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What's happenin'. by Leah Jean
Sorry I haven't been on line for awhile but I was very busy a few weeks ago, out of the country last week, and very jet lagged this week. You see, I ran off to Thailand for a vacation. [The word "vacation" is such a misnomer though because it implies that you are relaxing. Hah!] There were a lot of preparations before going, like getting an updated passport; doing research on the country; buying things as new luggage, a camera, and a printer (needed copies of my passport, itinerary, etc.); and getting reservations. Plus I finally got around to making a Will just in case something went wrong during the trip. But this was something I've been meaning to do for awhile, especially since I am now separated and don't have any kids. So it was extra incentive to get my rear in gear!

I got home early last Sunday morning and I've been dealing with jet-lag and just plain tiredness since I don't sleep on planes well. Being on 3 planes (6 hours from Thailand to Japan, 9 hours from Japan to L.A., and finally 5 hours from L.A. to Baltimore) is exhausting. And having been on the other side of the world has really messed up my "inner clock". I still want to fall asleep in the middle of the day and wake up (even more so than usual) in the middle of the night. It's getting better though.

But, Janell, I did talk to Henry right before I left on the trip (August 13) and Mom and Dad were doing pretty good then. I need to call and check on them again some time soon. Henry said that Jeffrey was coming down to help out while Dad had his Carpal-tunnel Syndrome surgery. Henry also said that Dad has finally realized that he was going to have to move into an assisted living place. So they were starting to work on that. Unfortunately, with all the things that were going on at the time, that's about all I remember of my conversation on that subject. [I'd called Henry to talk about him being an executor for my estate if something happened to me.]

Please call Cindy or Henry if you want to know about visiting them.

As to the trip itself? Well ... that's a long story. :-) And I will try to get it out in bits and pieces because it was such an experience! There were good parts and not so good parts. Let's just say that a bad part was that I spent more money then I expected to. The good part of that is that I had a lot of clothing made for me while over there. That's one of the big tourist draws is to get clothes tailor-made cheaply. Also Thai silk is very popular and affordable. Well, I bought a couple of suits (with pants and skirts), a cocktail dress (silk), extra dress slacks, shirts (cotten and silk), and some accessories. Let's just say that it was good I bought one large piece of luggage to take with me that was empty going over there. It was pretty full coming back. But I really didn't mind spending the money for clothes over there since it was probably a once in a life-time opportunity. The bad part is that I have had a lot of laundry to do ... self-done and dry-cleaning both!

Oh, and if any of you are wondering if Thailand is a dangerous place to be wondering around in ... the general answer is "no". As long as you stayed out of certain areas of the country like the far southern tip and some of the borders areas around other countries. Thailand is surrounded by Laos, Cambodia, Burma, etc. so some of these countries have questionable governments or policies. But what do you expect from Asian countries that have "third world" economies? And some like Burma have some rather nasty dictatorships. Thailand definitely has a lot of poverty but is a democracy (albeit fairly new) with a monarchy of sorts still in place. But the people are friendly, probably due to the fact that they are about 93% Budhist which teaches tolerance and peacefulness. And the people like foreigners ... even Americans. [Unfortunately our political doings in the last several years have not endeared us to a lot of countries.] Plus Thailand relies a lot on the tourist trade so they make an extra effort to keep foreigners happy. But you do have to watch out for people who try to bilk you out of your money. Foreigners are generally considered "rich" and easy pickin's for sweet talking con-artists. It is hard to avoid the them. [Sigh.]

Well, enough for today. I'll ramble on more about my trip when the urge hits me.

Love,
Leah

 

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