Saturday, 2 January 2016

I miss the honky tonks, Dairy Queens and 7-Elevens - David Byrne.



Can't speak for the honky tonks, but the Thais really like the other aforementioned American institutions which abound in Bangkok where we spent the first two nights. There's a 7-Eleven every hundred metres or so. Got here with Millie on Tuesday after what seemed like forever on a plane. We had to change in Hong Kong, so now we can say that we've set foot on Chinese soil. It was great getting out of the airport taxi at our hotel in the evening and taking a first lungful of local air. The whole region has a very specific smell. It was great to be back.

Spent the first day going up and down the Chao Phraya river, exploring the flower market and trying to avoid the American chains such as the the golden locked arches, (excuse my German), and the place that sells dish-water under the name of coffee. What is the obsession here with 'Dunkin Doughnuts?'



Decided to get out of the city for the New Year, so took an Air Asia, (the Oriental and superior version of the Irish airline), down to Krabi, which turned out to be a slightly faded but charming place from which to set out to the islands in the Andaman Sea. The celebratory fireworks stopped just after midnight, and the guesthouse was comfortable. Only problem was the tourist in the next room, who seemed to be determined to get his money's worth out of the prostitute who was with him. It was a a very noisy night. Had to hand it to him though, the man had staying-power. Either that, or a catering pack of Viagra. Or both.

Millie seems to be attracting a lot of attention. Women keep telling her how beautiful she is. It's her skin. What to us Westerners is a pale Celtic pallor is the dream colour to the people of the region. There are posters everywhere for a product with the bizarre name of 'Snail White.' This Franco/Disney sounding product claims to lighten the skin, so that SE Asians can look like westerners, who in turn, want to look like bronzed SE Asians. Roll on skin exchange surgery.


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