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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

Arrival in Bangkok

The service on Singapore Airlines was very good. It was a beautiful sight getting into the Singapore Airport. Pete was waiting for us. As we drove back to the house I noticed the difference of cleanliness of this city and Jakarta. What a difference a one-hour flight can make in the environment. Most of the night we talked with the Bones about our trip to Indonesia. The next day Pete and I went into the city to arrange our trip to Thailand and Burma. As always the day starts with a lot of sunshine. First Pete took me to the Burmese Embassy where I was promised by the Burmese consular staff in Washington that the first Secretary of the Burmese Embassy in Singapore would have Lu Lu's entry visa ready for Burma.

In Washington they had given me the name of the First Secretary. When Pete and I went to the Burmese Embassy and asked for the first Secretary we were told that he had left for Burma three months ago and there wasn't a single document in the Embassy for Lu Lu's visa. I begged them if they could do anything to help in providing Lu Lu with a visa to visit Burma, but I was told it would be much better for us if we applied from the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Very disappointed, I left the Embassy hoping that Lu Lu would get her visa in Thailand from the Burmese Embassy. As our flight was arranged the next day for Thailand, Pete suggested we have another night out together at our favorite night-club. We stayed there until 1:30 in the morning and after that we went to the Hilton Hotel for a coffee snack. When we walked into the house Lu Lu was awake. I told Pete before when we got home he'd better do all the talking. Pete and I had a good time and the atmosphere was very nice. I enjoyed every minute of it, being around those good looking girls.

With just a few hours of sleep I had to get ready for our flight to Bangkok. As before, Pete took us to the airport. He would meet us when we would return from our trip to Thailand and Burma.

Our flight to Bangkok was very smooth and the service with Singapore Airlines was as good as we had with all of our other flights with them before. I drank some white wine during the flight hoping I would fall asleep for a little while. Before I knew it we had arrived at the Bangkok Airport. Lu Lu said that I fell asleep during the flight. The customs inspectors were very easy on checking our luggage as they were on all other airports before. Our friends were waiting for us and they called for a taxi. I had never met those people. They were old friends of Lu Lu she had known when she lived in Burma. Zep, Lu Lu's girlfriend who came with her step-son to the airport, was married to an Indian who had two teenage children. Zep worked at the United Nations in Bangkok as a secretary for a Polish Diplomat. We never went to her house or met her husband during the eleven days we spent around Bangkok. Whenever we asked about him she always said he was Hindu and was praying right now.

Zep was a very nice lady. When she found out that we wanted to spend some time in Thailand she called us in Singapore and told us that she could get a very reasonable motel room for us. When she met us at the airport she had booked our motel room already. The ride from the airport to our motel room was a little scary. The way this taxi driver was driving I thought I was still sitting in the airplane. I don't think he knew what speed limit meant in his business. In fact, there was no way that he could tell how fast his taxi was going — there was no speedometer or anything at all. Just a bunch of cables hanging in front of him. When I asked him to slow down a little bit he laughed and said he wasn't going that fast. What a ride! It was hot and dusty on the road and all the windows in the taxi were wide open. We were glad when we arrived at our motel. The motel Zep had booked for us was nothing fancy. The cost was ten dollars a day with air-conditioning and there was even a refrigerator in the room. We had a hot plate to make our coffee in the morning. We had daily maid service to change our bed sheets and clean our room. She even washed our dirty clothes.

The street where our motel was located was very narrow. In fact, all the streets in that neighborhood were that way. Two cars were not able to pass each other on those streets.


CONTINUED: Our first day in Bangkok
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora



  Contents:
- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index