Friday, April 17, 2015

Already done



I'm reading "Bangkok Days" by Lawrence Osborne, and it is possible that no one ever has to write a book about Bangkok again.

Osborne perfectly maps so many classic Thai moments well known to those of us who live in the Kingdom. He becomes known as "Miss Lalant" by Thai workers who can't quite manage "Mister Lawrence," and his seedy drinking buddies call him that too. At one point, he wakes up in a hospital and sees "Miss Lalant" written on his IV drips.

He writes about how Thais are masters of gentle bemusement, especially when confronted by indignant Westerners and their demands. This happens when he and his friend are kicked out of the British Club for nonpayment of dues, for example, or when a French journalist complains about the quality of the room he's been given for free as part of his story on a Hua Hin spa for a Swiss magazine.

Osborne stays in a farang men apartment block, where a university student goes down the hall knocking on doors until someone answers who wants to have sex with her. And then, you know, she gets paid.

It's a completely different sphere from us expat moms. He's probably never argued with an amusement park ticket booth worker to get the "Thai price." And he's probably never gone shopping in Chinatown for Christmas decorations.

I like my experiences better.