Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Today I went to get the Creatine levels in my blood checked in preparation for the MRI at the end of next week. If you remember (now pay attention) the contrast agent used to get those cool MRI pictures can increase the creatine levels in the blood with consequential danger to the Kidneys, so I need a normal level (of less than 100umol/l) before they can do my MRI. Unfortunately today it was 106umol/l so I had to check with the hospital to see if it would be OK, thankfully it is.
After putting the phone down I wondered if my higher levels of Creatine was due to a couple of days of increased exercise as Creatine is used by the body to supply energy to muscle cells (hence its use by athletes as a performance enhancer). A quick look around the web seems to suggest it might a little but normally after prolonged exercise. I must check with my doctors if it makes sense to hold of the exercise before MRIs in future (any excuse).
So next weeks MRI is on and then a week later I get the results.
Again the waiting game.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
The more recent studies from Scandinavia (not sponsored by phone companies) that show approximately 5 times the risk of developing tumours have "fixed" these methodology problems. These studies also showed a strong correlation between the side that phones were held and the side of the developed tumours.
A particularly disturbing finding from recent studies is the massively increased effects on children and young adults.
What's more using phones with headsets, although no longer posing a threat to the brain, does not remove the risk to the lower body from carrying the phone in the hip pocket. Studies have already shown lower sperm counts and damage to bone marrow in the presence of mobile phones.
So far we have no conclusive evidence for any of this, but I'm telling my family to use headphones whenever possible and to use a case which keeps the phone a little away from the body. Also I will not to let my grandchildren anywhere near mobile phones when I'm around.
I'll keep you posted while I'm still around to do so.
p.s. I have been using mobiles held against the left hand side of my head for over 10 years, the side of my tumour. Who knows?
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Like Moscow we had to do a lot through interpretation and I realized pretty quickly that the issues we had in Russia had more to do with culture than Language.
Thanks for making our stay so pleasant everybody, look forward to coming back to Athens again soon.
Saturday, 11 October 2008
with Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr and Tom Cruise (in a quite different role for him). It all had Steve Coogan playing an excellent role as a film director.
Plenty of fun ensues when everything goes wrong filming a war film in the Jungle.
Afterward we met up with some old friends of Carol's and mine from our days in Banking IT for a drink and some food. Given the current situation with banks you can guess what we talked about much of the evening.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
My expectation is that in November things will look much the same as before but then the Tumour will start hitting back. Given that situation we will need to find a next phase treatment in the new year. One option is to go back on to Temodal (Temozolomide) and hope there is still more to be had before the resistance sets in. Another option is to go directly to the 2nd line treatment of PCV (Procarbazine, Lomustine & Vincristine) .
A third option is looking for a promising Trial that is aimed at Grade 3 & Grade 4 tumours. Failing to qualify for my favourite TTF trial (as I was downgraded), there are some promising results being shown from DCVax-Brain a Gene Therapy Vaccine but unfortunately all the trial sites are in the US.
But then again I could be completely wrong about what happens over the next few months.
Even though I know that I have to take care if I am to stretch my life out a little, having spent the last quarter of a century working more than 40 hours a week continues to push me to take on more work than I should. I think I need to do something more drastic after the end of October, but before that I am committed to get a couple of jobs in Greece and South Africa done (I know, I know).
Friday, 26 September 2008
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
I got the results from the latest MRI scans yesterday and although there is no more shrinkage what is left is showing a lot less contrast. This is caused by less contrast agent being taken up by the tumour area and indicates less activity in the tumour. The bad news is that the current chemo treatment may have reached its limits for now.
Anyway the hospital tumour board has decided it is time for me to take a three month rest from Chemo. This should allow my body to regain some of its old strength and hopefully build me up for the next phase of the fight.
I'm obviously in two minds about this but I'm very thankful for the break.
Getting the results from the next scan (in November) is going to be pretty scary, but until then time to enjoy at bit more life.
Saturday, 23 August 2008
As usual with nearly all business trips you spend so much time in meetings that all you get to learn about your host country is through the corporate procedure and politics, through the food you get to eat and through the usually candid discussions you have with your colleagues.
So what did I learn about this little, but important, bit of Russia
- That it really is a tiny piece of a vast country spanning 11 time zones!
- Borsch (beetroot soup), Pelmeny (meat dumplings) & Blinis (russian pancakes) are good. In fact the food is great, except they use Dill everywhere except on fish.
