A Great and Embarrassing Encounter

posted in: Jamie's Blog | 1

Hello again, my loyal Blogsters and Blogsterettes,

Last time I called the Loyal Liver Hotel  (Royal River) crappy, to be polite. I shouldn’t have been polite. Amazingly, there is a decent original oil painting hanging behind the elderly TV. But that is the only upside of this place, aside from it being only a 5-minute by taxi ride to Yanhee Hospital where I get my hyperbolic high pressure oxygen chamber treatments. The rest of the room is not worth the effort of a photograph. Here is where I am staying:


So I am in this lousy hotel, I’m all checked in and waiting for 5:45 p.m. so I can go back for my second 1-hour chamber treatment. This is not your typical Bangkok, Thailand visit, that’s for sure. If you’ve never been to Thailand, I highly recommend you put it on your Bucket List. I came here for the first time in 1973. The Vietnam War days. I remember flying over Vietnam with fear of being shot down. It was a different time. Pre-HIV and it was a wild place. I was in my early twenties and let’s just say I had my fun. Bicycle rickshaws were practically the only means of transport. They are completely gone now in Bangkok, but you can still find them in Chiang Mai and smaller cities.

Here is one of my favorite memories, and it wasn’t that long ago. Maybe 4 or 5 years ago. I was going across town in Chiang Mai and feeling lazy and possibly a little tipsy, when I saw an old man, a very old man, waiting for a fare sitting atop his bicycle rickshaw. I told him where I was going and off we went. He was heading down a heavily populated street in the heart of Chiang Mai, mostly foreigners seemingly of every nationality sitting outside bars and restaurants. It was when we were right in the busiest, most crowded place that I noticed his left foot was missing. Oh, my goodness. One of THE MOST embarrassing moments of my life. I could feel the stares and hear the mumblers. Oh, I felt so bad. I stopped him as soon as we were about a 100 feet away from the crowds, tipped him heavily, and just felt awful about it.

I would see the old man again and again over the years sitting in the same spot and I always gave him a little money. He always have me a big Thai smile. Last I heard from a friend that owns a small business in front of his spot was that he won the lottery. Good for him! He always had a big smile for me–or maybe it was for the money I always gave him. An expensive ride it turned out to be, and a great, but very embarrassing encounter and memory. You are the first to hear this story.

Goodbye for today.

Yours truly,

One Response

  1. Trini from Cleveland
    | Reply

    Hi, Jamie!
    You probably have no memory of me that differentiates me from your throng of worldwide fans. I was living in NOLA for a year ( the year that The Saints won the Superbowl). I strolled into your shoppe many times, and you signed some pieces that I bought from you. ( Nola Mae being my fave). I also went to your cool vaudeville night at the theater, and quaffed a few with you in your studio, @ your post-event soiree’.
    I was the one who walked ariund town passing out your flyers & business cards, too!
    Anyway….. I have been thinking about you, and wondering how your treatments have been going! This is the first time that your blog popped up on FB for me, although I have been a friend of the gallery on FB for a long time.
    I know what your going through is pretty intense. I went through a 5 yr period of nothing but hospital stays, 15 surgeries, and every test known to man, includung the dreaded claustrophic hour long CAT scans.
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that there are a lot of people thinking of you, and praying for you! The art & music world needs you!
    Feel better soon! This, too, shall pass!

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