Thailand: "Bah in Bangkok"

Miami, Florida

June 5, 2003

Dear Family and Friends,

Do you remember that optimistic quotation from MAD Magazine? "What, Me Worry?” Like Alfred E. Newman, it is my mantra for this summer.

I will not be cowed by bio-medical acronyms.

My spirit will not be tainted by that puerile color wheel emanating from the offices of Shrub’s henchmen in Washington.

Instead, I shall journey on to admire the lovely hues the world provides.

Call me “crazy.” The word in Thai is “bah.” So if that is who I am, so be it. Bah in Bangkok. That is where I shall be.

I am off to “The Land of the Smiles” on 16 June. I had also hoped to visit Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines. Let’s just say that I may be crazy, but I’m not nuts. Geo-politics such as it is, I must be cautious. Now is not a good time. Maybe never will be a good time. I am sad about that.

So, I will spend more time in Thailand, traveling and staying in one or two places for longer periods. I am especially looking forward to returning to Hua Hin, a lovely beach resort.

(Now you must really think I have lost all my marbles. “The guy lives five minutes from the beach in Miami, and he travels half way around the world to sit on a beach?” Trust me on this one; Hua Hin is not Miami.)

Anyway, I am mailing this note to give you ample opportunity to send me your comments, criticisms and cheap shots. I await them cheerfully. Just know that my tickets are purchased; I am standing by for seat assignments.

Please write. I will have lots of time to respond … from the beach.