|I'm not going to find out what they actually serve in the restaurant above.|
|Beautiful and strange food.|
Among the backpackers of both sexes are those that distinguish themselves by dreadlocking their hair into massive, impenetrable beehives. They walk around with elongated necks, like Nefertiti, super proud of their updos, which I'm afraid serve as youth hostels for bats and other creatures.
Instead of their pictures, here are some pictures of beautiful places in Bangkok:
There are many Israeli travel agencies that advertise themselves with huge signs in Hebrew, and this somehow feels perfectly at home with the surrounding alphabets: Thai, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese. Latin script is not the be all and end all, you know. As for the Thais, they are mostly very gracious and pleasant, if rather inscrutable.
As in any underdeveloped country, there is no shortage of polite misinformation, taxis whose meters decide to stop cooperating, in cahoots with the driver, etc. You would have to be a virgin tourist to confuse a tout with a friendly host, but here they take touting to another level. In fact, in the Olympics of touts, Thai touts would be gold medalists because they make the extra effort: they tell elaborate and quite convincing lies. To be honest, if it wasn't for our detestable Lonely Planet guide, I probably would have behaved like a virgin myself. (My gripes with Lonely Planet are legion, but just to name a couple: 1. They send you to places that are not there. 2. I defy anyone to make sense of the way they number their maps. If you find number 24, or number 85, which is right next to number 13, for instance, I'll erect a statue in your honor).
Bangkok is huge and spread out and doesn't make a lot of sense, with incredible temples and humongous shopping malls, but a river runs through it and I keep imagining what it must have been like in the 30s, when there were no eyesores, and you could run into Sam Spade, or Mata Hari, as you shivered from malaria and typhoid, at the veranda of the Hotel Colonial.
|Mata Hari would not be caught dead in this modern monstrosity|
|Someone else's dentures for sale.|