Leslie fretted over whether she, too, would stay behind but in the end I think her curiosity and frugality won out and she headed off after breakfast to join the small group going on the outing to the Hellfire Pass, the railway ride and 4 km hike along the trail used by the prisonerswho built the railway between Thailand and Burma.
I choose to stay in the lodge and write, catching up on the journal that will become the basis of my blog entries about this trip when we get home.
Having experienced traveling all over the world now for the past 40 years of my life, I must say that just isn't the case anymore. Yes, some few Americans can still be a pain in the tukkus. But either because Americans have generally become more savvy travelers or because more people from countries that weren't able to travel are now, I am seeing far more examples of poor behavior coming from travelers from other countries. Asians, whom I once thought of as the quintessential polite travelers are more often acting more outrageously, especially the younger generation. Russians, whom I never crossed paths with before can be very loud and rude, especially when they've had too much to drink. I don't mean to focus specifically on those two groups as if they are a special problem. The people who triggered this little tirade were sitting here in the lodge and happened to be American young ladies. The examples I am using are just examples of those whose behavior I have most recently experienced.
The bottom line is, Americans still have a lot of work to do in this area. Our reputation is sullied enough by the decisions our government has made in the past few years. We must, as travelers in the world, be better ambassadors, reflecting a more understanding, more open, accepting attitude towards other ways of thinking. We need to educate ourselves before we travel so we can represent a country of open minded citizens rather than that of a closed minded conservative, with an unbending view of the world. So walk softly out there. Listen more, talk less. Ponder. Observe. Open yourself up.
Okay, I feel better now. Thanks.
The rest of my day was spent quietly relaxing while Leslie was off adventuring. Quiet that is until Leslie returned to the room late in the afternoon. When she tossed open the door she stood in the entry looking like she had been hit by a truck.
It turns out she had gone into a cave and in the darkness and accidentally fell into a hole up to her chest. She was pretty beat up with lots of scrapes, cuts and bruises. We got her cleaned up, doctored up and bandaged up. She was pretty shaken up but I slowly got her calmed and she began to feel a bit better. The resulting injuries, however, continued to give her trouble and we would have o deal with them even after we returned home.
We were finally able to take a short nap before dinner and then after dinner went off to the room intending to head for bed early. Leslie, trooper that she is and despite her earlier brush with death, choose to go to the Mon dancing performance for a while. The Mon are a tribe from Burma. She didn't stay long and was soon back in the room and ready for bed.