I remember thinking that Tokyo was NYCity if it were clean and organized. Bangkok is like NY, crowded and bustling, except everyone (EVERYONE) is nice. We are staying in the Sukhothai Hotel, a five star study in elegance and art. Two days here and already my mind is a sea of contrasting images. The traffic is just nuts with cars, buses, motorcycles and motorcycle cabs all vying for road space. Lane markers are just guidelines and no way intended to limit one vehicle to a lane. Street vendors are standing almost elbow to elbow in business/shopping areas and even a frequent encounter in slum neighborhoods. Anyone with a wok and a cart is a chef. Tonight was a fabulous meal of coconut calamari and crab rice. Yum! But the hightlight of our day was a bike trip that took us from city dust to the rich smells and warm smiles of the slums to a concrete path through a jungle, farm area where I took a slight detour into the swamp. Yuk. We took two boat rides and saw too much to try and describe. While the students are on holiday this week, we did see one school open, a pre-school subsidized by our tour guide, Andre. Beautiful kids, all smiles. My only regret was that I did not have the books and candies I had brought to share with them since we had no luggage. When we arrived back at the hotel, voila! Somehow the bags had made their way here, leaving me to wonder at how reassured I was to have all my “stuff” and how well we had done without it.