19 February 2009 | Bangkok
The Kreitzberg daughters chose the end of February to celebrate Christmas with the family. With little more than 2 weeks planning Mandy flew from NYC and Cassie from Whangarei, New Zealand. My passport had run out of Visa pages so Terry and I took the opportunity to visit the American Embassy in Bangkok and within 15 minutes I had 20 clean pages to fill. What a difference from the 6 week fiasco obtaining these same pages for Terry and Cassie in Australia!
Bangkok's official name is a whopping 43 syllables which translates roughly to "Great City of Angels". It is no longer just a messy 3rd world capitol, but has become a skyscraper modern universe of diversions and excesses catering to every indulgence from all night binges and shopping sprees to the old fashioned devout Buddhism of Siam (good actions bring good results, bad actions bring bad results). Thailand's third gender, Kathoey or lady boys, create gender-illusion through the magic of sequined costumes, big hair, & hourglass figures at Kathoey Cabarets. It's fun towatch them strutting their stuff down Khao San where street food abounds and backpacker hostels make living an inexpensive prospect. It creates an ambiance unlike any other.
Justly famous for debauchery, Khao San is also a charming neighborhood that never sleeps. The girls had not seen each other for a year and returned to the street for one last drink after they'd put their parents to bed at 2 AM. While enjoying an al fresco espresso and brandy, Mandy felt an arm squeezing her shoulder only to be confronted by a baby elephant searching for bananas, which they gladly purchased for 20 Bhatt (50 cents). Unfortunately their habitat has succumbed to developers and they must beg their dinner (along with their handlers) on Bangkok's quieter late night streets.
After a whirlwind 3 days of testing Bangkok's limits we flew to Phuket to board Sora and explore her gorgeous islands.
Cheers to family! KK