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After a nap and a shower out along Silom, now crowded; squirted with water by a trio of girls (the custom on this, the Songkran festival). I ate noodles in the street, painfully aware of my hyper-conspicuousness, feeling unnecessarily big and ungainly; finally found a bar; for there is always that bar, the bar with the usual group of raddled expatriates: sex tourists, duckers and divers; oh yes, and the Explosives and Special Effects unit of the current Bond movie. (And there is always a Bond movie in the making. Thirty five years ago, thirty-five year,s I was hitchhiking up the Ml in the car of a stunt man in the first James Bond film (as it was less racily known then.)

Service was sweet, with that special sweetness of the Thais. A young girl with lustrous hair jiggled herself up on to a barstool, flipped open her laptop and worked intently on the bar accounts for an hour. I switched into lad-mode and drank with my tattooed compatriots.

I spend my first day walking inadvisable distances in the heat, loving it all, from glossy corporate citadels to the epically chronic traffic, traffic which, when released from the immobility of the gridlock, circulates with a skittish virtuosity, (or so it did on this visit).

Down the Ratchadamri Road, and the length of Silom Road stalks a procession of mighty supports epic in their free-standing beauty, awaiting the Sky Train they are to carry; an abstract beauty, each unit beautifully faceted, eloquent in the very limitations of its function. They are Assyrian in their utter massiveness.

   
 

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