Imagine, if you will, settling down for the night, when suddenly it sounds like bombs are being set off just outside of your window! That was the scene here on Sunday night, after we had turned off all the lights, when, "BOOM....BOOM...BOOM" had us rushing to draw back the curtains, and see a fantastic fireworks display being shot off just a few blocks away, over the Chao Phraya River. If it sounded loud to us, I imagine the people staying in the building that was in front of ours really got an ear full.
The next day, we decided to skip seeing a temple (I know, I know, that's the reason you even bother looking at this blog), and instead went downtown to have a tour through the Jim Thompson House. We took the ferry across the river, and then traveled on the Bangkok Sky Train line for the first time.
We were first told of the Jim Thompson House by Chloe, the very nice British woman we met while staying in the Outside Inn in Chao Long, China. We had never heard of him, but she said that if you were going to go to Bangkok, you must go see his house. So we did!
Jim Thompson was born in Greenville, Delaware in 1906. He became a practicing architect in New York in 1940, and also had a great love in art. In the early 1940s, he volunteered for service with the United States Army. He was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a forerunner of the CIA. It offered him a chance to see more of the world. He was assigned to work with French Forces in North Africa. He also was sent to Italy, France and Asia.
With his natural flair for design and colour, and driven by his single-minded dedication to reviving the craft, Mr. Thompson soon gained worldwide recognition for his success in rebuilding the industry, for generating international demand for Thai silk, and for contributing to the growth of the silk industry. During his stay in Thailand, he became known as the "Legendary American of Thailand."