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Hello from Singapore
#1
Had to fly down here for two days because Thailand changed its visa laws recently. Visa on arrival you cannot get more than three times now and my whole passport is full with stickers from the Cambodian border. Fine, gonna see Kuala Lumpur, Hongkong, Saigon and a few more places with Thai embassies thas issue proper long-term visas.
Singapore, just a couple of miles from the equator it is, a beautiful place. Interesting mix of people from China, Malaysia and Indians mainly. Reminds me of Frankfurt, lots of Skyscrapers and lots of historical buildings, in their case from the English of course. Clean, harsh fines care for that. Just traveled a little on their subway, everywhere signs that promise about 500 Euro for smoking or 250 for eating. My hotel is in the night-life quarter, that looks more like Bombay. An ant heap of Indians running around, never seen crowds like that. Additionally, they seem to have kind of a national holiday. Large groups of them jump around in kind of swimming pants only, the bodies painted, beating drumms. Strange prices, pretty good food from the Indian vendors is one Euro, a beer four Euros.
The whole city is under a haze coming in from nearby Sumatera and Kalimantan where the Aborigines burn down a few rainforests to get fields. Clear sky on the plane yesterday most of the way down the Gulf of Siam, the last half an hour however, at 37,000 feet, it looked like London in November. On arrival, 50 meters visibility on the ground, the sun like a dark glooming orange with no power. And the people running around with face masks, as if that would help. However, it's far better this morning.
Tomorrow back home, via the new Bangkok Airport, build over the short period of forty years only. The area was known as Cobra swamp and is renamed "golden land", doesn't it sound way? Alledgedly the largest terminal in the world, possibly, the bigger airports of Heathrow and Frankfurt are a labyrinth of many terminals. Looks pretty, the new airport, but is obviously build in order to offer the maximum discomfort for the passengers. A few seats that were all taken yesterday though the airport was far from full with travellers, so you have to wait standing. Even the baggage trolleys are build such that one cannot sit on them. Extreme long ways, my guess is I walked two kilometers from the entrance to the boarding through several levels. Smoking rooms the size of private toilets, hidden somewhere, no signs pointing to them. Immigration counters far to few and understaffed, long queues waiting.
I don't know why airtravel is sold by ads as ultimate luxury when it is in fact as comfortable as a cattle transport and constantly getting worse.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#2
I went to Singapore a couple of years ago, to pick up my new ATM card from my friend in Atlanta, and do my 90 day visa run. Clean city, almost too clean. Almost too efficient. The only good looking people we noticed were some visiting Thais!!

Agreed, air travel is cramped and inferior, if you're travelling economy, which I always have. That new airport in Bangkok wants you to arrive THREE HOURS before flight time, and rush hour traffic could add an hour more. I swore off the inter-Texas shuttles of Southwest Air; just cattle cars, indeed: "Will the next 100 cows please shuffle into the next shuttle?" I could have done Houston-Dallas in the same time and comfort on a motorcycle, and had my own transport when I got there.

Long cross-ocean flights are torture.

I think I've gotten some of my wanderlust satisfied in the last nine years, and will be happy to stay in Thailand. We went to the highest point in the country yesterday (2,545 meters) and had a family picnic. That was cool. Literally. S2
I'm often wrong. But I'm not always wrong!
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#3
Traveling tends to depress me, but Asia always seemed like a cool place.

More Thailand than Singapore, since they have like a whole underground seedy asian gangster underworld. Right? S6
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#4
Quote:Fine, gonna see Kuala Lumpur, Hongkong, Saigon and a few more places with Thai embassies thas issue proper long-term visas.
You may get a nasty surprise when you'll attempt to get visas in these places, depending on your circumstances, which I do not know, of course.
Plenty of info and reports in Thai-related fora, but you probably know this already...
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
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#5
Just back from China myself.
"I detest the man who hides one thing in the depths of his heart and speaks forth another"
-Homer
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