Arrival: Bangkok

Bangkok October 6

It’s been thirty years since I’ve been to Bangkok. Like all of us, it’s changed a lot. The skyline sprouts a lot more high-rises. The traffic is, if anything, worse. This is where the express water boats come in handy: a cheap, fast, and convenient way to zip up and down the Chao Phraya river, BKK’s main artery.

Man, it’s hot. And humid. We’re talking Turkish bath conditions. Good thing we’re both lovers of intense heat. We’ve been taking it easy for our first few days here. We noticed that Thais seemed to like the colour black as a clothing choice. Then it struck us both at the same time that this must be mourning attire for the death of King Bhumipol, the much-revered monarch who passed away nearly a year ago. Great preparations are underway for his upcoming cremation, including squads of black-clad citizens cleaning the streets.