- Vodka is drunk at the beginning of a meal.... and often in the middle and end too.
- Vodka is taken in one swig, and is proof of your ability to become a Russian (thanks)
- Corporate politics is worn on the sleeve
- You always know who the boss is, he/she sits at the big raised desk forming a T with the table at which the plebs sit.
- IT is about 10 years behind western Europe
- Red Square isn't
- There are lots of Redheads and Blondes in Moscow
- The Redheads are real
- There is more to the problems in Georgia than our press are telling us (hint: BP)
- Police corruption is so rife the citzens of Moscow have unnoficial fines lists so they know what the current rates are (10'000 roubles for a drink driving offence, cash of course)
- There are more billionaires in Moscow than any other city in the world
- That Moscovites don't know where their river (the Moskva) starts and ends
(just teasing guys)
- I can't understand one word of written or spoken russian
прощание для теперь москва
Monday, 18 August 2008
Leroy was a War correspondent who went on to become Executive Producer of ABC Nightline. Leroy had Colon cancer six years ago that was sent into regression only to reappear two years ago as a Brain tumour (then Lung and Spine). Those of us that read his blog knew that that his illness was terminal and that he was losing the fight over the last couple of months but it was still a shock to read the announcement. I feel like I've lost a friend even though we never exchanged a word in the time I subscribed to his blog and I'm sure that goes for all of the people who logged on daily to find out what was happening in the world of Leroy Sievers.
I wish you eternal peace Leroy, you and your blog will be sorely missed.
Monday, 11 August 2008
The pain has gone from Hip via my knee and it is on it's way out of my foot, seriously. I still don't know what caused it or why it moved, but in the middle of Chemo time all sorts of odd things happen (I had pins and needles on the scalp near the tumour yesterday, figure that out).
Amusingly my doctors, great as they are, also don't know what causes most of the oddities, they dutifully note down everything I say and make "mmm" kind of noises and then give me a very professional smile and say "anything else?".
For example, last week when I picked up my Chemo, I got a quick check up (Blood Pressure, Reflexes, Pupil dilation, the Ahh test and the Cough test) by an enthusiastic young doctor. After finishing, and telling me how fit I seemed (huh), he asked me if everything was OK (I always find that a bit of comical, asking a Cancer patient if everything is OK) I answered the usual "Yes, but" (when the answer should have been "No it bloody isn't, I'm dying you little pipsqueak") and then listed the usual complaints. When I reached "occasional annoying headaches around my left temple", he asked "do you get the odd headache just under the bone at the back of the Skull". I was stunned, "Yes, I do", I said, and then sat there quietly expecting to be enthralled by an eloquent explanation to these front and rear headache combinations. "Mmm, interesting" he said "I have another tumour patient with exactly the same condition" then he noted this down, gave me a very professional smile and said "anything else?".......
KRANKENTAGEGELD, INVALIDITÄTSVERSICHERUNG AND OTHER LONG GERMAN WORDS
These are words I didn't think I'd be paying too much attention to for a few years, but circumstances have changed all that.
In Switzerland, as pretty much all countries Europe, we have a set of social insurances which we pay into when we are employed and healthy so that we and/or our dependents have some income when we are not. The main insurances are old age and survivors (Alters- und Hinterlassenenversicherung or AHV) insurance and Invalidity (Invaliditätsversicherug or IV).
Because I am only working 30% at the moment I am receiving money from an (employer financed) insurance (Krankentagegeld) to make up much of the difference. This lasts for two years.
After a year on working less than 60% I can now claim IV (or rather must claim IV as far as the Krankentagegeld is concerned) . Being a social insurance the means filling out a ten page form giving your life history and waiting about a year (they say about 6 months but I am told it is about a year) before you get anything. Luckily the Krankentagegeld includes an insurance to make up the shortfall. Insurances for insurances, I suppose it is only to be expected.
So that will keep my financial security intact for the next year I hope. Then, I guess I'll be talking about AHV, 2. Saüles and no doubt more long words.
Legalese is a universal problem, and it doesn't matter how long you have worked with a language legalese can waste hours of your time. While working through all this insurance stuff I had to sign a 2 page agreement (Vereinbarung) full of complex sentences on what could have been written in 3 sentences of plain German (if their is such a thing). After spending nearly 30 minutes deciphering this mess I still couldn't work out whether I had to send one or both copies back, neither could my daughter (a very fine German speaker) or her boyfriend (a native Swiss-German). In fact the pair of spent considerable time arguing their opposite cases.
