Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is literally on the other side of the world from where I live – 12 time zones, so that when it is noon in one place, it is midnight in the other. This makes it difficult to call home, and it makes for a long plane ride. Across the Pacific Ocean to Japan was about 13 hours and then another 6 hours or so to Bangkok, Thailand.

Bangkok is in many ways a city of contrasts, from utmost poverty across the street from the hotel to beautiful hotels, skyscrapers, malls, and of course silks! This trip was part of Nicolet Biomedical’s “2000 and beyond” international sales meetings and we stayed in The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel. As in other Nicolet travel, meetings and presentations were important, and we were showing cutting-edge new Neuro-diagnostic technology. There was time to show our wares to our international compatriots, and reward them for their sales at a banquet. 

The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel was large and beautiful with teak in abundance. Amenities and service were overwhelming. I think I can say that the best hotel service I have ever had was here. One morning I called down to the front desk about some laundry that I wanted done, and in less than three minutes, while I was still preparing the 
laundry ticket, the maid knocked on the door. Now it took longer than that just to ride the elevator up to my floor. I surmised that she was in waiting down the hall. How could they have that kind of service in a hotel so large – a hotel that is two towers high. 

Well, my cove does not have a monopoly on orchids.

I saw more orchids in Bangkok than almost anywhere else I have been in the world. There were orchids on your pillow at night. And orchids for decoration everywhere such as in the buffet line. Food was extraordinary, somewhat spicy, but a seafood lover’s delight.

Even though slums faced the front of the hotel, the back of the hotel faced a beautiful park, where the locals exercised and relaxed. Just out the door to the park was an ornate
 depiction of Thai artistry and culture. One could then cross the park to a mall which sold almost everything, but certainly was not the largest mall that I saw. Also beside the mall and park was the Skytrain, a very modern elevated rapid transit which is an effort to do something about the traffic in the city.
 Bangkok is a city of millions, and the sea of yellow cabs even reminded me of New York City. It was possible to ride one of those yellow cabs or one of the motorized three-wheel rickshaws when one needed a taxi.

The city of Bangkok, also known as the “City of Angels,” is immense with skyscrapers everywhere – many of which were architecturally very interesting.
 The city is also famous for its old section with the Grand Palace and other wats, which are Buddhist temples.I did not have time on this trip to visit these religious shrines.

The day that we took the Skytrain to go shopping, I saw one of the largest malls called Siam Square and we found the Jim Thompson Silk Store where I spent my share of bahts on Christmas gifts.

Asia Travels

Three trips to Asia have taken me to four destinations:

In 1996, Taipei TAIWAN was my first trip to Asia for the purpose of meeting and supporting several Nicolet clients.

Also in 1996, two months later, I flew to Seoul KOREA for a Neurodiagnostics convention in which I represented Nicolet, and

Then proceeded on to Beijing CHINA for a Nicolet Asian Rim Sales Meeting.
Finally in July, 2000, I visited Bangkok, THAILAND, for the Nicolet "2000 and Beyond" Sales Meeting.
Even though all the above destinations were Asia, they were distinctly different in cultures, socio-economic status, and geography, but every one was friendly and open to this USA visitor.

In particular in 1996, I was struck by the differences in modes of transportation:
Mainland China: Bicycles, old buses, and teeny cabs.

Taiwan: Motor scooters (absolutely NO bicycles) and small imported autos from the neighboring countries EXCEPT Japan.

Korea: Traffic jams with all sizes of autos, especially large expensive models made in Korea.

In Bangkok, yellow cabs were everywhere - was this New York? Traffic was bad, but the modern elevated rapid transit "Sky Train" was a nice alternative.
Since I am blogging these travels that occurred over 10 years ago, there have been significant changes in the economies of these countries, particularly, China.  China today have congested super highways with lots of modern cars, which I did not see on my travels.

Weathers by Thomas Hardy

This is the weather the cuckoo likes, 

And so do I; 
When showers betumble the chestnut spikes, 
And nestlings fly; 
And the little brown nightingale bills his best, 
And they sit outside at 'The Traveller's Rest,' 
And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest, 
And citizens dream of the south and west, 
And so do I. 

This is the weather the shepherd shuns, 
And so do I; 
When beeches drip in browns and duns, 
And thresh and ply; 
And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe, 
And meadow rivulets overflow, 
And drops on gate bars hang in a row, 
And rooks in families homeward go, 
And so do I. 


The only time that I have been "South of the Border" was on a Nicolet Biomedical "2000 and beyond" sponsored trip. While it was supposed to be work - I did give presentations during the day - it was more like fun! From the time we arrived, fun was planned as in this pool volleyball tournament. 

This area of Mexico along the Pacific Ocean is rugged hillside with craggy boulders. Though the beach as such was scarce, that did not stop the water sports, which included boating, water-skiing, jet skiing and so on.

For those who did not want to venture out into the natural waters, there were three pools for the hotel guests. These pools might be used for serious swimming or volleyball, or just being lazy and floating.

The pools seemed like part of the natural landscape as they were carved into the surrounding rocks and beautified with fountains, so that the sound of flowing and splashing water could be heard everywhere, even the guest rooms, which were also part of the hillside.

The hotel was so skillfully carved into the cragginess that it seemed natural. One could get plenty of exercise just walking from level to level of the hotel, its surroundings, and to the ballroom where our meetings were held.

Bougainvillea, alamander, and other flowers could be seen everywhere. This fabulous hotel was the Camino Real. Near the end of our week, the awards banquet was held. You can see in the picture that the location was ideal - what a view -- until we remembered that this was the rainy season. Half way through the meal, we

 had to grab our steaks and wine and run for cover! Even the awards ceremony under the covered patio with the rain pouring down outside was charming! 

Even though I did not go to the cliffs to see the infamous Pearl Divers, Acapulco was wonderful! Where shall I go next in Mexico? Cancun?


David E. Jeffreys, Sr. (My Father)

Well, I am a junior, a chip off the old block!

How do I know I am old?  My father would be 110 years old if he were living.  Unfortunately, he died when he was less than half that age at 51, and I was only 11.  That was way back in September, 1954. My mother outlived him by another 46 years!

What to call him?  To me, he was just Dad.  He grew up being called by his middle name, Elmo, and so all of the Jeffreys side of the family called him "Elmo."  But to everyone else, including my mother, he was "Jeff."  Since we saw my paternal relatives much less than my maternal relatives, he was Jeff; a name that all his work colleagues also called him.

My parents were married for 19 years before he died, having married in 1935 at Lady Slipper Cove on the front porch.  They honeymooned at Niagara Falls.
Honeymoon at Niagara Falls!

He worked for only one company his whole life -- the Life and Casualty Insurance Company of Tennessee, based in Nashville.  I know that he worked there for over 25 years, because I inherited his 25 year pin with a diamond in it.
My father is on the right in the front row.

Meeting of the L&C agents at Turnages's BBQ in Durham, NC.

Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Beethoven

I love classical music, but sometimes it needs to be brought up to date.  Here is a heavy metal version of the famous "Moonlight Sonata."

Other examples of my musical tastes are in the sidebar to the right.