A tough pedal into Bangkok, and medical tourism with a dermatologist #10

on’s Thai Vegetarian Restaurant and Cooking Class

The Thai government goes out of their way to insure tourist well-being and safety

Our dear friend On (that is her name) has a simply great vegetarian restaurant and cooking school in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Her menu is so varied that I have eaten all my meals there for a whole week and there were still many new items left for me to try. Jeff Mease and I convinced our Belgian physician friends to take the class, and they immensely enjoyed the lessons, and eating what they had made.
Jeff gave his bike away to On’s son. So now I would be bicycling solo. I left Kanchanaburi at sunrise. I pedaled 110 kms and got to the edge of Bangkok at about 5 pm. No way was I going to ride into the city under darkness. Bangkok is surrounded by rivers and canals, and wild traffic. Many roads just dead end against a waterway.

I had this 1.5 meter bike lane all to myself, 60 meters above ground. Only problem was high velocity winds and that there was not an exit for 22 kms.

Next morning, I studied my GPS and I found one highway that went over the canals in a straight line. When I finally found an entrance ramp to the highway, I saw that the expressway was elevated over 200 feet above the city. I pedaled to the top to find that there was a bike lane about 4 feet wide. Good, I will take it. I began pedaling high above the city in a strong breeze. I was the only one in the bike lane. So I began pedaling, and pedaling, and pedaling. There was no exit for 15 miles! When I finally came to an exit, I took it. At the bottom, I just had one more long bridge to cross, and I was in Bangkok.

My hand before laser surgery, with the moles and keratituses

My hand 13 days after laser surgery

My mother had squamous cell skin cancer. She had it removed surgically and had no further problems with it. They often start as keratoses or moles. I had noticed that in the last 10 years, a sizable number of keratoses and moles had appeared on my body. Too much sun in my earlier years. I had a few removed with liquid nitrogen, but I was having a difficult time scheduling any appointment with a dermatologist in Bloomington, Indiana. So I visited the Makalin dermatology center in Bangkok, within easy walking distance of my guest house.
I entered and the place really looked professional. A medical doctor examined me. She seemed to know her stuff. She said that with three different types of lasers, they could remove all the moles and keratituses that I had, about 75 in total.
And for how much?
They did the math, and told me $324.
When can we start?
They numbed all the spots with a topical anesthetic and began at it. I watched the red laser smoke them away as the assistant sucked the smoke up with small vacuum hose, so that I would not smell my burning flesh. They moved me into two other rooms and used different lasers, depending upon the size and depth of the mole or keratitus. Three hours later, they were done. They covered up the wounds now over my body, gave me several ointments, told me to strictly stay out of the sun, and come back in 2 weeks. It is now 13 days later and my wounds have healed. ALL the moles and keratituses are gone. It appears to be a successful operation. I will go in tomorrow for one last checkup, and then fly home.
I tried the change my plane ticket with Air China to fly home earlier. In the past, I had always been able to do this with a few hundred dollar penalty. But Air China said no, no way. I would simply have to throw away my remaining ticket and buy a new one-way ticket from them for…. $1250! I had just paid $850 for the original round-trip ticket. So… screw Air China, I will just stay around another week. I’m sure I can find something fun to do.

a bed made of well-finished packing crates

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