Today is Thursday, the 9th of June and this is the day that we travel to Bangkok, Thailand. We are heading there to visit with a couple that we knew when we lived in Australia and the last time that we saw them was TWENTY-FIVE years ago…..we are all SO old!!
We woke up at 6:00am. This seems to be the only time that our bodies will adjust to because we wake up at 6:00 whether we have the alarm on or not!!
We have started to recognize the sounds outside our window and can put a time to most of them. At 6:3oam, music begins to play. It is a slow, anthem-like song and we have NO idea what it is for. We dont know if it happens all over Kunming or just in the area around KIZ. Michael had the idea that it might have something to do with the construction site just out our window, but who knows!!
At about 7:30, you hear sharp, slapping sounds. These come from the 3 gentlemen who do their morning exercises, beginning with slapping the arms to increase circulation.
The final signal that morning has arrived is the yapping of a small white dog in the next apartment complex. It is VERY annoying, and we are 6 floors up and about 50 yards from it. You can imagine what it is like up close!!!
This morning, we didn’t do much except get everything packed and ready for our journey. We walked to the Physics Cafeteria for lunch and were once again rewarded with a wonderful meal for only $1.50. This time I had sweet potatoes, a slivered root vegetable of some sort and a mixture minced pork (or beef) with corn and lima bean (or something like it). Michael had much the same meal except that the selected a very spicy chicken and potato dish.
After lunch, we caught a taxi to the airport. Arriving there, we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were actually on an “International” flight which meant that we had to fill out additional papers and go thru immigration screening.
While boarding our Thai Airline flight to Bangkok., there was a shelf of newspapers so I grabbed the “Bangkok Post”, an English newspaper. It was great entertainment to read about the Thai news, as well as to catch up on the US news. For instance, I found out that the Atlanta Braves beat the Marlins….pretty amazing that US baseball qualifies here as “news”. It was also interesting to read about the war in Afghanistan….especially from a “Non-US” perspective. It was actually fairly positive.
Our flight was fantastic and the Flight Attendants were beautiful, extremely courteous, and highly skilled at their craft.
We made it thru customs and were greeted enthusiastically by Simon and daughter, Matilda (Mattie). We walked out of the airport door and straight into a car park that held only one car….a bit unusual for an airport parking garage. Simon mentioned then that it was one of the perks of working for the Australian Consulate….special privileges at the airport!!!
He drove us back to their home, thru traffic that was backed up for blocks and blocks. Fortunately (for us) the side of the road was filled with street vendors and Simon patiently answered our questions about what each one was selling.
He told us that this particular area was a parking lot during the day, but as evening approached, the barriers, tables and cooking carts arrived, turning it into a food Mecca in the evening.
We entered their beautiful apartment and were greeted by Vera and their other daughter, Georgina.
Our dinner consisted of three tasty dishes….. Chicken with almonds, Massaman Curry and Sauted Greens.
Dessert was a dish of sticky rice with a sliced papaya on top….it was wonderful!!!
The rest of the evening was spent in constant talking, laughter and general frivolity. It is great to know that we can get together with these Christian friends and pick up exactly where we left off 25 years ago!!!