Ten Things That I Like To Do In Airports

Ten Things That I Like To Do In Airports

‘If God had really intended men to fly, he’d make it easier to get to the airport”.  ~George Winters

I love hanging out in airports. It means I’m going somewhere. It’s a comfortable transitional place for me. Even in the most foreign feeling country an airport feels like an airport.

1. Buy trashy magazines.

2. Try a new kind of gum and if it’s a foreign country add in different kinds of sweets and snacks. Use up all my foreign coins.

3. Shop or look. Even if it isn’t Heathrow, Tokyo, Bangkok or Hong Kong there are always fun stores in airports no matter how small. I love the tourist gift shops to see what they think you should be bringing home. Heathrow has great sales in July in their designer stores.

4. If it is Heathrow,Tokyo or Bangkok get a massage or get my nails done. Yes it’s weird doing that in front of strangers but it passes the time.

5. Sit in the lounge, check my emails, listen to music, read, write my blog and sleep.

6. If its Miami – have Café Cubano, LA – Chaya Brasserie, Chicago – Einsteins bagels, London – Gordon Ramseys Plane Food, Boston – Legal Seafood and Hong Kong – Hungs Delicacies. When I am in Tokyo I buy green tea Kit Kats like everyone else does. . In all other airports, explore!!!!!!!! Try some food place that isn’t Subway or Mcdonalds.

7. Try to guess where people are going. Try to guess what Asian language they are speaking or what Spanish-speaking country they are from. Speak in a fake foreign language and watch people try to guess what language I am speaking. Pick out the people who might be terrorists.

8. Try to guess who’s carry on luggage is bigger than regulation size and will they get stopped. Try to guess by looking at them what kind of stuff they have packed in their carry on luggage, why they bought or borrowed that particular piece of luggage and how they fit everything in.

9. If it’s early in the morning wait on the line at a Starbucks – that could take a half hour in a large airport. If I’m bored I’ll change my drink order a few times and ask questions. I’ve always wondered about people who do that. Are they just looking for someone to talk to or are they really so undecided about coffee?

10.Take a moment to be grateful that I’m in an airport and going somewhere,

Fly safe,

JAZ

Travel Photos – Catching Yourself In The Act Of Becoming Something Good

Travel Photos – Catching Yourself in The Act of Becoming Something Good

At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.” 
— Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events

Some good advice about raising kids is “ catch them in the act of doing something good.” Most of us don’t feel good about ourselves all the time and we need to be reminded of things we have done. We don’t usually take photos when we are helping a friend or family member, creating something or facing our fears. Those are usually done without any fanfare but I found a few times where I’ve done these things ( though not the best photos) and I thought I would put them up as a reminder that change and becoming who you  never thought you would be, is good.

Feeding kangaroos in Tasmania, Australia

IMG_3238

Practicing English in Kyoto, Japan

IMG_0924

Going On A Seaplane in Vancouver, Canada

IMG_2022

Hiking near Bogota, Colombia

IMG_3937

Making Jewelry in Toledo, Spain

IMG_1111

Meditating in Bangkok, Thailand

IMG_3030

Going on a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, Turkey

IMG_4840

Buying fried crickets  “chapulinas” for a snack in Oaxaca, Mexico

IMG_0294

Driving in the Atacama Desert on unpaved roads for hours to get toI the salt flats of Northern Argentina 14,000 feet above sea level.

IMG_0672

After school tutoring at 826LA

IMG_1649

Ultimately the lesson is simple and powerful. If we are eager to create a world where people do their best, we need to highlight and celebrate when we face our fears, create something we are proud of and act with kindness.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Thailand

Things I Have Learned In Thailand

“If your mind is happy, then you are happy anywhere you go.  When wisdom awakens within you, you will see truth wherever you look. It’s like when you’ve learned how to read — you can then read 
 anywhere you go.”  Phra Ajarn Chah (Thai Buddhist monk)

IMG_3040

Bangkok has the longest city name in the world; written out it’s actually: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

IMG_2839

In Thailand, it is  required to  stand for the national anthem when it is played (in the street, in the  cinema, in the airport, in the train station, in the bathroom or at the beach etc, (Phu Quoc island location of “The Impossible”)

IMG_0059

The first case of HIV Aids was reported in Thailand. Thailand has the highest prevalence of HIV Aids in Asia.

Thailand has one of the worst child sex trafficking records in the world.

In Thailand it is deemed impolite to ask someone their age or salary.

Thailand is home to the world’s largest gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge, and the world’s tallest hotel.

IMG_2746

IMG_2751

Several years ago, Bangkok was named the hottest city in the world by the World Meteorological Organization. Stay hydrated.

You can be jailed for not wearing underwear in Thailand.

Every Thai male has to become a monk  at some point in his life even if only for a short period, and at almost any age between completion of school and the beginning of a career or married life.  it is a period of about three months. The reason being is to do it for your mother so when she died she would hold on to your monk’s robe and go to heaven.

In Thai tradition,  touching the head is severely looked down upon. The Thai people believe that the soul resides in the head, which makes it an extremely sacred place that should not be touched.

The Kings head is on all Thai currency, therefore if you step on a banknote or coin, it is considered to be kicking the king in the face. They love this king. His face his everywhere.

IMG_3056

All Buddha images, no matter how small, tacky or ruined are sacred and should never be used as a backdrop for your photo. (Ayuthetta)

IMG_3258

In Thailand, the left hand is used for going to the bathroom and the right hand is used for eating and greeting. Unfortunately, I am left-handed so I am rude in Thailand.

IMG_2787

Thai boxing has a spiritual and ritualistic part.  There is music and sacred clothing decorated with Buddhist symbols, There are different significant bows and a dance. Then they try to beat the crap out of each other.

