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breatheDEEP goes global - Roadtrip report #1


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Hello from Hong Kong,

I will write my little travellog and post it whenever I can get access. Photos from my trip are posted at www.jaggedweb.com.

Meet friends Naphalai and Mary, and Nee:

I am a computer geek and I talk with people all over the world on the net. Months ago, I met a Thai woman who is working in HK on the internet. I was curious what her life was like, so we talked over a period of months, and became very good friends. Her name is Naphalai. She wants to marry me. :-) She does not own a computer, but talks to me on a computer at her best friends place. Her best friend is named Mary, and operates a small internet shop out of her apartment. Mary also teaches computer classes out of her apartment.

Napha works in HK because she can make twice as much money there as she can in Bangkok. The average pay for office type work in Bangkok is about 7000 baht per month or $175.00/month Napha makes about $500.00 per month in HK. She gets two weeks vacation every year, and her employer has to pay for a round-trip plane ticket so she can return home during her vacation She is divorced and has 2 children, a 10 year old boy, and a 18 year old girl. Her ex-husband has never paid child support. Napha sends money to her sister to care for her children, and to operate a small business.

Napha was trained in Thai massage at Wat Po(a famous Buddhist temple) when she was young, and later became a teacher there. She worked hard and saved her money and opened a small dress shop in Bangkok. Her business catered to wealthy chinese people from HK. Her business was wiped out during the Asian financial crisis of 1997. One of her clients was a wealthy chinese woman who ran a small retirement home in HK. This woman offered Napha a job. Napha works 16 hours per day, and has one day off per week. Naphas job is a caregiver at a small retirement center. She takes care of the elderly. Thai massage is very good for joint flexibility.

Napha does not speak english and has her friend Mary act as an interpreter. Since we met, Napha has been studying english. Napha offered to show me around Bangkok, so since I decided to make this little trip I have been studying Thai. It is very difficult for me, because it is a tonal language. There are five different tones, and the same word can have five different meanings. For example the word "mai" can mean "mile", "new", "No", "silk" and "...,right?". If you do not get the tone right the person you are talking to looks very confused. I love Thai food and I have been practicing speaking Thai at local Thai resteraunt.

Napha and I each have have phrasebooks and dictionaries and about a 100 word vocabulary. This should be interesting.

On the road:

Day 1 was spent on the plane. I flew from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver British Columbia in about an hour. 3 Hour layover then 14 hours on Canada Air to Hong Kong. 14 hours is a really long time to spend in a coach seat. Arrived on time in HK local time 6:55pm.

Naphalai and Mary met me at the airport. Mary was going to be with us for a day or two to interpret, but a friend of hers is getting married in the UK and sent her a plane ticket as a suprise gift. Oh, well. This is going to be REALLY interesting.

Regards from the road,


PS - My other friend Nee lives in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand, and I will be seeing her in a few days. She is an elementary school teacher who wants to improve her english.

Interesting Links:

Wat Po, The Temple of the Reclining Buddha:

http://thailandforvisitors.com/central/ ... watpo.html

Thai Language, a few phrases for visitors:


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What a great trip, please keep us posted.

BTW, are you getting married????

No I am not getting married, even though Napha is trying to change my mind. We are just friends.



PS - You do have to love a gal that responds to "What if the cancer comes back?" with "No problem, we will move to a smaller apartment and I will take care of you... I will be the bread-earner". I think she meant breadwinner. :-)

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