Monday, May 31, 2010

In Bangkok

We arrived in good order from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The plane was not full but plenty of travelers. Had a great conversation with a couple from New Zealand. Her parents live at Phuket and she is a public relations professional (graphic designer). They had been in Bangkok and reassured me that things are now fine . . . they are very fine.

Things are normal in Bangkok except for the shopping area burned and the lack of Westerners. MBK is open as are markets and stores. I haven't seen anybody with a red shirt, or yellow for that matter. I've seen no military presence except at the Siloam MRT stop. Even Lumpini Park is empty, cleaned, and open. So, things are fine and we are safe.

The students and I were talking about the fact that Bangkok, as is the case for most Asian cities, is so retail oriented. There are places to shop everywhere and I do mean everywhere. We went to Wat Po yesterday and then made our way to Chinatown. In Chinatown it's hard to walk down the street because of street vendors of all sizes shapes and descriptions. It's just hard to imagine.

Food is also interesting, as anyone who has been here knows. So much wonderful food is prepared on the street. Right outside our places is a guy who grills beef, pork, and chicken on sticks for 10 baht a stick. I eat a simple lunch, rice or noodles, and then a few sticks from him in the evenings. Of course, Cheap Charlies remains a Bangkok fixture and is about 100 feet from Suk11 where we stay.

All enjoyed Wat Po and the reclining Buddha. The water taxi ride was first rate and a new experience for the students.

Today we drive 2.5 hours almost into Mynamar for the Tiger Temple, a temple that is the home of orphaned tiger cubs who grow into adulthood who adopt and care for them.

Tomorrow, we will visit Young and Rubicam and Oliver Kittipong to discuss public relations and integrated marketing communication in Thailand. Thai people have a very different view of acceptable public communication.

Thursday we will visit a contact of mine, via Dr. Joe Flory, who works in foreign affairs for the Thai government.

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