In Thailand, the children do everything for the parents.  They are grateful to them for being born, for  giving them  food , clothing, shelter and education. In America, the parents do everything for the children. They are grateful to them for being born and give them food, clothing ,shelter and education.

IMG_0060

The ‘King and I “ is banned in Thailand. Anyone caught smuggling in the “King and I” will be arrested.

The gold stupa in the Emerald Temple in Bangkok has a monkey and a giant on it to carry the world. Everyone must carry their own burdens in this world but the giant and the  monkey also carry all the human burdens.

IMG_2803

It is cheaper  to buy Chang Mai hillside tribe products in Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok (biggest market ever)  than it is in Chang Mai.

Putting on sarong pants is more complicated than it looks. There are rules for the placement of the knots and folds. They are different for men and for women. Sexual orientation  is also shown by the placement of the knots.

IMG_3013

Ayutthaya was the old capital of the Thai kingdom  resembling a  graveyard of temples and headless Buddhas (beheaded by the Burmese in the thirteenth century) and ruins showing what it might have looked like.

IMG_3209

IMG_3143

IMG_3076

IMG_3129

Thai people  greet and bow in the traditional way with palms touching. Most people great each other in this way and say “sa wat de kah”   It is based on the ancient Thai  culture. They were always working in the rice fields and their hands were dirty so this became the most polite greeting.

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been under foreign control. Burma and  Malaysia were part of the British empire. Laos and Cambodia were under French control. (Putthaya)

photo-6

Condensed milk is a staple in Thailand and Thai coffee. You can find it in every Seven Eleven and in bulk at Tesco.

An ice cream sandwich in Thailand is ice cream between two pieces of white bread. They don’t serve bread with meals but rice instead.

Thai is a tonal language which means one word can have many meanings depending on how it is pronounced. Thai people think is very funny the way we pronounce Kwai in Bridge on the River Kwai. Apparently the way we say it, it means  male sex organ.

Thai people eat most of their food with a spoon in their dominant hand and a fork in the other. Chopsticks are only served for soup..

IMG_0061

95 per cent of the people are Buddhists.

IMG_3044

Thailand was called Siam until 1939.

Shopping at Siam Paragon and MBK are just like shopping in any other huge shopping mall.

IMG_3279

The first Thai massage school was started 417 years ago at the Pho temple in Bangkok. People today still learn the same techniques and the original drawings show that each part of the body has a meaning.

IMG_2859

In Bangkok, “best quality fakes” are near “best quality hotels.”  It does involve hidden stores behind other stores up staircases in back alleys  but one block from the Shangri La Hotel and Penninsula ferry stop.

In ballet, the shape of the feet is important, in Thai dancing it is the shape of the hands, the length of the fingers and if they are double jointed, that is the most important.

It is often nicknamed as the “Land Of Smiles,” because of the perceived gentleness of its people. The country is really populated by smiling, inviting, and receiving people. Thais are really gentle, polite, soft-spoken, friendly, and hospitable human beings. (great tour guide Gift  www.privatetourthailand.com)

IMG_3190

For more info go to Looking  For Buddha In Bangkok

https://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/looking-for-buddha-in-bangkok/

Sa Wat De Kah and Fly Safe

JAZ

Looking For Buddha In Bangkok

“it is better to travel well than to arrive”.   Buddha

Looking for Buddha in Bangkok

Day 1. I didn’t see Buddha today among all the Golden Buddhas. He wasn’t at the most famous Emerald Buddha where all Buddhists go to worship. He wasn’t around the ancient Buddhist scriptures or at the giant leaning Buddha or the Grand Palace. I heard he was on the sky train but I missed him. I thought I saw him in the night market eating fried crickets on a stick. It turned out to be an old man with a beautiful smile. (it might have been gas- crickets are apparently better for the digestive system when eaten raw).  I didn’t see him  at Starbucks, nor was he having the most fabulous Thai  Massage.  I thought I saw him at the flower market among the beautiful orchids but it was just another Buddha wanna be.  He wasn’t having Pad Thai , Thai Coffee and Thai Mango at the restaurant on the river. He was not on any of the riverboats that I have been on today. I will look again tomorrow.

Day 2. No, not today.

Day 3. He wasn’t at the floating market.  Someone swore he ate lunch there everyday.  He wasn’t at the train market either.   The train runs through the market to Bangkok eight times a day. Eight times a day, they pack up and put out their food. The people help each other do it.  It is not very tranquil. No one seems to mind. They all have their shrines to him and they all smile. I think he has been there before.

Day 4. Buddha is not shopping at Siam Paragon Mall or MBK.  However, there is a monk on a cell phone and two other monks with shopping bags. I hope he is not begging for rice in the food court.   He is not at Best Quality Fakes either. Though, I’m sure he would know how to find them.

Day 5. The real Buddha is not at the old  capital city of Ayuthetta. There are many Buddha statues and many more decapitated ones. It is the ruined city that is  left after the Burmese ravaged the old capital.  it must have been quite beautiful when Buddha was there. I couldn’t see him when I was riding the elephant and I was pretty high up.

Day 6. He was not at Chatuchak  Weekend Market . If he was there on a weekend, I would never see him because it is one of the largest and most crowded  markets in the world. It covers over 27 acres and has more than two  hundred thousand visitors per day.    Surprisingly, He was not at  (BIA) Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives. It is the  most beautifully decorated space combining art and nature dedicated to Thai Buddhism. When I meditated there , I didn’t find   Buddha but I did find peace.

  As I rode to the airport I wondered where was he in this very Buddhist country? Was he in the faces of the children, the kindness of the people, the quiet dignity of the elephants, the beautiful orchids, the peace at the meditation center?  Was he there all the time?  Or, will I just have to look harder on my next visit?

Sa wat dii kha, fly safe

JAZ