Bangkok Tuesday, home Wednesday! 2/20/2007 and 2/21/2007

Hi All,

I am now home in Illinois, with a cat on my shoulders and another in my lap. My flights home were long and tedious (something over 24 hours of travel time), but no problems. Except that for the third time in a row, American Airlines lost my luggage. They're getting better though, they did manage to put one of my bags on the plane this time. Seriously, don't fly AA if you want to get your bags on time! Pretty incredible the way they operate.

Tuesday: Bangkok. Last day, and it was a fun one. Anne and I took a Thai cooking class! We went to Baipai Thai Cooking School, run out of a converted house and very nicely set up for cooking classes. We did our work on the lower level, which was open air (great breeze supplemented with perfectly-placed fans). Ten in the class, primarily Aussie tourists, with a couple from Denmark and us two Americans. The master chef spoke little English, but she had an assistant who was an able interpreter. We really learned quite a lot about ingredients and preparation methods, and reasonable substitutions for the more Thailand-specific ingredients. For each of our four dishes (Chicken in Pandanus leaves, Prawns in Tamarind sauce, Roast Duck in red curry sauce, and Green Papaya salad) we first watched the chef prepare it, tasted hers, and then made our own. This was ideal, because it gave us the chance to adjust amounts of ingredients (translation for me, make it less spicy!) to suit individual preferences. We cooked our first two dishes, the chicken and the salad, then took a break to eat those; then cooked and ate each of the other two dishes. That was a nice way to do it -- we were getting hungry working with and smelling all those delicious things! We also learned a couple of vegetable carving techniques (and they had just the right knife available which I bought so I can practice here at home!). All in all a really fun and rewarding experience. (for anyone planning to try this yourselves in Bangkok, I do recommend this place highly, and so does Anne; she's done a course at the famous Blue Elephant, but says she really liked this one better, for several reasons).

All that took the greater part of our day; in the later afternoon we went grocery shopping and found a couple of the more obscure ingredients for me to take back home. Then Anne twisted my arm into going for one last foot massage (Anne heroically had one too). I do think I like the Thai foot massage the best! So relaxing and refreshing.

In the evening Anne and Jon had a Bible study group meeting, and I went along; potluck dinner first, then fellowship and discussion. A very nice group of people, I enjoyed meeting all of them.

Finally, I had to face packing, and still managed to get a few hours sleep before my alarm went off at 4:30 AM. It was sad to say goodbye to Anne and her family, and to Bangkok, but I'm sure I'll be back! And now it feels very good to be home.

Love to all,


Just a quick note, for those who might wonder . . .

The snow was completely gone from my car, so I had no trouble getting home from the airport. It was even a fairly warm day for Illinois in February, somewhere around 40 F.

My missing luggage arrived late last night.

I slept like a top from midnight until 7:30 AM -- no jet lag is a great thing.

My voice is finally starting to come back towards normal -- I can even sing a little.

And in case you didn't already realize it, I highly recommend Thailand as a travel destination. Beautiful country, fantastic architecture and culture, kind and friendly people, wonderful food, fun shopping, lots of things to see and do, and once the plane ticket is paid for, a pretty inexpensive place to go!

Love, Carlyn

Last updated 12/07. Copyright 2007 by Richard C. Morenus. Questions? Send email to