Three excerpt reflections on Thailand


'Whereas London sleepwalks reluctantly in stunned silence, Bangkok jolts to life like a child who has just received a pellet gun for christmas. '                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                 - 7am, first morning in Bangkok.


'After scrambling for bags thrown off the overnight bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani, we are ordered into the crude neon of an overly bright room for this time of night. "The Beach" is playing on the TV over the bar selling 'scram eggs on tost'. It seems once Hollywood has captured 'the scene' of a place, all that is left is to play the characters, and the Thai's seem to be striving for oscars as directors. As we are marched to the backs of pick-ups which will take us to our idyllic island of choice, it occurs to me that the playing of "The Beach" in the bar is a big middle finger to us fanangs: we've seen the film, we've MADE the T-shirt - "Do you want buy? I make you discount?" - now we know the score, we'll direct you to our pre-fabricated paradise; just follow the rules.'  
                                                                                                                                 - 6am, transferring buses for ferry to Ko Lanta island


'Beer chang is 6.5% and costs 50p. The sunset shines through the bottle as it rests on my stomach. The beach is deserted. Just me, my beer and these thoughts. All is forgiven.'                     
                                                                                                                                    - dusk, Ko Lanta island.


mark.

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