Tag Archives: Penang

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
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