saved some money and time but spent a little more for the first two days because
my hotel didn’t have a cheaper room available on a moments notice. 
The first night…well I checked in at 4am and bedded down at 7:30 am. That night was an up
and down affair. I slept 3 hours then got up to see the city.  I walked a few hours, took some
photos
, had breakfast. While walking down “Walking Street”
, there was a flurry of action. Sirens started in the distance and one ambulance after another
went by me with police and Red Cross following.  I noticed lots of people gathered on the
beach, around the patio restaurants, and on the pier.
 They were pointing and straining to see.  One man was sitting down crying. I guess he had a
lot of tragedy in his life and one more, though not personal, was too much grief for him to
handle.  Later I discovered on CNN that two speed boats collide killing both the drivers. 
I returned at 2:30 in the afternoon and went back to bed.  That evening, I awoke at 8:30
and walked to Jameson’s Irish pub about an hour away.  I had a nice Beef and Mushroom Pie
and a Guiness.  The Pie was $8 and the Guiness was $8.  Time to get back to Singha Beer.
I walked around observing the night life, stopped in a couple bars for a drink and retired at
1 am.
I left on Monday and today is Thursday. There is an English restaurant next door where I
had a full Irish breakfast for $3.50. Irish Bacon, Bangers, Mushrooms, Tomatoes (so good) ,
Eggs, Fresh thick sliced bread, and coffee! There was a man who had a bag on the floor with
the words “LIVE YOGA”.  He was sitting in his chair in the lotus position reading a book.  
Most of the tables had single old men, reading their news, and having breakfast like me.  
Took some more photos.
Then I went to Starbucks, got a Latte and Muffin for $4.  Crazy.  Starbucks would have
accepted my Starbucks card from Arizona.  Global economy!  I observed an oriental reading
a leather bound Suduko book.  He would not make notes but studied it until he got a number
without notations like I do.  Very disciplined, unlike myself.  A middle aged lady from the US
on her cell sipping her Cappuccino.  The Patio was full of retired old American men having
their coffee and cigarettes while recounting their conquests or how much they paid, the night
before.  Pattaya is full of these men. Some are in remarkable shape.  I saw three men in their
70’s that worked out everyday or took Human Growth Hormones or both.  They were
weathered…nothing you can do to change that…but in great shape.  This morning I noted a
lot of men jogging down the beach or the others in not such great shape walking at a good clip
down the esplanade. They come to Pattaya in all shapes, sizes and age.  Single, divorced ,
widowed with one common denominator…loneliness.  They need to be touched, massaged,
shown affection and attention. Oh yeah and to get laid. Some are old , fat drunks on a budget
who would never get anything back in the states. Others just lost their wives of 40 years, have
a disability, are shy, or are hermits that ran a trap-line in Alaska for the last 6 years and seldom saw a lady.  This is a place for them to become human and get back in touch with what was and what could still be.  Some have little time left in there lives and it shows as they walk hand in hand with someone that could be there great granddaughter.  They have the sparkle back in their eyes and the ladies laugh at their jokes and make them feel desired.  The ladies are there for the money.  They always smile and most are fair. You get what you pay for.
I moved this afternoon into the cheaper room that I call Marjorie. I will stay here until I
check out on the 9th of next week. The two big amenities lacking are a coffee maker and a safe.  

Dr Doug is meeting me at 4pm for “Family Hour” at the Wonderful Bar II down the street. 

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