An APB went out on the ex-pat grapevine this morning for English/French/German-speaking people to look after tourists brought to BKK, whether injured, bereaved, orphaned or whatever.
So Sonja and I went and registered ourselves, then went off to the Red Cross to give blood.
Blood donations: there isn't a culture of that in Thailand, but an appeal went out in the Bangkok Post. So Sonja and I went down to the Red Cross today; it was amazing.
Hundreds of people - Thais, ex-pat Westerners, tourists, all queueing to give blood. The Thais were being lectured in the queues by the Westerners about having a good breakfast before donating (many were fainting, because of unfamiliarity and from shock); a couple of Thai film stars came along with their bodyguards and film crews, but that's good because it was on the local news and encouraged more locals to donate. The response was terrific.
We've watched the BBC World Service with growing horror. On Boxing Day morning we felt nothing here in Bangkok, although those in the high-rise blocks certainly felt the earthquake. I turned on the BBC at around 2pm (six hours after the initial quake) and was horrified. And it's become worse hour on hour and day on day.
From a personal and totally selfish point of view it means I have to stick around here for a while (how dreadful) as my only route is south - Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra.
But it's good to be able to help out, if only on a rather trivial basis. If I were in the UK I could throw a credit card at it and feel good. Here, one needs to be able to do a bit more than that, and I'm fortunate that I can.
With apologies to John Scott Heinecke (nice guy with R100GS), I include here his email to me today: "Hope you still in BKK. I am down in Phuket helping with disaster. It is a nightmare and a mess. I will send you an update later."
This thing is affecting absolutely everyone. Even the rich. Even the powerful. The King's grandson died. The family who owns the Peninsula Hotel (no you can't afford it) is missing. Speak to anyone here and they know someone, or there's a family member, or . . .
I'm extremely lucky that I'm staying with a great family who seem to be very unwilling to let me go and are begging me to abuse their hospitality. And I've made great friends with Taptim the maid.
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
Next HU Events
- Thailand Mini: Jan 9-11
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16
- Germany: May 14-17
- Canada Ontario: Jun 18-21
- Ireland: June 26-28
- Colorado: July 17-19 TBC
- Canada West: Aug 20-23
- USA California: Sep 24-27
- Aus Queensland: Sep 24-27
- USA North Carolina: Oct 8-11
- Aus Perth: Oct 9-11
- Germany: Oct 22-25
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!