Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

Viswa - Asia Tour 2012 (Part 2)

I arrived in Bangkok at 5:30AM. The plan was that I would meet my parents at baggage claim when their flight arrived at 6:30AM, and we would then take the hotel "limo" to the Rembrandt. Sometimes the best plans…. About 2 hours after their flight landed I was still walking around baggage claim with no idea where they were. Like all good kids, I had assumed my parents had ignored my thoughtful instructions. I went up to the information desk and asked if they could page my parents, but evidently my English wasn't sufficient, and my Thai is non-existent. It was about that point where I thought I should head to the hotel and try to figure it out from there. Luckily, I walked by the baggage carousel one more time and a suitcase stuck out. My dad has a penchant for sticking multiple return address stickers on his suitcase. (You know the ones they send you in the mail for "free" if you make a donation to some cause?) I noticed one suitcase that looked like a 3rd grade girl had attacked it after receiving a birthday present of stickers, so I knew my parents were still in the airport. I finally come to find out that they had been sent to get a visa because the Thai Airlines folks had assumed they were Indian citizens. They stood in line for almost 2 hours only to find out that as Americans thy don't need a visa and should just stand in the immigration line.

We proceeded to spend the next 2 days sightseeing. We saw the reclining Buddha statue at Wot Pho one day. The next day, my dad and I were measured for suits. (I highly recommend St. Marco tailors at 1 Sukhumvit Soi 15.) We then headed down to the Grand Palace. It was the second time I saw the Grand Palace, and I have to admit that it doesn't get old. It's truly beautiful. (You can see pictures on my website.)

The next day I met up with Somtow Sucharitkul, the director of Opera Siam. We discussed some cool ideas (still under wraps) that could be very neat for both Opera Siam and The Skylight. That evening, I saw a rehearsal of the Siam Sinfonietta - a youth orchestra. I was energized by the level of excitement those kids brought to their playing!

The next morning was the craziest brunch ever. I ate enough for 10 men. We had brunch at the Grand Kempinski, and I have to say that it was magnificent. From there I walked to pick up my suits. Picked up my bags from the hotel and headed to the airport. This is where I got lucky. Unbeknownst to me - because I had forgotten - one is not allowed to re-enter India on a multiple entry visa until 2 months after the initial entry. If you remember, I was in India just before Bangkok. Luckily that 2 month law was repealed 2 weeks before!!! I made it back to India with no problems.