**Bangkok - a wild ride **
The crazy rain barely stopped, when I got out of the airport express train at Phaya Thai station in Bangkok. This was my last day of two weeks’ trip to various Asian countries to meet with NGS researchers. The day was reserved for buying small gifts for my kids, but the rain held me inside the hotel until mid-day.
I tried to find my way through the flooded sidewalks, when a motorcycle taxi spotted me.
“Hey, where do you want to go?”
Me: “Any shopping mall nearby?”
“What do you like to buy?”
Me: “Clothes and small things for kids.”
“Pixie, you need to go to Pixie. 40 Bahts - I take you.”
For 40 bahts (~$1), I not only got a ride but a truly adventurous wild ride that no theme park can match. Traffic moved slowly on all lanes of the highway, but the motorcycle taxi raced fast. It managed its way through by swerving in and out of lanes and taking advantage of everything from the sidewalk to the lanes for oncoming traffic. A big bus coming toward us nearly kissed my bag, when the taxi managed to get out of the oncoming lane.
“Hey, do you need a lady for tonight?” - he asked rather nonchalantly after this feat. “I am preparing my mind for 72 virgins” - I had to say. Thankfully, ‘Pixie’ mall (=Big C) arrived by then and I got out alive.
Although I did not plan to meet any researcher in Bangkok itself, I passed through the city at least three times during the trip. Bangkok is fast becoming a major international hub in Asia by playing the role of Singapore in the older days. The airport is well-connected to all over Asia through many discount airlines. As an added feature, you can venture into the city to buy cheap clothes and electronic goods. Moreover, growing Thailand is pulling all hinterlands in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar forward. That part of the world is ready for dramatic transformations in the years ahead.
Hong Kong - will it become the bioinformatics capital?
Singapore - fast forward of Lee Kuan Yew’s vision
[visits to A*Star Research Institute and National University of Singapore, and general comments about Singapore]
Calcutta - a new beginning?
While in India, I visited the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) in Kalyani near Calcutta (marked as Kolkata in the above map).
Continue reading here.
Seoul - what will the unification bring?
[comments on transit through Seoul and upcoming Korean unification]
Back to the land of exceptionalism
[the day started with exceptionally arrogant immigration officers, as usual]