Gregorian Chants

Greetings, musings and a hearty Thai wai from halfway around the world

Finally, after more than 30 hours of travel, Vahe Gregorian sits down for a meal on the resort island of Ko Samui, Thailand.
Finally, after more than 30 hours of travel, Vahe Gregorian sits down for a meal on the resort island of Ko Samui, Thailand. The Kansas City Star

Wow, what a weird New Year this has been.

It started in Orlando for Missouri’s game in the Citrus Bowl. A day after returning from that, I left for the Dominican Republic to retrace the life and rise of Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura (watch for the unveiling of that project later this week on

That meant spending the next week or so mostly in a fetal position inside a panic room in my bunker, to try to be done with my Ventura stories before leaving for a long-planned trip to Thailand to “officiate” a wedding of friends. (No, I didn’t bring a zebra suit with me.)

It also meant, and means, not writing anything else for weeks, which is a particularly disconnected, discombobulating feeling from 13 time zones away.

Especially since this exotic kind of trip is so outside my comfort zone, full of all the discoveries and mysteries and stresses and surprises that come with being immersed in such a different culture and language.

What’s also got me off-balance right now is moving around old-school … without a cell phone.

That’s because of an unfortunate development in the Dominican in which either my phone was pinging constantly (whatever that actually means) or because an attempt to email a blog to the office from the hinterlands was clogged in the sending queue for something like 17 hours.

Even though I’m semi-sure our wireless provider will ultimately realize this wasn’t actual date usage and forgive this fee, even though I get that if you put the phone in airplane mode no data can be used over here, even though I know I’m a technophobe, no way am I turning that thing back on until I’m back in the USA.

But it’s really odd to not feel that in my pocket or be able to reach for it when in perceived need, and just not to be able to be reached at any time.

All of which I realize is part of the point of these once-in-a-lifetime type of trips, isn’t it?

To disconnect and get out of your own skin and see and feel the world through a different lens … not to mention through a massage or two that I can’t wait to get on the resort island of Ko Samui.

That’s where we now are headed for an apparently all-but-intergalactic gathering in tribute to our friends, Bobby and Tanya, who are first-generation Americans of Persian and Thai descent, respectively.

Can’t wait for that … but also can’t wait to get back.

In the meantime, here’s looking at you, KC, with a Thai wai, their unique and touching bow with palms pressed together that confers greeting and respect.

To reach Vahe Gregorian, call 816-234-4868 or send email to Follow him on Twitter at @vgregorian. For previous columns, go to