Tsunami Birthday

December 26, 2006

Tsunami sign in Ko LantaNow that I am out of sequence, I thought I’d point out that it is a big day here in Thailand. It is the Tsunami anniversary. The photo to the left was taken in Ko Lanta, two weeks ago in the Tsunami zone.

It was difficult for me to understand how the Tsunami affected the Thais before I came to Thailand. The Tsunami was so unexpected and devastating that not even the royal family was spared casualties. While it has not had quite the same impact on the Thai national psyche as 9/11 did on the US psyche, it is close.

It has had a major impact on people’s view of the weather and travel. There is a new level of fear (respect?) everytime the news reports on rough seas. On the plus side, before the Tsunami, Thais did not feel welcome in Phuket. It was just for the tourists. Only after the tremendous loss of life (and tourism) did the Thai government start a campaign to encourage Thais to visit.

Dressed for dinner.On a more personal note: it is Soyan’s birthday and our last night in Thailand. Yesterday we went shopping and tonight the efforts bore fruit as Soyan dressed up for dinner. We went to some sushi place that is alleged to make the Japanese swoon. While the food was quite good, I did not see anybody actually faint. You can’t really trust reviews.

Tomorrow we go to Kuala Lampur, Malaysia to visit a friend and celebrate New Years. Then to the Philippines and we come back to the US of A. I can’t believe we’ll be home in just 3 weeks! The trip has gone so quickly and been so much fun!

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