Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Hong Konger!

This morning at 5:30AM I left my landmark signature-series room at the Hotel Miami in Bangkok. It sure was budget - but not bad. It's close to a skytrain line and had air conditioning. The sheets may have had bugs though. Not the first time that's happened during beecherinnepal.

If I'd had another day in Bangkok, I'd have gone to the National Museum of Forensic Science.

I bought the electrical components Ecosystems needed. There's only a very limited selection available in Kathmandu. A lot of the Nepal expatriates fly through Thailand, ergo Bangkok is known as a place to get stuff on your way to or from Nepal, electronics included. I got the parts at the Ban Mo electronics market. I bought the polypropelene film capacitors from a man who only sells capacitors. He and his grand daughter sit behind a counter full of capacitors. You can buy a cap the size of a novelty Foster's beer can from him, if you want.

The rest of the Ban Mo market was just as awesome and odd as the idea of a family store only selling capacitors. There were huge rack-mount stereo systems thumping, guys soldering surface-mount chips onto boards, and cute girls behind the counters trying to get you to buy their MOSFETs - I can barely describe the joy. And the selection was off the wall. It was like five digikeys happening all at once, in person instead of by catalog, inside a music video's slow-motion walking-through-the-club scene.

I posted the electronic components from the Bangkok airport. It made me feel like an international businessman of mystery - dropping packages of highly specialized parts in the mail to Shangri-la as I catch a jet to Hong Kong.

Speaking of Hong Kong, I'm writing at a park bench there presently. The park is clean, thoughtfully landscaped, and free. The traffic is above orderly. The train from the airport was fast and service was excellent. The people are snappy dressers with the newest cell phones. Everyone seems to be going somewhere or doing something intently. This last bit is in sharp contrast to Nepal. Nepal loves a good sittin' around, doin' nuthin.

I'm staying at the Miradore Mansions - just up the street from Chung King Mansions. Miradore is supposed to be like Chung King, but with fewer mysterious deaths and less of a firetrap. It still took me four different flights of stairs to get from my guest house on the 12th floor down to the ground. Cosmic Guesthouse seems nice. It's behind a cage door and has a very Hello Kitty theme - all pastel blue, all walls tiled.

I'm going to get something to eat. In two days I fly to Xi'an to see the terra cotta statues with a friend from school, Jeff. A mutual friend of ours is also coming. She's coming from Beijing, Jeff's coming from Xining, and I'm coming from Hong Kong. Very exciting times.


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