The Thai pharmacist I met on the train is planning to visit the US but he told me he is afraid. He thinks America is a dangerous place to go, and this opinion is shared by others (according to him). It is not the crime, typical of all big cities. Or the Virginia Tech shootings, done by a madman. It is because so many people in the world hate us now - that makes it dangerous.
I had to admit that he is right, although we American optimists overcome this fear and believe it will change soon with a new President.
I reminded the Thai that there have been several bombings in Bangkok since November 2006, and that thousands are killed annually in the south of Thailand near the Malaysia border (religious disputes between Muslims and Buddhists). The pharmacist had to admit that Thailand is just as dangerous, but he is optimistic :-).
Also, on being dropped at my Bangkok hotel yesterday, the gate security people made the taxi stop and open the trunk for inspection.
I also noted that security in airports is quite varied. I had the usual liquid check leaving the US, but not at all on any domestic Thai flights - just a machine scan of luggage. In Hong Kong I had to go through another security check even though I was in transit to Bangkok in the gate area, and had to take out all electronics, including iPod but not remove my shoes.
Let's see how it is in the Cambodia flight.