Ah, Bangkok. Katherine and I arrived late Thursday night into the new, cold, steel and glass Suvarnabhumi airport. An airport without a soul, if you ask me.
Mary Beth and Doug had checked in to our room at the Emporium earlier that day, so when we arrived, MB woke up and shared a beer with me before we all crashed.
Friday we met with my St. Olaf friend, and Katherine's doula, Kate
, then went off to see Dr. Sankiat. All is well, the baby is about 3 kilograms, with another 4 weeks (and likely .8 kilos) to go. We're looking at a big baby.
We also visited Tom and Goht (our neighbors) and Mali (Molly) their baby girl born Thursday morning at Samitivej.
Friday night we went to Mezzaluna, a restuarant on the 63rd floor of a building near the river.
The trip to the restaurant was long. Katherine wanted to take a cab at 6:30 pm on a Friday night in Bangkok. I suggested the sky train. Nope. So we got into the cab. At about 6:45 we had gone about 100 meters, and I again suggested we get out and get the sky train. "It's just a red light," said Katherine. 7:30 pm and we'd made it maybe 2 km and had another 3 or 4 to go. I asked the cab driver how long he thought it would take to get there and he chuckled and said maybe an hour or so. So that would be two hours to go about 6 KM.
Instead, we turned around and went back to the nearest sky train, which was also just one stop from our hotel (in traffic again, so it took about another 25 minutes). On the sky train and to the restaurant in about 20 minutes.
So we get to State Tower and go to the bank of elevators to the 63rd floor. A staff member looked at our shoes and declared that MB's didn't meet their strict dress code. Black sandals. No go. BUT, she said, she'd let her slide. How very nice.
We get to the 63rd floor, and upon exiting the elevator are met by 3 more shoes police. A woman said that MB could absolutely not enter with the sandals she had on. It was now about 8:20. We had spent almost two hours just getting to the damn place. What were we to do? Well, as luck would have it, there is a shoe store just outside the building. So Katherine and MB headed back down to do some shoe shopping while Doug and I enjoyed a lovely drink at the bar.
They came back, and while getting some drinks, MB was informed that while her shoes were now acceptable, the plastic bag in which she was carrying her old shoes was not. The Horror! A plastic back at a respectable restaurant. She was also encouraged to sit at the bar rather than stand for some reason. Anyway, the shoe nazis brought MB a paper bag that was more fitting for such a chic place.
The acceptable shoes, the unacceptable ones hidden away in an acceptable paper bag.
After all that, we did have a great meal. There was even a string quartet playing classic favorites like 'Under the Sea' from the Little Mermaid and a medley of music from the movie Braveheart.
Afterwards we went back to the hotel.
Katherine went to bed, and MB, Doug and I found a bar around the corner that had loud jazz played badly (or bad jazz played loudly, take your pick) while a Harry Potter played on a large screen tv behind the stage.
This morning, we met up with our friends Walter and Alex. Alex has been at the Emporium for about 2 weeks, and is due November 9. Walter just moved to town for the next 5 weeks on Friday night.
Unfortunately, I had to head home tonight to catch an early morning flight to Pakse tomorrow. Everyone else went to the rooftop bar at the Banyan Tree hotel for cocktails and then out for dinner together. Very sad for me.
MB and Doug will stay with Katherine until Thursday, and I'll head back down Friday night.