Personal Letters

Bangkok: "Recovering"


Soi 1
October 18, 2006

Dear Family and Friends,

Almost every day I lean against the low wall of the large sixth floor terrace of my apartment building. I look west towards the Bangkok skyline. The sweet, salivating unmistakable aroma of barbeque chicken wafts up from the vendors on Soi 1, my little street below.

Behind me sits the small, yet adequate swimming pool my orthopedic doc has encouraged me to use.

Bangkok: "Baiyoke Tower and 360 Degrees"

Bangkok, Thailand
August 10, 2006
9:00 pm

Dear Family and Friends,

Along with my dinner partners, I am standing on the Sky Walk Revolving Roof Deck of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the Tallest Tower in the Kingdom of Thailand. It's my first visit here.

Below us, as we turn through 360 degrees, are the street lights, darkened towers, and criss-crossing bright ribbons of Bangkok expressways. A police car, blue lights flashing and siren wailing, speeds along a multi-lane roadway.

Bumrungrad International Hospital: Knee Surgery


January 6, 2012


Years ago, one of my first Travel Letters from Thailand began with something like this: “I am stretched out on a chaise lounge, watching the sun set in the mountains beyond the River Kwai.”

Another letter began, “I am relaxing at a restaurant in Koh Chang, watching the fishing boats slide along the waters of the Gulf of Siam.”

The most recent letter described my sunset stroll around the Pyramids.

So, my friends, are you curious as to where I am lounging this very day?  The answer is, “I am lying flat on my ass in Room 935 in Bumrungrad International Hospital!” <--break->

Alice and Jan Wedding

October 9, 2006

My Dear Family and Devoted Friends,

Do you remember where you were on Sunday afternoon, October 9, 1966?

Perhaps you were preparing for Game 4 of The World Series? Or maybe looking for a betting line on The Giants? Or maybe you were struggling with the Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle?

Or maybe you were in the Baroque Room of The Plaza Hotel, celebrating at the marriage of Alice Rosemarie Dawn, 26, of New York, of blessed memory, and Jan Robert Polatschek, 26, of New Rochelle.

Alice's father, David A. Dawn, and his new wife Helga, made us a splendid wedding forty years ago today.

I still enjoy the memories of that Sunday afternoon.

Announcement 2008: New Website

Bangkok, Thailand
24 March 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

Telma and Jeffrey have been my loyal friends for many years.  They were generous and helpful to me, both when I was a "snow-bird" from Boston, and later as a bachelor resident of South Florida.  Whether for business or for my social life, I could count on them for thoughtful advice.

Eight years ago Telma came for a visit to my apartment in Miami.  She noticed that I did not own a television set.  I explained that I didn't think I was missing very much on TV.  I preferred listening to the radio, or spinning my compact discs.  I could choose one of the many unread books on my shelves.  And if I really wanted to be productive, I could play my grand piano that sat imposingly and patiently in the living room.

Telma was surprised once more when she noticed that I did not own a computer.  Again, I questioned the need for such an electronic device.  "Jan," she said, "You will love a computer. There is so much information on the Internet."  I pointed to the large stack of music that was calling to me from the piano.  "You see those books, Telma?  If had two or maybe three lifetimes, I still could not get to the bottom of that pile."  I thought to myself, "The Preludes and Fugues of Bach, the Sonatas of Mozart and the Nocturnes of Chopin contain all the information I will ever need."

Alas, my library expanded as did my CD collection.  The tower of music grew higher.  I wondered if a computer would help me to catalogue the volumes of my addictions.  I was also hearing about something called email.  And Jeff Gordon mentioned that computers store pictures and descriptions of female "singles!"  Hmm.