Saturday, 9 August 2008
One year ago today at around 7:30pm, and completely out of the blue, I collapsed with (what I call) my Big Seizure. I can't believe that a year has gone by, in fact I swear that the days are getting even shorter for me now. Anyway I should be happy, my tumour seems to be under control at the moment and I am pretty fit all in all.
I have my regular MRI Scan this week but unfortunately is more than a week later I get the results. I'm hoping for no tumour and a rest from Chemo. But thats probably as likely as our Kitchen being finished in 2 days.
Thursday, 7 August 2008
One of the fun things over the last couple of weeks has been cramming us all into our little party room for meals. I'm not sure Carol thinks the same.
Been busy on several work projects over the last week hence no other blog since the builders blog. It seems that most of my last week has been consumed by preparing a trip to Moscow the week after next. There is certainly a touch of the old Russia about getting a visa. The odd thing is that you have to get an invitation from, of all things, from your hotel.
Monday, 28 July 2008
Builders started tearing our kitchen apart this morning. The work should last 2-3 days .... and Pigs might fly.
Saturday, 12 July 2008
1-2 Prepare Moscow event, Dentist
3-4 New aquisitions slide set
7 Prep Friday call, Pick up Chemo, Goto Market Webcast
8-10 Paris meetings
11-12 Chemo starts - Phone conferences and desk work only
13-17 Heavy Chemo Days - Light homework when possible
18 Customer Meeting
19 Off to Gran Canaria for 7 Days -- Hoorah
Its amazing how much work you can get done in less than 3 hours a day :-)
As long as it gets no worse than this I'll be a very satisfied sufferer.
Monday, 7 July 2008
This is the initial diagnosis from last August (no contrast agent used)
Here was the shock growth only three weeks later before any treatment started.
This was six months, much radiotherapy and chemo later in March 2008. The battle was really on.
Finally in May 2008, we are just about back where we started. Next time we are aiming to see the tumour go up is own ****.
Friday, 4 July 2008
A couple of weeks ago I went to my dentist and she discovered that a cyst had formed under a broken tooth. So on Wednesday I had to go in for a "little Operation" (that word should have given me a hint).
When I got there the dentist he explained that he was doing this work rather than my normal dentist because he specialised in procedures where there was a lot of blood involved! He then explained the procedure, he told me that he would first remove the tooth and then clean up where the cyst was. Following that, because the cyst will have damaged some of the bone, he will use a granulate that uses calves bone to replace the missing bone and that would allow my bone to grow in its place. Finally a membrane made from collagen would be sewed in place (using 12 stitches, I counted em) to seal it off.
So after 90 minutes in the chair without any drilling or pain, I was packed of with a new appointment, antibiotics, antiseptic mouthwash and pain killers (in case I needed them).
I needed them about 3 hours later when the pain started and continued in earnest for the next day. On Thursday the pain has gone down a lot, but I looked like half a Hamster from the swelling which is just starting to go down now (Friday Night).
Looks like I'll be back to normal just as my next Chemo starts, Ho hum.
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Thursday, 26 June 2008
When I looked at the date today I was shocked that so much time had gone past, time I don't have to waste. It's funny how easily I have slipped back into the old routine of getting up for work each day, and jumping on planes for meetings here, there and everywhere and forgetting to spend enough time with family and friends. I've even noticed I'm not reading the Cancer news bulletins. Its almost as if my Tumour had never happened.
But that just isn't true; despite the improvement we saw 4 Weeks ago, I'm still taking Chemo to fight the little bleeder and losing a week in every four because of it, I'm still battling the feelings in my left hand side and still making mistakes with my speech. And today I suffered a small seizure after four weeks without any (and don't forget the pills I take to hold them at bay).
I'm convinced you have to fight Cancer mentally and physically if you are going to keep it at bay as long as possible, and that means reminding myself I have it, I must never forget it no matter how much I want to.
I think I understand why my doctors won't let me work at my day job any more than 30%, its because I have another job to do ... fight Cancer
Maybe I'll get back to my blog a bit more often too.
Friday, 6 June 2008
The tumour has definitely shrunk. After the last scan it appeared on 3 scan slices and now its only appearing on one. I reckon that it looks smaller than when it was diagnosed 10 months ago. Both Chemo Man and Professor Nuero were there to bring me the news this afternoon and they couldn't wait to show me the results. This is the first time in the last 10 months I almost cried with joy.
