Thailand The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Part 1
Believe it or not, I knew nothing of Thailand. Saw it once in a travel book with pictures of temples and ladies in costumes made of gold. Travel to Thailand it read, beautiful beaches, islands, mountains and much more. No, not me, not much of a traveler
am I, just a home body who loves watching television and eating and well you know, a cold beer.
I can honestly say I was just wasting my life away, not dating much even though I was a single man. But who would even look at a man 48 years old, five foot six and one hundred and eighty five pounds large and not in very good shape either. I could not walk up a flight of stairs without having to catch my breath at the top. Sad really, I was really not looking at the big picture of my life and there was no light at the end of my tunnel.
Then one morning I got the call from my sister. She is the only part of the family I have left besides my father. Our mother had passed away ten years earlier. Julie had the sad news of telling me that my father had had a sudden heart attack and was found face down by the neighbor in his backyard with the garden hose still in his hand. He was a good man with a very good sense of humor, but now it was just my sister and myself left in the family. Julie was much younger than me – 38 years old, ten years younger than me. She would tell me stories of traveling all around the world. Very adventurous was my sister. Active, slim and a very good looking woman. She met and married an English gentleman on one of her travels to London. Happy she is, the man has money and they would share time in the United States and fly back to London every six months.
After the funeral and saying goodbye to my beloved father, I realized I had no-one to visit. He was someone who was very close to me and I could share anything with him. With my sister now very much in love and most of her time spent with her husband, who was I going to be able to talk to? Stan, my sister's husband, had a talk with me at the funeral. Being a gentleman, he offered me the chance to travel with him and my sister to London. He said he could get me a job to keep me busy, and being that my father had money from stocks and bonds and a valuable house and cash to give both to me and my sister, Stan thought it would be a good time in my life to make a change, do something different after all life was short.
You should travel and see the world, he said. Why waste your life away in front of the television? Come visit us in London, invest your money, start a little business. Why even work at all? With the money you get from your father that should put you around half a million. Throw your savings on top of that and you should be able to retire with a small business investment to keep the cash flow coming in. Stan was right. I did need a change and his words rang true.
My father and I were much the same, both of us overweight, short and not very active. Our best times together were barbequeing steaks and hot dogs while watching football games. He was only 74 years old when he died and I could see myself ending up the same way.
Stan I asked, you used to travel a lot before you married my sister. Where would you go for a nice relaxing vacation? Stan looked at me for a while and with a slight smile on his face he said Thailand. I thought to myself, funny, I just saw a travel brochure on Thailand. Maybe that's it, maybe this is fate. Thailand it is. Stan said he would set things up for me and that he had friends there who could help me. Gilbert, says Stan, I will book the hotel and plane flight for you.
Gilbert, that's me. Even the name kind of fits me.
Julie came running over to me, breaking away from some of the quests that came to pay their respects. She was a little put off by me going to Thailand and thought it was not a good idea. At least not for my first trip and she wanted me to see Europe. She even offered to travel with me and show me some of the beautiful areas of Spain and Paris. But Stan would have none of that and looked at me with a smile. No he tells Julie, Gilbert needs this. Trust me. I have friends there and he will be well taken care of. Sounds good to me, I have four weeks vacation from my company and now is a good time to use it. Maybe I’ll never go back to work and fly to meet Stan and Julie in London afterwards? I am 48 years young and now is the time I can see another country. Now is the time to change my life. Now I am excited.
Stan, where is a good place to stay in Thailand? Do they have good beaches? Do you know any good beaches there?
Well first you will land in Bangkok, maybe stay there for a few days. You can set things up for yourself from the hotel. They have all the information you need, island trips, mountain trips, everything and anything you want to do, it's all there.
Where is a good place to stay Stan? What hotel would you suggest? Not too fancy all right, I just want something simple with good restaurants close by. Maybe some place to have a cold beer. Do they have good beer? Can I get a hamburger? Sorry to ask dumb questions, but I have never been anywhere.
Sure Gilbert, anything you want, they have it. It is not much different than here in the United States. Many people speak English and you will find people very helpful and kind. I have just the place for you to stay. Not expensive and cold beer around the corner, you can even get a hamburger most every where you go. There's an area in the city of Bangkok called Nana and I will book you a room at the Nana Hotel.
Nana…Wow, sounds kind of fun
Sure is my friend, it's a good place to start and meeting the people there will sure change your life.
Man I have no idea what I am getting into, but I feel so young with excitement just thinking about going to some other country and meeting, seeing and talking to a different culture.
So off I fly to Thailand and what happens to me there is my story to tell, because my life has changed for the good…the bad…and the ugly.
Great start, where’s part 2?