Real and Sobering

I’ve not much to say about the horrific disaster in southeast Asia. It’s all been said. What makes it real for me is that I’ve been to a lot of those places. I spent months in Thailand in the late 80’s and have vacationed in Phuket twice (note to media talking heads: it’s pronounced “p-hoo-ket,” not “fooket”). I’ve sunbathed and swam the waters of Patong Beach. I was even there over a Christmas holiday, 1990. I once enjoyed a delightful stay of a few days in Penang, Malaysia. Passed through Bangladesh a couple of times. Not so great, that. Spent several days in Jakarta, Indonesia in about 1988. It’s on Java, not Sumatra, but you get some sense of the country and its people. While transiting the The Malacca Straits by ship between Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, I recall standing on the bridge wing watching the eastern coastline of the enormous jungle island of Sumatra go slowly by. Later, on our way to the Persian Gulf, we stopped briefly in Sri Lanka to refuel. It also turns out that a cousin of mine, an expert rock climber and mountaineer, with whom I just visited two weeks ago at our Christmas...

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More
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