More good news; they are now happy to let me drive (although still recommend against the motorbike).
There is a down side to all this; given the excellent response to the Chemo and the minimal side effects (apparently) they are recommending 3 additional Chemo cycles to keep pushing down the curve. It took me less than 30 seconds to make the decision to continue (without feeling any pressure from Carol's "you bloody better"). I still have to way up the damage the Chemo is doing to me but that is damage I'll probably never get to see, so the choice is no choice.
I talked about increasing my working week from 30% to something closer to 100% and both Chem and Neuro shook their heads violently in unison, telling me that these results are almost certainly to some extent due to not overdoing it. So sorry work chums I'm under doctors orders to keep it down (however much it might hurt).
Now I'm going to sit down for Pizza and a glass or two of wine with a big smile on my face.
Monday, 2 June 2008
Well my next hobby started last Thursday when I bought a Pool for the garden. No, not one of those six lane jobs that you bury in the ground, but somewhat more than one of those splash pools we had for the kids. Its circular, 4m diameter, and about 1m high, allowing the whole family to have a good splash about from the inside rather than the outside.
So there we were in Jumbo (a Swiss DIY sub-superstore) and in no time at all had the box on our trolley complete with groundsheet, pool, sunshade and pump. I guess the pump should have been the first hint at lurking hobby, once I had realised it wasn't used to pump the pool up.
We had just started towards the checkout when we were hailed down and asked if we got all of our chemicals, Uhhh chemicals? The kind lady took us to the floor to ceiling display of granules, fluids and indicators all of which, it seems, are essential for the hygienic running of the pool. After scratching our heads for 15 minutes we opted for the Starter Kit and added 25% to the bill.
Things we did not observe in the heat of the purchase, No. 1:
- Unlike paddling pools (which are emptied down the drain at the end of the day), the water in a larger pool stays there! A continually monitored concoction of (mostly dangerous) chemicals is required to keep it as it came out of the Tap.
After spending much of Saturday reading up on Pool chemistry (yes it is a subject, but I won't bore you with the links) and performing a number of calculations I felt confident I could get my PH balanced, my Chlorine at the right level to prevent removing the skin of the bather, and sufficient anti-Algae to stop them going green.
So by Sunday we were ready to put the pool up which the manual confidently told us would take 30 minutes. First step, check the ground is level to prevent "Inundation". We had a good look at the ground and it looked flat, but when we started to fill the pool we found an 8cm difference from one end to the other.
Things we did not observe in the heat of the purchase No. 2:
- That water is heavy and with an above ground pool you need flat ground to prevent the pool bursting and sending 10 tons of water across your garden and carrying this years expensive plants with it.
Much of the rest of Sunday was spent digging up the garden to get it flat. As the sun went over the yardarm the pool was back in place and we were starting to fill it. By midday Monday (with a short break) the pool was full. This is another difference from a paddling pool.
Things we did not observe in the heat of the purchase, No. 3:
- It takes a very very long time passing 10,000 litres of water through the eye of a Camel, or something like that.
After Lunch on Monday the chemicals went in without event, probably due to my thesis work on Saturday (see study does pay off kids). Now it was time to attach the pump (used for circulation I've discovered), which needs electricity.....and needs to be switched on three times a day for 2, 4 and 2 hours. The extension cable and setting an alarm really doesn't cut it, does it. So off to get some outdoor cable, sockets and a timer.
Things we did not observe in the heat of the purchase No. 4:
- A purchase is always a beginning but never, never an end
Next installment: Garden Electrics including laying cables, measuring the pool chemistry for the regular (2 days - 2 weeks) additions, cleaning the pump filter (every 2 days) and changing it (every 2 weeks).
I wonder whether the nightly dream of being carried away stark naked on my bed by an unexpected inundation will ever stop.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
I must ask sometime why they do one set without contrast and a second (much shorter session) with.
My appointment to discuss the results are not until Friday week. This is my first MRI post Chemo treatment, so I'm quite looking forward to the results.
Monday, 26 May 2008
I guess I think about my disease several times a day. Sometimes its just when I'm taking my pills or when I accidentally see the hole in my head reflected in the mirror (or some kid stares at me just that little too long on the train), other times it is when I want to pop out and I know I have to to take a bus or rely on Carol to get me where I want to go. But none of these make me feel sad or depressed as they are just little life adjustments.
