Monday, January 19, 2015
Satay and the City
Well, I got here. It took more than 30 hours, two flights, a bus ride across the vast and featureless expanse of Tokyo expressways that connect one airport, Narita, with another, Haneda, and finally a mad scramble through earliest-morning traffic here in Bangkok, but at length I arrived.
And arrived in something more than anticipated state, in fact, as, for reasons as yet unknown, either chance or the good people of the local office of Golden Handcuffs have seen to it that I've been installed in a large and really rather swank suite (try saying that ten times fast). My suitcase has a bedroom all to itself, while I will be whiling away the nights in a bedroom approximately the size of all my New York apartments combined.
If only I didn't have to actually, you know, work while I'm here.
Even though I arrived at an hour at which decent people are just beginning to think about getting up, I have to admit I didn't do all that much with my day. After breakfast and lashings of coffee in the hotel's really rather gracious Executive Lounge, the siren call of that vast and tempting bed proved too strong, and I made what was doubtless the disastrous decision to try just the tiniest of naps. Quite predictably, I floated to the surface again some six hours later, rested, yes, but now almost assuredly in line for a sleepless night and resulting prolonged jet lag. Bother.
I wasn't wholly impractical, though, for I decided that at least a minimum of exercise was a good idea and so made my way to the little shopping mall adjacent to the hotel and did a turn around its excellent small supermarket, picking up various little necessities that will come in handy since it turns out I have a kitchen only slightly less well turned out than the average home chef's. Then it was just time to head back up to Loungeland for the inevitable evening cocktails, and then back to the room(s) just in time to catch the evening news.
Café regulars will be far from surprised to learn that today's stop story caught us all up on the doings of Princess Sirindhorn, who was seen visiting a model farm of some sort, highlights of which included reviewing an endless parade of vegetables and, in a notably surreal little vignette, meeting a quadriplegic artist engaged with great concentration in a pencil portrait of (surprise!) the Angel Princess herself. The whole proceedings were made that much more endearing by the fact that HRH was even more dishevelled than is her wont, with the ample pockets of her gold brocade suit visibly weighed down by either her breakfast or a rock collection and every sign that she had forgotten to brush her hair this morning.
So that's my visit to Bangkok so far - isn't travel glamourous? Now, after a room-service dinner of satay and fried rice, I'll get to find out whether I sleep (and so turn back into a person for the next few days) or miserably toss and turn (and so face four day or so of penance for that damned nap this afternoon). Wish me luck.