On the Road to Hong Kong
Following The New Headquarters in August
August 29-31, 2002
The Wilbur Smith Suite! Or, Room 1210! Or, just one floor below Gore Vidal!
Hey, I stayed here. But it was more than two years ago ... back before all the major renovations had been done here at the River Wing. But it wasnít called Wilbur Smith back then. And it wasnít decorated in an African theme. Hmmm, I wonder if I have any pictures from way back then? Iím pretty sure that those were San Porn days.
Anyway, the view is pretty much the same as it was one flight up. Though the French embassy is now about 12 feet closer.
Oh, what am I doing here? Fair question. Watcharee and I are on the way to Hong Kong and we thought that The Oriental would serve as a wonderful launch pad.
1 The Oriental does not have a 13th floor.
About an hour before we were due to leave for the airport I looked at our air tickets. A little note on the flight itinerary warned "... passports must have at least six months of continued validity before entry will be granted by the Hong Kong immigration officials ..."
My passport is due to die before that.
And, because of new US passport "security" regulations all overseas renewals must now be sent back to the USA for issuance: a two week round-trip.
So, dear reader, the "Road to Hong Kong" has been closed. Watcharee and I shall be Thai 'bound' for at least another fortnight.
We'll probably 'celebrate' by staying the weekend at The Oriental before we come back to our other BKK home.
PS Continuing our unplanned 'celebration' at The Oriental: tonight we had dinner at the Verandah ... the outdoor buffet barbecue by the river. Watcharee you all know ... but, how many of you remember Usa? She was the very first girl that I met when I moved into The Oriental.
We are home again. Not that we were that far away to begin with ... if we could have tightroped from the porch of the Wilbur Smith to our own outcropping over the Chao Phya it would have taken us a minute or two at most. By car ... with the no left turns and the one way streets and the cross intersection traffic it took 20 minutes.
NEWNES reminds Patty that she shares her birthday with Theophile Gautier, the writer (1811); Hermann von Helmholtz, the physicist (1821); Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands (1880); and Friedrich Adolf Paneth, a scientist (1887). Not a fun crowd.
PS Dearest reader ... can you see the relevance of this photograph to what happened during the past few days? No, not in South Africa! Not in Iraq, either.
Next: Autumn in Bangkok