Today, though, I decided to let a colleague go to an important conference in my place. I would normally have been expected to attend this in my role, but I decided quite rationally to make sure this colleague started to take over my role more.
This was giving up on my career and it hurt!
I need to think about this....
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Apparently the contrast agent can upset the creatine levels in the blood, so I need a normal level before I go.Wasn't that interesting?
Yet another hole in the arm.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
"Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain [of Edward Kennedy] identified the cause of a seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe,"
Same symptoms, Same place, Same type (wish I could have waited until I was 76).
All my condolences to Mr. Kennedy and his family.
Might we see a Eddie blog?
To cut a long a long story short, visiting Parents, Siblings, Neices and Nephews is just about picking a couple of meeting places in between Peterborough & London.
Friday was spent at my In-laws, and after spending the morning at a drizzly Car Boot Sale (a favourite pastime of both Carol and her Mother) Carol's 2 sisters turned up with husbands and some of the Gardiner Nieces & Nephews. On the Smith's side (that's my side) we have the advantage that one my 3 sisters runs a pub in a little village near Hitchin, thus providing an ideal meeting space.
This is the first time that we have met our folks since my diagnosis, but it was really pleasent that nobody dwelt on the subject. It was a fun few days of reminiscing and catching up.
Love you guys.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
I have no idea what brought those on, but it has brought the average back up again : Bugger
Perhaps it was the stress of entertaining two Carol's at lunch :-)
Friday, 9 May 2008
My really cool birthday present from Carol finally arrived. It's a 110cm high Indoor waterfull black, iconic and beautiful (and about 120Kg). Impossible to describe the water effect, but the shape is a pile of square granite tiles each one offset from the one below. It reminds me of the Black thing on the cover or Led Zeppelin's Presence (except much bigger)
Weather has been great so I've spent a lot of time in the Garden watching Carol work :-)
Been at a conference in Athens this week, must have put on 4kg's (haven't dared to look) due to the fabulous food in great locations (Overlooking the Acropolis, Along the Seafront at Sunset, in a private Baroque museum)......The conference was OK too.
Oh yeah, and my health. since finishing the Chemo, nothing worth mentioning except I'm having less seizures and less headaches. In fact pretty much less of everything.
Someday's I go without a thought for my little pest.
Current Music list (a bit eclectic this time):
Portishead 3 - Worth the 10 years wait (but I'd like the next one a little sooner)
Loads of 80's Indie (Cocteau Twins, Belly, Eels, Garbage.......)
And a couple from Finland with odd instrumentation:
Gjallarhorn - Ranarop (Folk)
Le Sega del Cantro - Das Kekkonen (Jazz/Folk Duo)
Sunday, 27 April 2008
In around 4 weeks time I'll go in for my next MRI scan and if not much has changed I'll be put on hold for 3 months. And what are we actually waiting for? For me to start feeling more external symptoms of the tumour, for my hazelnut size tumour to go to walnut size, for a new pea or two to appear. If I am lucky things will be the same as the last MRI. What we are not expecting is a complete recovery.
After all these months of being opened up, radiated and poisoned for the sake of this hazelnut it seems kind of odd to just stop especially when you see that the treatments have had some kind of visible effect. Why not just blast it to hell? but that's not the way it works with Cancer is it. Is this the lull before the storm.
Over the last few weeks I have noticed that my right foot doesn't lift as high as I want it to thus causing me to trip up steps more often than I used to, and while doing some gardening today I had to put in considerable effort to remain standing when my right foot involuntarily rolled sideways. Add to that my writing problems and an increased problem with finding words when I want them and you can see who is winning the battle at the moment regardless of how much improved the inside of my head looked at the end of February.
It is going to be very difficult just sitting and waiting.
Saturday, 26 April 2008
The plus side was that we got to the after event restaurant earlier. The kids had chosen the Sultan, a Tunisian restaurant (couldn't find an ancient Egyptian close at hand) with excellent food (Mesa, couscous and other Tunisian specialities), authentic surroundings and friendly staff.
Thanks Amber, Kayleigh, Mario and Joss for a lovely evening evening out.
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Special thanks to Carol who spent best part of last week sorting the house out and cooking and then most most of yesterday making sure everybody was fed and watered. Love you.
