The author, smiling winningly Scott Raymond home

At the Spiritual and Geographic Heart

15 Oct 2003

It must be hard for tour guide writers to come up with new synonyms for “downtown,” because I’m getting tired of hearing the oldest, central part of town be described as “the spiritual and geographic heart of…”. I must have come across that turn of phrase a dozen times in the last week. And I haven’t even been gone for a week.

I got into Bangkok late last night, after 12 hours in transit. So instead of taking the mental and physical energy required for humping it across town with my luggage and trying to follow a map to the cheapest room, I took the easy route and booked a hotel from the airport, and had a cab take me there. Fortunately, unlike in Tokyo, this didn’t require taking out a loan, and I got a nice long sleep in a private room, with A/C! For the rest of my stay, though, I’m putting back on my Adventurer hat and staying in the dingy little room with a fan for $3.

Can someone tell me this?: is it safe to plug in my laptop? I was warned before I left that plugging it in without the right converter would “fry” it, but I’m increasingly dubious. Amazingly, I made it five days without plugging it in, and I was able to recharge it at Narita last night, but I’d like to be less conservative with my power.

Before I ran out of power, I was able to download and listen to this week’s message at my church, just a few hours after it was recorded, all while sitting outside in a light rain in Tokyo. [Insert breathless observation about placelessness and there being no there there.] I tell ya, this world.