I’m in LA but my body is still in Bangkok.
My head is at currently my favorite coffee shop, which is a wine bar but is for laptops and mugs during the day. It’s mostly filled with locals, the same ones.
Did they miss me?
And does Jet lag make you feel this sick?
I know I know, stay hydrated, get sunlight etc.
Turns out the Barista lived in Hanoi, so he knew how I was feeling, said it took him weeks to get back on PST…
Then again, I was only gone 10 days.
We were in Xiamen, China for 24 hours starting Saturday, leaving the Hotel only for a long walk around the waterfront. Everything there is pristine and proper, but felt lacking a certain vitality. Maybe I was just grumpy because even though I was technically online, there was no access to Gmail/Twitter/News.
What you quickly realize is that your internet connection is mostly about connecting to the same 5-10 websites plus your inbox, looping ad infinitum.
At the Embassy of the West, Starbucks, we used Google Translate to help us order. But then, how do you pay?
Some places had touchscreens where they accepted WeChat, a few other apps and even Facial Recognition for payments. This is the tech they talk about which “leapfrogs” the U.S. and a whole generation skips the early iterations and goes right into the future.
It still helps to go low-tech, too. Always print out your itinerary when you travel like this, helping with cabs, customs, and even our hotel check-in...
And what you forget about travel is it’s a lot of waiting in lines. Waiting to depart. Waiting for luggage at the carrier. In this portion of travel, you are simply a passenger. Your job is to sit, or stand, and sometimes something else hurtles you toward a new destination.
These aren’t the photos you show people.
A good book helps.
I ripped through “The Beach” while there, and picked up Ray Dalio’s new book “Big Debt Crises” https://www.principles.com/big-debt-crises/, which you should read if you want to see a preview of what’s to come. It’s free on his site. Not to be doom and gloom, but it is rather its fascinating to see the cycles, the big picture of how markets play out over time. And Dalio is the pro.
The plane back took us north out of China towards the pole, right near Pyongyang, not that you could see anything below from the sky. Although at that altitude, you could see the rim of the earth, the curvature, a subdued red line of the sunset, and I slept as we flew back stateside.
And then I woke up and it was night again.
But I was still high off of the energy of Bangkok. Its vibrancy, its hospitality, its life on every corner, every nook, and cranny filled with sites and smells. So I went to sleep feeling good, only to wake up at 3 A.M. in a daze and had to rough it until about 6 this morning.
And I'm thinking that the only cure is to head back to the “Santiphap” room, which means “peace” with the big curtains and stone floors with pillows and tiny metal fans on the dresser.
Maybe have a drink, some bright orange Thai Tea with condensed milk.
And some noodle soup, preferably spicy…