Original article posted by gandhi2:
I have been drawn towards news of the Sumatra tsunami of late. As some of you know, I have spent some time in Thailand. Most of this was spent in Bangkok, ostensibly going to school. Before this, however, I was vacation, mostly in South Thailand. In two seconds of footage, I was able to recognize one of the places that I visited, the Phi Phi islands, nested about halfway up the leg of Thailand by a small bay of land. The island that I stayed on the most, Phi Phi Don, is about 2-3km across, and about 3-5km north to south. From the footage, I could see the exact bungalow I slept in for 3 nights, the place that I had some tasty fish, the boats that taxied visitors in 50 miles from dry land, the dozens of outdoor dining areas. When I went there a couple years ago, I guessed around 500-1000 tourists/natives workers were on the island at any given time. Nearly the entire thing was covered by more than 50ft of water.
The other major place to get hit was Phuket, another small island but big tourist site. I remember distinctly visiting Patong Beach, on the west side of the island. There was some really good sushi, lots of fake Armani suit vendors, and British guys hitting on the local transexuals. There was a strip of beach more than two miles long where vendors would go to sell some ripoff cheapass product for 1/10 the American price to tourists. You could walk to the beach from the open-air market in less than 20 paces. I’m guessing conservatively that over 750 natives made a living on that 2 mile+ long strip of land, and considering the time of day, were there when the waves came rolling over.
Fortunately, the two main places I was originally concerned about were not hit so hard. I stayed with a friend’s family in the small, mostly Muslim town(I can’t remember the name) near Patanni, in the far south of the leg of Thailand. Her grandmother was really funny and, I kicked her tubby little brother’s butt and DDR, and her mother’s Arabic coffee that was served every morning for the 3 days we were there… I’ve yet to find a worthy substitute in the States.
The other place that I was worried about was Bangkok. Again, this area was sheltered from the waves by the leg of Thailand. Most of the deaths are on the west coast. I haven’t heard much from the friend whose family took me in and supported my freeloading American ass for six months. Apparently his mom, dad, and little brother are OK.
Anyways, I know that Greg is pretty far away from the direct effects of the quake, but it’d ease my mind to hear he is OK.
P.S. It appears that I’ll have to keep up on this site if I want to hear the latest in people’s life. Sometimes I get quite caught up in the routine dull drudgery of life, parenthood, school, work, etc. MOST of you(who would care) have my phone number. Consider this an invitation to call and let me know personally how you are doing.
Re: When Something Hits Close to Home
Greg is fine, just so you know.