Bangkok, April 2007
Part II

After Part I

April 13-22, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007 [Songkran] (*)

The day started with a trip to my local massage parlor where the girls we preparing for giving and receiving water 'damage'.

I just love Hyla Matthews. You do remember her bit about how to cover her vagina when exiting a car? Here she is challenging Heather Mills:

More later, the day is young.

(*) Also Friday the thirteenth.

PS: Each quarter The Peninsula hotel sends out a listing of events that will be held at the hotel during next three months. This issue's cover shot looks like it was framed from our porch (though the slight downward angle of my picture suggests that the hotel tripod was on the ground floor).

Saturday, April 14, 2007 (Pre-journal)

Don Bull sent this wonderful clip from Sarah Silverman:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I have never seen Bangkok so traffic free on a Saturday morning. Of course, the fact that it is a national holiday (Songkran) and half the population has left the city for the long weekend. Add to that that 95% of the shops are closed.

In the afternoon a few more vehicles were out but they were mostly tuk tuks, conventional taxis and lots of roaming pickups loaded with kids armed with water canons.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 (Pre-journal)

How many THOCBDC readers remember the Vikingfest or Slugfest in Poulsbo?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Last night we narrowly avoided an assault by the water wagons on our way to the Millennium Hilton for dinner. We took Watcharee's aunt and her children (Beam and Bow) to The Flow for the buffet.

Can you figure out how I composed the strange looking photograph? You know the one.

Monday, April 16, 2007

We now have a Wizard carwash in Bangkok. The driver and his passengers sit in the car throughout the whole wash/dry cycle (*). Unlike in Fort Lauderdale, this machine moves back and forth over the stationary car; rinsing, washing, rinsing again and finally air drying it. In Fort Lauderdale the car passes as if on a conveyor belt from one machine to the next. Obviously, the Bangkok model is less land intensive.

After driving out of the machine, real live hands take over the job of detailing the interior and exterior of the car.

Total price = ~$3.50.

(*) About 15 years ago, I did this same thing with my then girlfriend at midnight on New Year's Eve. We were both stoned. I remember saying "look at those cool brushes ... and those wild soap bubbles." I think we ran the car through the machine three times. Yes, it was similar to this Bangkok operation but, obviously, it was a self-operated one.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I know that this is not the perfect set up for using your iPod in your car but this one is convenient if you don't have a hard wired connection. This latest FM broadcaster from Griffin broadcasts nicely to my radio even when the iPod is in my shirt pocket or in the glove box.

PS: This goes nicely with that.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Six and a half years ago this is how Watcharee's two neices looked. The little girl hugging Watcharee is named Praew. The baby is named Preem.

Here is how they look today. Praew is now 14 and Preem is now 9.

Maybe you recognize their mother from the time we took the overnight train to Surin to see the elephant roundup. That, too, was almost seven years ago.

PS: Last night we had a beautiful sunset over the Chao Phraya River. You can just make out the silhouette of The Peninsula hotel on the left. On the right are the tent-like lights of Sala Rim Nam.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Last night we had another fine sunset over the Chao Phraya River. This one was seen from the Salathip Thai restaurant at the Shangri-La hotel. We took Watcharee's cousins there for dinner, along with their daughters. Pom and Golf went there, too.

Today, I played around some more with my new Griffin FM wireless broadcaster for my iPod. In our car it plays music through the radio as if it was imitating an American Midwest AM station from the '70s. But, when I unscrewed the car's aerial the sound was bell sharp. But, I am not too happy about driving around Bangkok with an unscrewed aerial. Though the onboard phone and the Mercedes remote keylock system works fine without the aerial I still feel a bit naked driving around town without it.

The foundry on the roof of River City seems to have added some additional bronzes that would be exceedingly difficult to ship home ... even if somebody wanted to. God only knows why they keep adding to their inventory.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Though the stuff on the table may look like gruesome evidence that was gathered and bagged at a homicide scene, it is just a delicious soi 'takeaway' meal sufficient to feed four people. Yes, it was purchased across the street for under 300 baht.

This morning Bill and his wife P.Gow (*) had breakfast with us at the Millennium Hilton. Bill is catching the midnight flight to JFK tonight. His wife will remain in Thailand for a little longer.

(*) You probably remember them from the big birthday bash in Florida at the beginning of this month.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I spent the better part of the afternoon reading the April 16 issue of The New Yorker magazine. I highly recommend John Colapinto's "The World's Most Baffling Tribe" and "Commutes From Hell" by Nick Paumgarten. (*)

I usually buy all of my magazines from the kiosk in The Oriental hotel ... and what better place to read them than in the lobby of The Oriental.

(*) If you don't subscribe to the paper edition you can read the issue online.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Do you recognize these three buildings ... the ones to the right of the Shangri-La hotel? We at THOCBDC have been sort of following their rise over the past several years. They are a mixed use lot: condominiums, offices and shops. Though the owners and tenants will have a nice view of the river, the street that services their traffic needs is one of the most congested in Bangkok.

It looks like our new condominium (Athenee Residence) will not be ready for occupancy until early 2008. I can't complain as I genuinely like the view from our porch here at River Garden.

Last night we ordered dinner from the Gallery restaurant. This is a Thai restaurant on soi "Bush" (*), located near the Royal Orchid Sheraton hotel. The Thai vegetable soup, the chicken wrapped in leaves and the sliced pork with vegetables ... all were excellent.

(*) Not named after the village idiot from Texas.

Next: Part III

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