Monday, November 5, 2007

1985-86: Fred's Journal Through Asia

1985-86:Fred's Journal Through Asia. I thought it might be fun for you to read my journal from December 1985 through about April 1986. Most of this time was spent in Japan, Thailand, Nepal and India with my wife and three children ages 10 to 14 at the time. I and my wife then were 37 years old and my father had passed away about 4 months before so I was going through some profound changes in my life and would be for some time to come.

Since this trip of 4 months or more I have considered not only myself but all my family to be Citizens of the Earth and not just Americans anymore for no experience that I presently know of would have changed us all more unless we had gone to another planet. My 14 year old said, "These people think we are gold plated E.T's" If you had been on this trip with us you would have agreed. He was referring to people we met way out in the country who had not been educated at all even through 3 years of grade school so to them we were something I can't really describe usefully to you unless you had been there and experienced it. So many things through us into serious culture shock especially in India out in the country. Every time we encountered a leper or a dead body that no one would ever pick up we had to persevere to keep it together as a family. For at that time to help someone over there there was a tendency to think you had to take care of that person for life. That was just a part of the culture then.It made things difficult to adjust to in some ways while in India especially. It was ok to give a few coins to those in need which we did almost every day except when we weren't traveling but more than that seemed to be frowned upon at that time by most people. So even middle class Americans like us were well into the top 20 or 30% of the wealthy and educated of India at that time. However, now, 20 years later everything has changed because like China the economy of India is on a roll and is expanding in an amazing way that is benefiting millions of Indian citizens.
The following is the location of my online journal of 1985-1986:

NOte: The above address no longer exists and if you paste it it will redirect you to which is my new site. But I don't think I have my Journal through Asia copied to that site. So, if I decide to put it there I will try to get this info to you here. One my my ethical problems with sharing all this is that I am divorced from my wife I was married to then and remarried with another daughter who is close to going to college now. So, my life has changed a lot since then. So, though my biological son and I are both Buddhists in addition to being mystical Christians now, the rest of my ex-wife's family likely is not. So, I have mixed emotions about sharing this for obvious reasons. I started to share more recently at:

Here are some of the spiritual realizations I experienced then to start:

Attainment of Realization
Attainment of future realizations for others

I must give myself the Freedom to benefit myself so that I may benefit others




When the mind has no place where it can stop and become limited the Great Mahamudra is present
By cultivating such an attitude one attains supreme enlightenment.

Help: From all points in the universe to all points in the universe---

By Becoming the Galaxy one becomes an immortal representative of the Galaxy---
(The Goal of all Dragons of Compassion)

The above were realization quotes created by this journey, this pilgrimage that for me was very like going to a completely different planet it was so different than the U.S.


We leave for Thailand day after tomorrow. After so many years the waiting will finally be over! What we will find I cannot completely say. The only culture changes that would be more different than ours than the ones we will meet would be to go off planet. I can see why I had to wait until I was mature enough not to get caught in the past. This journey will make our family true citizens of the world.

December 11 & 12

We are crossing the International date line. It is 5:11 pm Wednesday the 11th San Francisco Time and Thursday the 12th 10:41 AM Tokyo time. It has been 55+ years since I have been to Asia and 40 years since I died as a young 12 year old in Nagasaki. The food here in 1st Class on JAL was a combination of Asian and American. There are a few Americans here in 1st Class where we were put but here on the top front of a JAL 747. Most of the people are Asian. A lot of Japanese Businessmen are flying here in 1st class. The plane looked very clean and new when we 1st saw it with Claire this morning. We seem to be flying very high close to 40,000 feet the highest clouds are at least 20,000 feet to 30,000 feet below us.

today Sunday June 23rd 2013:
 I know I have transcribed this somewhere before but I haven't found it yet.end quote today.

Friday December 13th 1985
Well We're here in Bankok. We landed in Tokyo at 4:30 pm yesterday--beautiful flight. The feeling of Japan wasn't as self confident as I had expected. The feeling at Narito Airport was of a people who are survivors who have a different set of problems than Americans but who are closer to each other than Americans are. Body language is different.  A man in a full dress suit at Narito Airport was sitting across from me and acting strange. I didn't know if he was gay had a leg problem was being macho or what so I ignored him because I couldn't figure out what was going on.

