About the book: In 1964 Paul Krakowski, a journalism professor at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a Fulbright lecturehsip at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. He and his wife, Blair, a librarian, departed San Francisco in May of that year, and after stopovers in Hawaii, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, arrived in Bangkok on June 12.
Their lives immediately became extremely interesting, as learning the ways of the Thai people was a necessity for maintaining comfortable daily living. There were exotic fruits and vegetables in the market, bargaining with taxi drivers for fares and avoiding ice made with impure water. Snakes lurked in public places, mail took strange prolonged detours before arriving in Bangkok from the states, and several times their apartment was burglarized - once while they were sleeping.
But luckily the Krakowskis discovered that all of the elements of culture shock were not bad; some were quite fascinating. There was the feeding of monks, the trays of beetles displayed at the Sunday market, the snake farm with feeding and milking cobras, Thai wedding customs and the Thieves Market, where everything under the sun was displayed for sale - and most of it stolen from foreigners!
Paul and Blair spent two happy and exciting years in thailand, and then it was time to go home. Their return took them to such places as Jerusalem, Cairo, Naples, Pompeii, Florence, Venice, Berlin, Amsterdam and London.
The story of their travels, told via a collection of witty letters Blair sent to her parents during that time, is an imformative journal of an era rife with the escalationg conflict in nearby Vietnam, and a touching tribute to her beloved husband Paul.
About the Author: Blair Lyle Krakowski was born in Virginia. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and she has studied the Ukranian and Russian languages at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University respectively. She is a retired librarian and worked for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Mrs. Krakowski is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, AARP, and the Fulbright Association. She is also an elder with the Fourth Presbyterian Church. She has been a tutor, a teacher of English as a second language, and a volunteer with numerous literacy and community service organizations.
Mrs. Krakowski lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her husband passed away in October 1997. She wrote A Farang from Virginia: Letters from Thailand in memory of their forty-five years together.