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Newsletter » Letters from the past » Thailand 1994
Well, I suppose you are saying to yourselves that a letter from me is long overdue, and lo and behold one turns up!!! Sorry for taking so long to write, but things have been quite busy here over the last couple of months, and am only just getting time to catch up on tasks like letter writing. Somewhere in the midst of the papers on my desk is the last letter you have written to me, and if I stop to find it amongst all the other papers, I will never get this letter finished.

Marg and I have been well, and have just returned from a trip up into Thailand where we were for a week. Went to Bangkok for a couple of days and then headed up to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, which is in the northern part of the country and a beautiful area it is too. Full of country charm and artifacts, we spent on a few items and had a great time. Didn't go bungy jumping this time as that is in a different part of the country, but we went elephant riding returning back another way in a bullock cart before floating down the river on a bamboo raft. Quite a good day! We stayed in Chiang Mai for a couple of days, eating out at "Toms" restaurant, an American icon of Chiang Mai and the highlight of the trip was floating in the middle of the Mekong River with Thailand, Laos and Burma surrounding you - the Golden Triangle! We also checked out the Night Bazaar here, full of stalls and sellers and crowded as hell. Also visited a model village and saw the various activities that happen, as in weaving etc and generally had a good couple of relaxing days. People say that the roads in Thailand are so congested and yet we have never been delayed on our trips here - OK, maybe just the once, but then again, we usually stay in the Holiday Inn which is just off the main road from the airport. We like Bangkok though, and I like Pat Pong in particular, getting to know the place with the various Chefs here and learning how to have a good time without getting to involved or in trouble! My wedding ring was bought here and a nice sapphire ring for Marg was also procured and the food is never a problem with Thai cuisine being one of our favourites! We were able to take the trip because for the last two months we have been having an American promotion, with the menu changing every week, which meant quite a bit of work for us and a fair number of canceled days off that needed to be caught up on. Also the menu in the Coffee shop was changed so as you can see, there was enough going to keep me going.

Did I tell you that we also spent a couple of days up at Malacca? Had great weather and drove up ourselves from Johore Baru, driving up the back roads to see a bit of the country, ducking across to K.L on the last day for a very wet afternoon looking around and then straight down to Singapore in four hours on their nice highway running the length of the country. You just have to be careful and take a coffee break on the way down, as you are timed between toll gates and if you are too quick then you are fined automatically! You can also tell when you are getting close to Singapore, as all up the highway, drivers see you coming up behind pull across and let you pass and then continue with their driving, while closer to Singapore, you have Singapore drivers who feel you should not be going too fast, or I am important and I drive here, and do not let you pass at all! Very inconsiderate drivers! It is also much cheaper to get a cab or bus to JB and hire a car there as it is too expensive in Singapore. I have a Singapore license that I had to drive clean for 6 months for a permanent one, and considering I never drove in Singapore, my license was impeccable! Malacca is also a nice place, totally different of course from Thailand, with a bit of a Portuguese influence, all the houses are kept clean and in good repair and the people very friendly. That trip was only for three days, but well worth while. We saw the various historical buildings there, including the Stadthuys, the town hall, which is pink and probably the oldest Dutch building in Asia, and the Dutch Christ Church. During the Portuguese occupancy, St Francis Xavier came as a missionary and the fort, A'Famosa, was built which we also looked at and admired and then there are the bits of British buildings and forts floating around, as the British were here since 1795. I don't know, but we always seem to pick the nice places to go to and always tend to enjoy ourselves. One thing with the border of Singapore and Malaysia though, is that you can stroll across without any checks, - but be careful, as we got caught out on this one time and went across without getting the passports stamped (OK, so the directions for the immigration were not that clear as well) and then had a quite hard time in rectifying it next passage through!

Marg is well, having just completed one English Teaching training course that she did, and now waiting to go on another. She enjoyed the trip to Thailand, along with the earlier one we took up to Malacca in early May. Well worth a visit both places. Anyway, back to Marg, she will be starting another English teaching course in September, and this should enable her to be able to teach English as e second language while we are overseas.

What may be happening here? Well, - there could be a move coming up for us, as just a couple of days ago I sent my resume out to a few people, to start the process for a new contract. The hotel is very quiet now with renovations going on, the ballroom shut for renewing, and one restaurant closed for conversion. The Coffee shop is not doing much business, so there is very little for me to do at the moment. A lot of the time is spent placing information onto the computer, in which I have a couple of girls who are typing in information for me, so I am looking with the General Managers blessing, as by leaving I could save him quite a bit of money. In the meantime I have a couple of diving trips coming up which I want to be around for. I have already had eight days in Manado, Indonesia in early May on a diving trip, and have another five days planned for Sipidan, eastern Malaysia, at the end of August, but the one I am really looking forward to is one down to Papua New Guinea at the end of September, where we will be ship wreck diving from a live aboard boat. Should be a great trip, and something quite unusual. Will see what comes up in the job scene and see what we can work out.....

Willi and Marg