Monday, January 11, 2010

Greetings from Thailand

Greetings from Bangkok! We just had a breakfast of papaya, pineapple, and watermelon (and rice, of course). We arrived safe and sound after 24 hours in the air. We never had layovers over a few minutes, so the flights all run together. Four airplane meals in a row was a lot, but we're thankful for smooth connections. We're not feeling jet-lagged at all, which is probably a terrible sign. We just had breakfast, but our bodies think its bedtime. That should hit us in a few hours! Mike is using words like 'non-sequitor' in complete sentences, which might certainly be a sign of jetlag for some people, but not Mike. Although earlier today, he was looking out the window and said very sincerely, "I'm curious about the unassuming man in glasses pictured on all the Thai currency."

We're going down to our first group meeting in a few minutes, so pardon the not-so-eloquent first impressions.

At the airport, before we even got outside, there was an older man and a small Thai girl, and they were discussing an arrangement, "a booking." He held her and leaned over far to kiss the top of her head. It seemed so outrageously inappropriate that I wanted to scream. But I didn't. I just stood there. I just stood there like everyone else.

It was a 30-minute taxi ride to the hotel, and watching the Bangkok streets at 2 a.m. in standstill traffic was certainly a culture shock. There were prostitutes everywhere. Everywhere. When we checked into the hotel (the Ibis Hotel, to give you an idea that it isn't some janky place), we were checking in next to an older gentleman with graying temples, a beer belly, and a faded polo. With him with a girl in a short denim skirt who looked like a child. I am ashamed to say that my mouth dropped in a bit. This morning at breakfast, there were several men sharing quiet tables with Thai girls that didn't look older than myself.

But what a joy it already is to be here, because for the first time in a long time, I feel like we're doing something about it. I can't wait to get to know the other team members and hear their stories, their ideas, their passions.



P.S. - Mom, Dad, this "we arrived safely" blog is for you, let's be honest.


Dad said...

And much appreciated... 'you learned well grasshoppa'.
Now go MAD (Make A Difference) !
Excited for you - stay safe.
Love, Dad

Matt Burke said...

Glad you guys made it safely! Now, do as your father says :-)

Mrs. Wenzel said...

Thanks for sharing your impressions with us as they happen. A great way to make us feel involved and engaged as well. Larry King was supposed to have a special on sex trafficking tonight, but it was pre-empted by the big stink of Harry Reid's comment about Obama during the campaign in 2008 that was just exposed in a book.