As we taxi to the terminal, the flight attendant, along with the usual info about connecting flights, local time and weather, announces that “Bringing drugs into the country is subject to the death penalty.” Good to know. Now, then…

The food selection in the airport alone is enough to make you want to miss your flight. Curry this, hot pepper that, duck, prawns, venison, cuttlefish.

While shopping in a typical tourist chotchki store, a smiling clerk approached and, seeing that my hands were full, bowed and handed me a small metal tote. That’s pretty typical here at the airport, anyway. Everyone is so nice, not bored or inattentive to what they’re doing. Quite a contrast to our homegrown clerks who either don’t acknowledge you at all, are busy talking with a coworker, or yapping on their cellphones while they’re ringing up your order.

On the airplane ready to take off, I’m thinking that it’s pretty amzing to realize that you can fly into a country, land at an airport, spend a few hours there, and know absolutely nothing about the country, its people, its leaders, its history, culture, nothing. Maybe it’s just me, but it does seem to be pretty incredible. And it makes you understand just how large the world really is, despite all the global village and globalization talk.

And yet, I kick myself for passing up a 45-minute Thai massage for only 500 Baht (about 15 bucks)!