Boy, I guess I shouldn’t post stuff when I’m sleep-deprived, low blood-sugared, hot, and overstimulated.
So yeah, the diving was fantastic. Seth, my AOW instructor, was low-key, professional, but not blinded by some of PADI’s nonsense (those of you who are certified know what I mean). I also met Tom, the staff videographer. He just got certified (as a divemaster, as I recall) last year, and now he’s experimenting with a career as an underwater videographer. He eventually wants to “stop taking pictures of tourists,” as he puts it, and do more serious (and better-paid) work for Nat’l Geographic and the like.
As for my travel plans, I finally sorted out my flight home: I’m coming back June 12. I forget what time my flight lands, but (for those keeping track) it’s the same as the original flight – only the date changed. So the rest of my itin looks like this:
April 29-May 20: Myanmar
May 20-25: Siem Reap, Cambodia
May 25-June 11: Bali/Gili Islands, Indonesia
June 12: It’s looking like a few hops – Bali/Kuala Lumpur/Bangkok/Seoul/JFK. I’m trying to figure out something more sane!
Changing topics, today I spent the day running errands in Bangkok. I really disliked the city the first time I came (with DrC in ’98) and then when I arrived on this trip. But as I’ve spent time here it’s started to grow on me. I still wouldn’t want to live here, but it’s an intriguing place. Every kind of person and place is piled on top of each other, New York-style. Many people are on the make, but most are just going about their business. I think there’s a logic being applied here that I haven’t yet clued into. Bangkok seems to prefer chaos and complexity over simplicity. For example, public transport: there are like 15 different kinds of buses (all offering different conditions and following different rules), at least 3 different kinds of riverboat transport, plus taxis, tuk-tuks, saangtaws (hough fewer than in Chiang Mai), a metro, *and* the Skytrain. Getting around is a bewildering mess, but once you get used to it the chaos blends into the rest of the crowded, oppressive city.
Anyway…those are some random thoughts. I need to go grab a bite and a beer, pack, and get to sleep. We’re leaving for the airport at effing 4 am.
I think I’ll be able to log on from Burma. We’ll see!