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David D. Levine
18 February 2007 @ 02:59 pm
We're just about to leave our hotel in Thailand and head for the airport. Net access here is spendy but a friend gave me a card with 15 minutes of Intenet time left on it.

This part of the trip has been equally amazing but in different ways. All the McAfee people are here and we've made some great new friends. We got to ride on an elephant and I got a massage with hot rocks. I won an iPod by singing the Philosophers' Song from the University of Wallabaloon. Had drinks with the president of the corporation. Something less than half of the time has been spent in official business activities (necessary for the corporate tax write-off) but even that has been fun in its own way. Kate made up Buzzword Bingo cards for our table at the banquet yesterday.

Chickened out on eating street food after one too many warnings about the possible health consequences -- very unfortunate, because although the hotel's food has been pretty good it's been heavily international (mostly European but with some Japanese, Chinese, and Australian influences) and we only had two meals outside the hotel complex, so I haven't even had satay once and the pad thai we got on the buffet at one of the meal functions was very unexceptional. We have had two very good Thai meals though. We also learned that we really like mangosteens. Too bad fresh mangosteens are so hard to find back home.

It's been exceptionally hot and muggy -- all our clothes and papers are sopping. I've been seen in public wearing shorts and flipflops with my shirt unbuttoned to the waist, which is completely unlike me. Kate says she likes it, though.

A theme of the trip has been "just like Disneyland, but real." The night safari in Singapore was like the time we did the Jungle Cruise at night, but the animals were real. The trip by land rover up the mountain to meet the elephants was a lot like the Indiana Jones ride. And, sadly, the entertainment at yesterday night's banquet was reminiscent of the Enchanted Tiki Room.

We've used as many different forms of transportation as I can think of: air-conditioned bus, sauteyu ("two-row" open bus), taxi, tuk-tuk (something between a cab and a golf cart), boat, walk... didn't use a motorcycle taxi (climb on behind the driver and hang on for dear life) though it was offered.

Leaving on a jet plane in a couple hours. Back home 6am Monday, if all goes well. Play nice.