Monday, January 7, 2013
A Little Flesh, a Little History...
I suppose it's inevitable, if you're of a certain age, not to have "One Night in Bangkok" rolling through your head when you first visit Thailand. Suffice it to say that, with the exception of any element having to do with chess, we've pretty much had it as our leitmotif for the past few days.
Let's see. Bar tours? Check, courtesy of a friend of Mr. Muscato's who lives here. Tuk Tuk rides? Check, many times, as we are fairly entranced by these putt-putting (hence the name) open taxis. Naughty revue? Check, in spades - rather more graphic than expected, actually, and accompanied by some deeply unenthusiastic bondage (in what look like costumes left over from the Bangkok Light Opera's last production of Aida) set to an appalling heavy-metal/techno hybrid, which mostly made us giggle inappropriately. Lots and lots of spectacularly delicious street food? Oh so very much check. On that count alone, we're tempted never to go home.
Oh, and some standard tourism, too, mostly consisting of, first, a leisurely visit yesterday to the Jim Thompson House, a handsome house museum that once belonged to a rather mysterious American silk magnate. The serene scene above is from its lovely and tranquil garden. Today, for the second half of our tourist odyssey, we subjected ourselves to the strict care of a brisk and vigorous guide called Siriporn (before you start giggling inappropriately, the "r" is silent. Which is a good thing, since Kittyporn is apparently another popular name). She hustled us through a haze of temples, Buddhas (large and small; bronze, gilt, stone, and gold; standing, sitting, and reclining), and other historical sites, interrupted by a hair-raising ride on a long-tailed canal boat, which did allow us to have a look at some of the less flashily Tokyoesque sides of this incredible city. Perhaps when I've recovered, I'll show you one or two snaps from that part of the trip.
But not, definitely, from Babylon, a most intriguing gentlemen's spa... Oh, we've kept busy, all right.