Another mysterious visitor

Quite a number of people read this blog, few of whom I actually know.  Every so often I will receive a random message from someone and it invariably starts out, “You don’t know me, but I read your blog…”.  This has led to any number of interesting acquaintances and more than a few friendships, so on the whole I think it is a good thing.

A few weeks ago I received another one of those messages, this one from Mario in Chicago.  A United Airlines employee (my former employer, Tawn’s former employer, my father’s former employer, the former and current employer of many friends, etc.), Mario stumbled across my blog while reading trip reports on  As he was heading to the Big Mango on a business trip, an opportunity existed to say hello and to meet up.

P1060665 Friday evening, Tawn and I picked up Mario at his hotel and then met Ken (who is also a former UA employee who also met me through at the Saladaeng Cafe.  This restaurant, run by the Jim Thompson Foundation, is a pleasant nice-but-not-stuffy Thai restaurant located off Thanon Sathorn. 

Right, Tawn with the food, which was tasty but definitely seasoned for western tastes.  No chilies at all!

We had a fun time visiting and of course the common aviation industry background provided plenty of fodder for the conversation, what with merger speculations and rumors being the news of the day.

Ken and Mario actually know several people in common, so we spent a while playing the “do you know so-and-so” game.  I’m not sure who won.  Also, since Mario used to live in San Francisco there was another point of commonality there.

Below from left: Mario, Chris, Ken and Tawn.  The picture behind us is pretty strange, I think.  The green and blue long-necked women look like zombies.


After dinner we stopped by the Millennium Hilton for a drink and some jazz music at 360, their top-floor bar.  It was a pleasure meeting Mario and we’ll have to find ourselves in Chicago one of these days for another visit.

Speaking of visitors, a spate of them are arriving.  Darrin will be in town very briefly on his way from San Francisco to India.  He arrived last night late and leaves early Monday morning, so I think we’re meeting up for lunch.  Big Michael will be in town from Hong Kong the week after next, and we’re already looking ahead to Bruce’s visit in October.


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