Minor addendums

I forgot to describe in my last post how awkward it was viewing ‘The Watchmen’ in a Thai theater. The film’s irony was completely lost in translation. The film’s alternate reality is one in which America won the Vietnam war and has re-elected Nixon for his third term. The montages of the Watchmen obliterating Vietnamese were definitely not well-received by the audience. Another interesting aspect of my bizarre viewing experience was that they played the Thai national anthem before the movie. Everyone patiently stood with their arms at their side while the the anthem proceeded and photos of the Thai king streamed across the big-screen. At first, I was trying to poke holes in this dose of nationalism, and then I imagined myself in the shoes of a foreigner before any major American sporting event.

Also, I paid 8 bucks for an unbelievable hour-long massage yesterday. $8 garnered me a massage from a professional masseuse at one of the most famous studios in Thailand. Not bad.

Surprisingly, I had an easy time dealing with the US and Chinese embassies this morning. The US embassy doubled my visa pages and I should be able to pick up my China visa this afternoon. If all goes according to plan, I am going to catch an overnight train this evening to Chang Mai. I will spend a couple days there, then make my way into Laos.

Now, here is a quick description of a man I met in my guesthouse last night. When I returned home last evening around 19:00, there was an absolutely disgusting man passed-out on the couch outside my room. He was a balding, bloated, pasty-white heap of ash and booze rudely hogging our flat’s communal area in the early evening. There were two empty 8 ounce bottles of whiskey, an energy drink, a half-eaten container of fried rice and a full ash-tray on the table within arms-reach of the fellow. I cleared some of his stuff offthe table, turned on the BBC and plopped down in the room’s lone chair to eat my pork noodle soup. Tom awoke after thirty minutes, and after another ten minutes of fighting his hangover, he was ready to communicate. I was extremely curious about this chap, and I slowly probed into his background. I will keep the rest of this synopsis brief: Tom has an engineering degree from a university in his home state of North Carolina. He moved to Japan after university, and has been teaching english abroad for the last 14 years. He hasn’t returned home in that period of time. He has married one Thai girl, and has children with two. He is currently unemployed. He doesn’t have enough money to make it through the month, yet he decided to consume two 8 ounce bottles of whiskey, 2 liters of beer and a pack of cigarettes last evening. He now wants to return to the states, and he is angry that his father won’t send him a plane ticket. His father’s excuse is that his son hasn’t come home, and has barely communicated for the past 14 years. How can his dad be so selfish? After all, aren’t they family? Sorry for the rant and being so judgemental. The broad spectrum of humans is astonishing.

I still love Bangkok.


One Response to “Minor addendums”

  1. Keira Says:

    Amazing Race 14 started, and your trip beats it. Hope you’re having the time of your life.

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