There was a time last year when I was unsure if I would see my 50th. Now I'm looking towards a good few more.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
But that hasn't been the main worry this week. Remember just before Christmas Amber was taken into hospital due to a bout of supposed colitis that for a while they thought was Crohn's disease, a chronic episodic (and incurable) form of inflammatory bowel disease.
Well a few weeks ago she started to suffer the same symptoms again, so she has been in hospital for more tests. The doctors decided today it really is Crohn's. We don't really know what that means yet, but she has an appointment next week to talk about therapies.
Sometimes I despair at the medical profession.
Damn do they grow up fast!
Normally it is the only way to remember my birthday which is two days later (every year).
But this year people like to remind me its my 50th. Anyway I'll make them suffer this year by forcing to them come to my party.
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
Over the past couple of days I have had to re-live the last 8 Years of my life in order to write a letter to catch up with my old friend.
It is extraordinary how much I recalled in the space of only a few hours and how many many extreme emotions I relived over this time; happiness, pride, disappointment, surprise, wonder and sadness just to name but a few.
By the time I finished writing the letter, my mind was full with these renewed thoughts as if they had all just happened yesterday. So if I did this to cover the rest of my life, would this bring all my the memories to the fore? I think I might like that, even accounting for how the older memories will be a little harder to grab hold off.
If I am going to do this I think I need to do it soon because I'm finding that over the last few weeks it takes so much longer to write, not because I can't think of things to say, but I keep making mistakes as I write and the spell checker is working overtime due to repeated word sections and transliteration of letters. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I always had a mild dyslexia and if the tumour's going to hit the areas of speech and writing this might could start to happen. But it could be I just need better reading glasses.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
Although I classify how I feel in the classic Chemo symptoms of nausea and tiredness, it really just extreme feeling of unwellness where doing nothing makes it worse, but doing something is just so difficult. Does that make sense? And the worst is my food tastes so bad on the odd occasion when when I want to eat it.
Oh well, I'm hoping tomorrow will be be better. And then only one more cycle (probably) before a "treatment" rest.
Earlier in the week I made contact with an old friend who I hadn't talked to in around seven years, during most of this time he has been suffering painful problems related to his liver on and off, but mostly on. He is now waiting for transplant with even more pain expected during recovery. The most amazing thing is during this time he has taken on working with kids at a a local zoo and wildlife park and became a samaritan finally becoming the chairman of the local samaritans. It puts my feeble problems into perspective.
Sunday, 30 March 2008
The pictures below show how much other junk has formed (mainly due to the treatment). This can be any of fluid, scar tissue or necrosis. This picture also shows very clearly how much space there is around the Brain now due to reduce pressure in the cavity.
The last picture shows quite clearly my newly acquired dent complete with ingrowing bone. I certainly think this is my best side dont't you, handsome beast.
So all in all, as I said before, good news. Makes all the Radiation and Chemo worth suffering. I started cycle 5 on Saturday, just the usual nausea and tiredness so far. Only one more to go and then we'll need to find out what to do next. I hope the doctors decide to give me a few months rest from treatment.
Thursday, 27 March 2008
Bangkok reminds me of the city in Blade Runner with its 24 hours hour crowds, continuous music, talking billboards, dark alleyways, Pavement (Sidewalk) markets and endless traffic. This is obviously a city growing at a phenomenal rate, and we were lucky to have a native Friend to show us around. Crossing the road in Bangkok is a whole new experience, and it is often safer to take a Tuk-Tuk, but if you are looking for a Wat (temples), you are bound to find one without crossing a major road.
To those of you who think of Bangkok as the Sex city, you will be surprised to find that activity concentrated around just a couple of streets (Patpong I & II) and even then it has to share with a Night Market. So here are some pictures:
Bangkok Chinatown, Haggling over veg; Carol & Tam looking across the Chao Phraya to the royal palace
Climbing to Indra's weapon at Wat Arun, Across the Chao Phraya from Wat Arun. Bangkok downtown roofs
After 4 days in Bangkok we flew to Chiang Mia, the second city in the North of Thailand. Although still a busy city there was some breathing space, but that is not why we are here......
Firemen on alert after our plane starting pouring fuel all over the runway, Wat Doi Suthep, Cobra at snake show
The food was better than expected
It's 7 days after leaving Bangkok, and after some Cabbage we fly back from Chang Rai having explored the most northern parts of Thailand. This has been a great fun and enligtening week.
Our final 5 days around Bangkok in pictures are covered in a later post.