managed to sleep til 4:30 local time, not bad. i actually feel fairly morninglike. read and finished The Laughing Sutra before the 6:30 breakfast buffet. (the power just went off and on again, but i guess they have backup for the computers.) i had boiled eggs, rice with peas and carrots, and some wondefully spicy dish with garpanzo beans (chick peas) in it. i also had terrible instant coffee. then i went up to the roof and peered about through the fog, took some clandestine pictures of a mother and her little boy cooking breakfast and studying on the adjacent roof and went out for a stroll. most americans who have fallen for the war on terror stereotypes would be quivering with fear here. so many people loosely fitting the image which has been custom fitted to our nightmares. turbans everywhere, the call to worship from the local mosque this morning. actually, everyone is effusively friendly so far. i've lined up a tuk-tuk for all day tomorrow at a cost of about $6, assuming i don't have my lasik immediately, in which case i will just put him off for two days. saw four cows wandering the street, but other than that and the ethnicity of the people, it is very reminiscent of viet nam or cambodia. the same infrastructure that you can't believe actually works, the same mad traffic (although in vietnam it is mostly two wheeled and thus a bit more manageable), the same street life. all this is from strolling a few blocks in each direction from my hotel, so don't take it as gospel yet. i'm sure my feel for the place will evolve.