Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm leaving on a jet plane

This is a fairly gloomy day for Nut and me. In a few hours I'll hop a taxi to the airport and begin the long, arduous trip back to the states. We've been saying goodbye for at least the past week and we're both feeling pretty bummed. The weather here in Bangkok, usually stiflingly hot and humid at this time of year, has been appropriately gloomy too. Chilly and windy with overcast skies, very untypical but oh, so easy for this falang to feel comfortable. I've been thoroughly enjoying it although my feet are actually cold as I sit writing this. I'm so used to being in hot climates that today's 70 degree temperature actually feels a bit on the chilly side. Reality will undoubtedly hit with a vengeance when I get back to Oregon. I'll probably end up using my down sleeping bag at Tuli's.

Our gated yard on Soi 4 Samsen Road
I'll also miss the fantastic food available a short walk from our gate. The area of Banglamphu is a paradise of sidewalk cafes: we have a world class tom-yum kitchen nearby, and another that sells the best koy teow pet (duck noodles), and yet another that boasts the best som tam (green papaya salad) I've ever had. But you're heard me rave about Thai food before. It's going to be a huge disappointment to be thrust back into the world of American restaurant food.

The entrance to our place

Looking on the bright side, I'll soon be back with family, visiting with my little grandson Harper and dear friends Max and Alice in Eugene. I'm sure Harper will be in command of many new words and skills. Tuli tells me he's learned how to swear and that I must watch my language. Wow, that's gonna be tough. I could manage that once upon a time -- had to when I worked at KBBI, our public radio station LOL. I'll get to read him stories and take him to the park. (Actually it's me that gets taken to the park in his wake -- he runs all the way.) That'll be fun.

Also, after weeks of searching I finally managed to find a motorcycle on Craigslist. Tuli and I will drive down to Myrtle Creek, an hour south of Eugene, on Saturday to pick it up. It's the one I wanted, a 2008 Suzuki DL650, equipped with a full set of touring luggage and heated grips for those colder mornings. It also has brand new tires and chain/sprockets so it should be road worthy and ready to travel. Seeing as I've committed to buying it I hope I like it. I'll tour around Oregon to familiarize myself with the new bike and then maybe I'll journey south to California and even Arizona. As usual I have no definite plan and don't need one. That's one of the nicest things about retirement I must say. There are a few people I'd love to visit; Demenshea in Sacramento, Kay & Bruce in Redding, Kim and Gordon in Bisby, Peggy and Dan in Bellingham. One thing I am sure of is that I'm not going back to Alaska until the snow's gone. I just read in the Anchorage paper that 6-9 inches are on the way to southcentral Alaska. I get colder just reading about snow. No thanks! But I'll be happy to be back in Homer for the outrageous spring and summer, the season when Alaska is the absolute best place in the world to be.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I have one other little acquisition to report: I bought an old Dodge Caravan from Kevin, long time Alaska buddy and card holding member of the Dull Men's Club. I want to fix it up a bit and use it to "camp" in my son's cul-de-sac on Cheryl Street. It will give them some privacy from snoopy in-laws (namely me), provide me all weather transportation when I visit and serve as a back-up vehicle for Tuli and Shannon.

I reckon it's time to end this blathering. Nut is cleaning up to go to lunch. I'll take my bags along and pick up a taxi from wherever we decide to eat. My 6-month long Thailand adventure is finally drawing to a close. It's been wonderful being here and it's especially difficult to make my exit this year because of how close Nut and I have become in that time. But it's time to go. I've only got to throw this Netbook into my day pack and we're literally out the door.

See you on the other side.