Vientiane and Luang Probang, Laos: "Rain"

Bangkok

Thailand

July 29, 2002

Dear Family and Friends,

I am not feeling particularly clever or articulate at the moment. I am sad. I am leaving Southeast Asia after almost six weeks.

Cambodia - a wonderful adventure: ancient temples, unusual scenery, smiling faces and delicious food in a country struggling to regain its footing after years of war and torment.

Laos - it never stopped raining. I got so depressed I left early. I did meet several warm, helpful and soft-spoken people. I bought a beautiful golden silk shawl that I plan to drape over my piano. What I did see in Vientiane and Luang Prabang was inspiring scenery and architecture.

The full name of the country is Laos PDR. PDR stands for "Peoples' Democratic Republic" and you know what that means. Nevertheless, I made a few friends and plan to return sometime - not during the rainy season.

Thailand. I feel like I am leaving my home away from home. I am slowly getting oriented to Bangkok - this skyscraper of a city. And I am enjoying my "neighborhood" - small restaurants both on and off the street, shopkeepers and street vendors who recognize me, and the charming foot-massage girls who beckon day and night. I finally succumbed to one. What a luxury!

On the Internet I found a Synagogue not far from my hotel. After services, by chance, I wandered into a lovely school in a quiet neighborhood. Guess what they teach? Would you believe English and Music? Need I say more? I briefly investigated apartments in the area. “Hey, you never know.”

OK. OK. I AM coming home. But not before my flight to Istanbul and then to London to visit my Cousin Dorothy and her family.

Cheers,

Jan

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