April 28th, 2009


Vacation Update from Bangkok

It's apparent that I've been a miserable failure at regular journaling, but I've had a wonderful vacation. From Hong Kong to Viet Nam to Bangkok, with only Singapore to come, before the long flight home. I'm enjoying sights and sounds and smells and the cruising experience. We've had cruises aboard Windstar, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland American, Silver Seas and Crystal Cruises, and nothing touches the splendor, service, enrichment lectures of Crystal. I'm afraid we're hopelessly spoiled.

We enjoyed the beauty of Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong, and were duly impressed by the wealth evident in that city. Viet Nam was revealing for its relative underdevelopment, for its pride in securing its independence and for the chaos of its traffic. There is great energy in the country, and it will achieve much as capitalism evolves. Thailand, translated as "The Land of the Free," is probably the most interesting to me, as it has never been conquered, and is a constitutional monarchy. Most intriguing is its enterprise and the role the army has played in stabilizing the country. The politics in each country is more than a non-native speaker can hope to understand in brief visits, but that, the demography, the evolving economic systems and the background of my American view of representative democracy, has made these visits all too brief. I regret not having the time to meet nephrologists in these countries, as they are coping with problems that our wealth makes it so much easier for our nation to cope.

The Crystal cruising experience is second to none. We are very, very fortunate.