When we walked out of Bankok, Thailand Airport about 20 guys tried to grab our bags and put us in their taxis. We finally settled on 500 bhats $23 dollars to take us to Sweety's Guest house for 2 taxis.
We got a large room at Sweety's for 200 bhats ($10). The room was very clean (no bugs) beds with Sheets only (too hot) (and this is December?) I had lived in Hilo, Hawaii in August 1974 and this was much hotter than that(December?) beds are 3 feet off the floor (tropical climate and potential snakes or bugs?) Most roads late at night seem to have no speed limits because our drivers drove 70 to 90 miles per hour across town to get us there quickly. Many 3 wheeled bright colored taxis. Most cars and buses are made in Asia and Great Britain. I haven't seen any American cars yet. Sweety's has a 3 foot by 3 foot Thai Buddhist pagoda on it's roof terrace. There are 3 foot fans that go all night because of the incredible heat and humidity. It hasn't gone below 80 to 85 degrees at any moment of the night. Humidity is about 95%. Thai writing looks like Tibetized English but is illegible to westerners so we can't even read business signs.

December 16th 1985
Koi Samed Island. 3 hours North? of Bankok. Since I last wrote we had a very difficult time Friday December 13th morning trying to find out where we were in relation to the Nepalese Embassy. Almost no one speaks English. After a very frustrating 2 hours we finally got on the right bus going in the right direction. On the bus we met a sophisticated Thai woman who spoke English and was helpful. We also met Nairoosee (Nirus) for short. he is a 22 year old Thai from Malaysia Thai Border near Koi Samoi island which is a tourist trap for Europeans and Yanks like us. It is ten hours by bus and train. If we had more time we would go there.

Back at Sweety's Guest house last night. We were all very tired. Two of the kids got sick at koi Samed Island. One threw up over the side of the boat ride over. A young 20 year old Thai helped my comfort my son. Thailand is forcing all of us to be more adaptable. Worked 2 hours filling out forms for visas for Nepal. Nairoos ahs been traveling with us and has been invaluable(priceless) as a friend and in helping us bargain for everything including taxis and food. he has been to Cairo, Egypt for 6 years studying Arabic and French. Traveling with us is helping him with his English, Arabic and French he says and understanding the cultural background of Americans.

We met a nurse from Seattle  with a German Carpenter traveling around the world. She said the first week in a country you pay the most until you figure out all what's going on in the local area.

Note: June 23rd 2013
There were many aspects to going to Koi Samed Island that were otherworldly. For example, there were two men riding a motorcycle carrying 8 foot long pieces of wood on one of their two left shoulders along the freeway like this was normal without helmets. However, we also saw at least several destroyed motorcycles every day in Bankok. Also, the air was brown with no mufflers or catalytic converters. So, about 7 am it became deafening in our room from no mufflers on thousands to a million cars and buses and taxis and trucks in Bangkok. You had to yell to converse with each other. It was pretty unexpected like just how hot it was going to be in December in Bangkok.

But then after the bus ride to the boats that take you out to the islands I looked at the boat and I wondered if it was safe enough to even get on. It was wooden boat and diesel powered. Then a man dressed as a woman danced on the bow of the boat and it seemed like the people were worshipping him. I had no idea what this was about either. But later I learned they are island shaman priests that do this to protect sailors from dangers at sea. So, I guess they are paid for this entertainment and blessing by the ship captains.

Once on the Island there was no pier to get off on. The boat was just driven up on the beach. So, I jumped out in about 3 feet of water and my 10 year old son jumped in and got pretty wet. But my 14 year old was big enough not to drown in the surf. Then we formed a chain with me the deepest and we passed out baggage from me to the 14 year old to the 10 year old. Then I piggy backed my 12 year old daughter and my 37 year old wife ashore so they didn't have to get as wet as we were. Then we ate Garlic shrimp caught there that day and fried on the beach. We got a room which was an empty hut 4 feet off the ground. We brought sleeping bags and duffel bags so we were fine. The next day we rented snorkels and masks and were told to watch out for rock fish which were poisonous to step on and to not put our feet or hands in giant clams because we would drown. Once they close they don't open for an hour or more usually and people die. We also rented a sailboard which was a lot of fun sailing. My oldest son and I got pretty good with it. But another kid then rented it and sailed right out to sea because he didn't know how to turn it. I notified the owner who got in his powerboat and went about 5 miles out to sea to rescue the kid who didn't know how to turn the sailboard back towards the land. But, the two boys got sick likely from eating something maybe. We were more vigilant after we watched people refill bottled water with a hose which likely caused my sons to get sick. Because they were saying it was sealed when it wasn't boiled first to try to make more money and were getting people sick instead. Many things aren't policed the way they would be in the U.S. so one has to be very vigilant (at least then it was this way). end note today in 2013.

Note: I likely will add more later. This journal goes from the flight over December 11th and 12th 1985 to the flight back in April 1986. 

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