The Big, Big City

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Bangkok has between eight and nine million people—about the same as New York City, where I lived when I was very young. I sort of expected it to be an Asian version of New York, but instead it feels even bigger, noisier, dirtier, and more chaotic. This is really surprising to me, because New York…

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Twenty-First Century Asia

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Our friend Jaa welcomed us at the airport in Bangkok and, after a brief visit to a local market, drove us to her house near the outskirts of the city. We took a short break to freshen up, then headed over to her mother’s home, nearby, to meet the family and have dinner. While Jaa’s…

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Back in the mountains

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That evening we were treated to a home-cooked meal in the home of a local friend of our tour director. The food was fresh and delicious. After that, we enjoyed another jam with the band at the restaurant. In the morning, we began our return trip to the southern part of the island, with a…

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Tragedy Of The Commons

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Five of our group opted to rise before the sun, walk the short distance down to the beach, and hire two motor-driven, outrigger canoes to see if we could spot any dolphins. There were four to a boat, so Karel and I shared ours with another couple not from our tour group. We glided out…

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Not quite so beautiful

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In the tropics, the trees are prolific litterbugs. As we’d walk down to breakfast, we’d always see the staff tidying up the gardens and grounds, but no sooner had they carried away a bushel of leaves and twigs and husks and blossoms from under one tree, than a little breeze would bring down another basketful….

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