Leaving for Bangkok on a few hours notice because, surprise, I can get the required journalist visa for Mexico, for which I need to be finger printed at the Mexican embassy.
A little bit more diligence by the right actors would have saved me a lot of last minute headaches, but, fingers crossed, as I still have to get my passport back, it seems I will now be able to hang out in the media section at the Mexico International AIDS conference. Also, I will be a real journalist. Take THAT, second grade Dutch school teacher!
Up till now, at least, I’ve been feeling a mild form of dread for this upcoming trip. It has to do with the rather tumultuous last few months, the closing of a reasonably large project, but also very simply because it’s yet another move into the great unknown. Not just Mexico, but also after Mexico.
Driving from Bangkok airport to my hotel, looking out of the taxi window into the rainy night, I realised that part of the dread comes from the internal realization of the end of the mystery in travel. There is none left.
Not only is all information at your fingertips wherever you are, the information is so tangible, there’s almost no reason anymore to do anything but armchair traveling. Wherever you go, you meet the same people doing the same things anyway.
For me, this year so far, I’ve been on three continents and will take in one more, at least.
Back in 1991, before going to university, I spent a week with two friends on Crete (where I forever lost the desire and nearly the ability to drink Ouzo). Crete, on the edge of Europe, with me on my first flight since the 1970s, was as exotic as my travels got, in those days.
Now, with more budget airlines than inhabitants of a small independent nation, travel to anywhere in the world is so cheap and so common, nothing is really exotic anymore. How many people do you know who’ve visited Thailand? South Africa? Ghana? All truly exotic locations just twenty years ago.
I predict a time, not even a few decades away, where people will actually travel less, because of the lack of the challenge. Back to the local.
There is a (DDR) god!
Though he’s a bit on the slow side. Central Lat Phrao mall, in the north of Bangkok, on one of the subway lines, has a DDR machine, DDR Extreme (I was tipped off).
It’s in good condition, single games, four songs, cost 20 Baht, around 40 euro cents. Double games are double the price.
I sweated like a pig and was a happy man.
Jesus vs Hitler