Getting around Bangkok, Thailand

ArroyoCityNews spent the last three weeks in Bangkok, Thailand. We won’t bore you with a “what we did on holiday” travelogue, but we thought you might be interested in the ways to get around the city – some conventional and some not so conventional. The city suffers from permanent gridlock, so street transportation can take forever.

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Taxis are colorful and cheap. We’re not sure why Pepto Bismol pink and John Deere yellow and green are the colors of choice, but it makes for easy recognition and a bright journey.

For a fun ride, our first choice would be a Tuk Tuk. These are motorized tricycles that are more agile than taxis and get through side streets inaccessible to cars.

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If you want a “put your life in danger” hair-raising zip around the city (mostly on the wrong side of the road) – hail a moped and jump on the back. Not recommended for the faint of heart, but dirt cheap and way faster than any other street vehicle. They are easily recognizable by the orange jacketed drivers. We are definitely too old for this.

Lastly, buses are available, but are hot, busy, intermittent and slow. They are, however, cheap.

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Now to the quick and reliable methods – the MRT (metro) and BTS (skytrain). While busy and usually packed, especially at rush hour, they run frequently and punctually. If a station is near your destination this is the way to go.

For the old city and Chinatown areas, boat travel is fun and reliable. There are traditional cross-river ferries, hop-on hop-off express boats, regular ferries and of course the long tail river boat. There is no experience to compare with being propelled over the water in a long skinny flat bottomed boat powered by a gleaming V8 perched on the stern. A ride not to be missed.

All in all, getting around Bangkok can be frustrating, exhilarating, slow, scary or wild – but always interesting and an adventure.

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Compassion remembered

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A Greek woman who became an international symbol of solidarity at the peak of the Syrian refugee crisis has died. Maritsa Mavrapidi (seen here with her cousins) was 90 years old. The three elderly women, who became known as the “Lesvos grannies,” are shown here helping a young Syrian mother who had just landed on the shores of the eastern Aegean island after making the treacherous crossing from Turkey in October 2015.

The image of the three women tending to the infant while its mother changed into dry clothes was published around the world and prompted a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Lesvos’s residents in 2016. “She was an honest woman who made us proud, and we will remember her always,” the community president of Mavrapidi’s village, Skala Skamnias said. A large crowd gathered for her funeral to honor her.

No matter what our opinion regarding migrants/refugees, compassion for those in need is our duty, commanded by our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. Maritsa Mavrapidi, her cousins and countless others on the island, at great hardship to themselves, rescued and tended to up to 2,500 refugees per day at the peak of the crisis. They showed the world what Christians do in honoring God. May He bless their efforts and may her memory be eternal.

Thanks to Lefteris Partsalis for the photo.

Banyana Banyana heartbreak

Yesterday the South African national women’s soccer team lost the final game of the AWCON tournament in Accra, Ghana to the Nigerians. The Nigerians are nine times winners and the power house of African football. The plucky South Africans beat them in the qualifying round, but could not pull off the double. The game could have gone either way, with no score after regular time and no score after extra time. Nigeria scored all four of their penalty shots, while South Africa missed one to go down 4-3.

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The bright notes in this are that Banyana Banyana have qualified for the next World Cup and Thembi Kgatlana was voted player of the tournament. Thembi is a forward with the team and plays her professional game with the Houston Dash here in the US. Practically a fellow Texan. Congratulations Thembi!

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Banyana Banyana

The South African national women’s soccer team, Banyana Banyana (loosely translated as “the Girls, the Girls”) today face the Super Falcons of Nigeria in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana. This is the premier tournament in African football and the finalists automatically secure a berth in the World Cup.

We realize that the result of this game is of absolutely no consequence to anyone here on the Arroyo and only the Arroyo City News staff could care less – however, with our close ties to South Africa and love of the “beautiful game” we wish South Africa all the best in the game. Go Banyana Banyana! Obviously we shall keep you all posted on the result.

For those with a penchant for useless trivia, the South African men’s national team is Bafana Bafana – “the Boys the Boys”

World Series

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The world series of baseball is under way. We have been informed that it involves the Boston Red Sox and the LA Dodgers and that the Red Sox are leading the series 2-0. Since half the Arroyo City News staff is from Boston, we lend our support to the Red Sox.  GO RED SOX!!!!!!!!!!

It seems we aren’t the only ones rooting for Boston, according to a recent poll (from Boston Magazine!), here’s a map showing national distribution of support by state:

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Stanley Cup

In the spirit of who gives a $%*p, congratulations to the Washington Capitals for their convincing triumph in the Stanley Cup finals over the upstart Las Vegas ??????. For the uninitiated, the Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in the world. The culmination of the National Hockey League season is a best of seven series between the two winners of the conference playoff series – pretty much the same as the format for baseball. The Caps have never won the Stanley Cup, so this is a big moment for them.

If you want a “rare gem” to impress your friends and acquaintances, the only South African ever to play in the NHL was Olaf Kolzig (Olie the goalie) who played for the Caps in the 90’s. Where I’m from originally, ice is what you put in gin and tonic! So now tip your hat to Olie the goalie

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