Tag Archives: Bangkok

Roscoe – July 31, 1969


Letter transcription:

Dear Kat, Debbie, Bonnie & Dave,

We arrived at the Bangkok airport on A.L. Flight #750 and would you believe Sunalinee Nikathanonta and a girl friend were there to meet us – They really were! This girl Sunalinee, I had seen the day she left Purdue. She graduated this spring and came in to me to get the shots she needed to go to Peru, Japan, & Hong Kong also Thailand. I told her we were going to be in Bangkok and she said she would meet us. Where upon I got out of the room, but she got the flight number, etc., and she really was there. She explained, Sunalinee that is, that she had been back only one week and since she had been away 3 years she was a little rusty on her driving and had brought her girlfriend along, but Sunalinee was doing the driving. Now we have had wild rides but this was something else. I’m beginning to think the Buddha religion might be the best, since we made it to the hotel safely. Someone or something surely must have protected. I had thought that in Karachi maybe it was Mohammed that was protecting & maybe their religion was the thing. I really know someone had to protect those people. Here was a fellow riding down the street with a bicycle loaded with bottles & cans and about the time I would close my eyes & listen for the crash – crash and/or the tinkle-tinkle all that was heard was a “huh-huh,” a wave of the hand and the cycle which seemed to have a hinge in the middle scurried on down the street and “squeezed” between two more cars, a camel cart or another cycle, etc. – Allah was there??

Getting back to Bangkok – after arriving & registering at the hotel our host Sunalinee informed us we were to be taken out to a Thai restaurant for some Thai food. We arrived at the hotel at 6:00 PM and at 7:00 the phone rang & she and her party were ready to go. This time we were to ride in the car with Boonlest Pheruk and his girlfriend Samporum Sruyakorin. I didn’t pronounce those names either. Anyway this was another wild adventure. It was explained that the traffic was “a little bad” and believe me “a little” was not the proper words to use. We went thru Chinatown. This was a one way street. To me it looked like a six land highway but at times they were seven cars abreast with cars parked on both sides. Of course, there were the usual cycles both human & motor powered squeezing in & out but we made the journey to the eating place. We were told the population of

[page 2] Bangkok was 3 million. I’m convinced of that number.  I believe each person has 2 cars and both of them were downtown. Either the maid or the butler had the other car and they were all downtown. Most of these car horns are blowing at regular intervals. I have never heard an oriental cuss. I think they just get in their car do down the street like h— and blow their horns when they are mad and many really had a mad on that night. We have been around quite a bit in that whole 10 miles or so I didn’t see a single person I knew but it was getting rather dark and after all most of those people were foreigners, and another thing it was getting dark. The sun goes down at a reasonable hour here and it comes up the same way. At home the sun goes down at 9 or so. When it is 10:00 PM here is is 10:00 AM in New York according to the big clock in the Bangkok airport. In other words Bangkok & Boston have the same time. Here it is 12 hrs ahead of them.

When we got here we were home sick & decided not to go any further. Our next stop is Malaysia and we will be ½ nearer home. I suppose you have received word from us some places along the line. We have to write to keep from getting homesick – wanta Bet!! Nothing else to see wanta bet!!?

Oh! Yes the Thai food. I guess it all had a name. Some of it looked familiar & some didn’t, some was good & some was ?? The geography & history of some would have been nice to know but others I wouldn’t even have wanted to know the incorrect spelling. The pace was an open air indoor outdoor affair – much noise and much hot-hot. The “hotness” outside could not always equal the hot inside. I looked down inside my shirt once and saw a drop of sweat on my stomach & just then I swallowed something hot, the drop of sweat vaporized just like a drop of water on a tri plate with a blow torch under it. I didn’t eat more than three more bites of that liquid fire. Naturally, we said it was good.

The ride back to the hotel was uneventful. We had a good night’s sleep and breakfast on the veranda. This overlooked a river and we enjoyed the traffic – small boats, barges, large boats, sail boats, etc. I presume ach had a purpose out in the stream but one wonders if there were that many purposes in a town such as this. We didn’t have much time since we had to be at the air port 1 ½ hrs. before plane time and it takes 45 minutes to get there. The Thai people are looking forward to the visit of Pres. Nixon in the next few days. I’ll just bet he doesn’t get the thrill out of the trip from the airport that we did. Our fiend said good-bye last night and promised to call us at the hotel where we will stay on our way to Hong Kong after going to Penang to Indonesia. I hope she keeps her promise and does not try to meet us at the airport. Anyway we are off to Penang.

Hope you are the same



After giving Louise the pictures – (we viewed them one evening) I read your letter again and decided you meant for me to leave the duplicates here. I didn’t remember what you had said in your last letter since I was hurrying to finish our preparation to leave so when you received letter from Penang you probably wondered what was going on.

Getting ready to go out to dinner with a Chinese couple from church Mac & Louise attend. Have been seeing much here in Penang. Hope my camera has been working properly.

Love, Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/06/21/roscoe-july-31-1969/

Reclining Buddha


Letter transcription:

[Postmark – 25 February 1964]

Dear David – We are on our way to Singapore via Quantuas. Announces time is 1 hr. 45 min. We have had three flights today. Had a tour at Siem Reap – ate lunch – took plant to Phnom Penh then on to Bangkok. That sightseeing at Siem Reap was worth all the effort. Just hope all the pictures are good. Took several rolls. I took a picture of two toes of the statue on this card – all my little camera could take in. We are going to have dinner in a few minutes but have had food on two previous flights and I am not hungry. Our travel agent in Bangkok took very good care of us and helped us get from one flight to other without much bother.

