Saturday, May 22, 2010

Udorn Hotel

We are staying at the Udorn Hotel in town since the BOQ [Base Officers Quarters] isn't too adequate. The hotel is surprisingly nice in most respects although the bed is hard and lumpy. The room is large and air conditioned and we have a bathtub but the hot water is brown with sediment.

-Dad, Sept. 9, 1967

I wasn’t too sure about the Udon Hotel at first. It looked a bit too nice to be one of Dad’s old Air Force hotels, and parts of it seemed more recent in vintage. The woman at the desk told me it dated back only 30 years.

But the more I looked, the more clues I noticed. The chair and table sets next to the plate glass window overlooking the garden, for example, were kind of groovy. Were they copies of the originals, or merely chosen to match the period floor tiles and light fixtures? Who knows? Not me, that's for sure.

It was the sign on the front that convinced me, though: "Udorn Hotel," just like he spelled it. There were birds nesting behind the letters. Just as I was snapping photos of it, Chad walked up. The property manager had approached him in the parking lot after getting suspicious of the foreigners shooting pictures of his hotel. He told Chad the original building dated back 50 years. A new wing had been added 18 years ago.

I got up about 9 this morning and went downstairs for breakfast. Afterward we went across the street to a combined park and zoo which was pretty interesting. It is a primitive place but they had bears, llamas, wild boars, monkeys etc. in cages along the sides of the park. - November 5

I'm pretty sure this was the park he was talking about. The bears, llamas et al are gone, mercifully, since I'm sure they were kept in tiny, sad cages in the hot sun. The field is partially paved and used for festivals now. It seemed a bit lonely and deserted. While we were walking through it, a Coke truck came across and kicked up a whole lot of dust.

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