Love Mother


©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/15/reclining-buddha/

Something Uncle Floyd Would Say

1964-02-20-gry-p-1Letter transcription:


Dear David: I just reread Mark’s letter and still wonder what this car thing is all about. Why don’t you write me in detail just what the scare is on the whole thing. We took a tour this a.m. and saw the Royal Palace and Temple of Emerald Buddha. Those two places are the show places of Bangkok. Dad attended Rotary at noon. We took another tour this afternoon and saw the great reclining Buddha which is covered with gold and looks like it is a block long. I took a picture of the bottom of two toes – couldn’t get the whole figure in our camera. We also viewed the Marble Temple and Temple of solid gold Buddha. At one time of he[?] the figure was covered with plaster to disguise it from enemy then people forgot about it. Only in recent years did the plaster begin to peal off and was discovered they had a Ft. Knox here in Bangkok. We also visited UNICEF office and received some literature on their work here. Drove thru Chinatown section. We have tickets to attend Thai dance performance tonight at 9 p.m. We are just loafing around before going to eat dinner. We had some nuts and a drink about 5 o’clock and I am not too hungry. There is a swimming pool with a terrace for watching and that was where we loafed and had our refreshments. There are no Methodists here – or at least couldn’t find any listed in Prayer Calendar. There are some Catholics. Dad said the Rotary Club was quite international and there is a Masonic Lodge here. Fri. a.m. – Had breakfast with a couple from Philadelphia – they have left now on a tour we are waiting for. We are going to pack this afternoon for our departure tomorrow a.m. It is 18 miles to airport and we had to be there an hour or two before flight since we have to go thru customs, I will be glad when we get to Malacca. We will be there about 1 ½ days. It is so hot here it has a tendency to make one a little lazy. However the hotel where we are staying has air conditioning and I have to wear a light wrap when we dine. Our room is too cold for me but Dad likes it. We sleep under wool blankets – real crazy isn’t it. – Fri. a.m. – later almost noon. We have had another tour in a motor boat. Yesterday Dad said if he saw another Temple he thought he would throw-up – however he wasn’t quite that nice – just translate into something Uncle Floyd would say and you will have his words. We went to one today but it didn’t seem to have an ill effect upon him. The one we saw – or one of the ones we saw had a stairway on outside with 59 steps – and steep too. We didn’t go to the last step – just about 1/3 of the way, and took some pictures. We keep snapping and we are to run out of film today but can get all we want here at their price which is much more than in Singapore Hong Kong. We should have bought more while we were there. Everything but food is very expensive here. We are thru sightseeing and just intend to loaf around the rest of today. I called U.S.I.S. Mon. – Mr. Robert Lasker about going into Cambodia. He said it was safe for us to go. Woman at Travel Agency said the hotels there are booked full until April, so people keep going to see the sights. We have been told the accommodations aren’t so good but I think we can put up with it one night. We saw water people again today – something akin to what we saw in Hong Kong. Floating markets. We were on a river this morning and saw how the people live on edge of river and canals. They use the river for everything but drinking. They have large jars rain water is kept in for drinking but they wash their dishes in the river. We saw so many children in their birthday suits. When we were in Bali we saw something and

1964-02-20-gry-p-2[page 2] although government has decreed the women must wear something above waists we saw many – of all ages – with just sarong. John said only filthy minded foreigners stared at Bali women who go bare breasted. I took one picture of a group of children in Bali in their birthday clothes but we were in a shady spot so it may not be any good. I think most of the Bali pictures should be good. We sent a box of Dad’s things back home today – his overcoat and a jacket and pr. of pants. We decided we didn’t need the radio so put it in and the large collection of literature we have gathered as we have traveled. It certainly gets heavy, but there is so much I want to show you when we get home. We collected quite a load of Methodist literature in Hong Kong. We were up early this a.m. for our motor trip and since we ate light breakfast are ready for something substantial. Let us have details of why you can’t drive the car.

Love Mother

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/14/something-uncle-floyd-would-say/

One Night in Bangkok

1964-02-19-gry-2-envelopeLetter transcription:

1964-02-19-gry-2-p-1Feb. 19, 1964

Dear David –

We had a letter from Mark waiting for us here in Bangkok. He told us about car and we don’t know quite what to think about the situation. Of course there isn’t much we can do about it from here, but I rather think our agent in Kentland will hear about this when we get home. I can’t understand why you couldn’t you our car if all the other students from our town such as Julie and others drive cars to school. I hope that won’t alter your plans to meet us when we get home. I am enclosing a photo copy of bill for you to use to get your suit. I didn’t quite know all I should have known about regulations before we mailed packages amounting to more than $10.00. I had to have a photo copy made of bill for pearls I purchased and sent home. Customs office in Chicago is holding Mark informed me in letter I received today. Since it was the middle of morning when we arrived we didn’t do much but loaf around. We had a very smooth fast flight from Djakarta and were we glad to shake the dust of that place off our feet. I am glad John is coming home. Everyone we talked to was pretty much of same opinion. We haven’t planned anything for this evening but will have a tour tomorrow and one Friday. Will go to see performance of Thai dancing tomorrow evening. This is the hotel where John stayed and we had a coke & ginger ale by the swimming pool we have pictures of. I am not sure where your suit will be sent but I think there is a customs office in Indianapolis. It shouldn’t take more than 6 weeks for it to reach you. There is a Rotary meeting at this hotel tomorrow noon. I don’t know whether Dad will be back in time from our tour. We have our flight to Cambodia confirmed so will go there Sat. as far as we know now.

Love Mother

1964-02-19-gry-2-suit-receipt©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/13/one-night-in-bangkok/