A friend of mine always said that he imagined Bangkok to be like Blade Runner and Hong Kong to be like Coruscant. I lived in Hong Kong for the first 20 years of my awesome action packed life. Since the tender age of 12 (in 1984) I have also regularly visited Thailand. I recently lived in Bangkok for a couple of years while working as a layabout journalist/ aspiring alcoholic.
So I flatter myself that I know what I’m talking about when it comes to these two places. (In as much as I know anything.) With this background knowledge I listened with a wry smile on my face when my friend, who had never been east of Europe uttered the above comparisons. I would have corrected him except for the fact that he is completely right.
I am currently in Bangkok while writing this. I am sitting at a bar using the ubiquitous free wifi that seems to pervade the city. To get here I trod over cracked pavements, round litter and street food vendors, took a short cut through a futuristic mall full of flat screens and porsches, over a new flyover that carries pedestrians over the city, and finally down a dingy side road. The sight of noodle stalls on the street surrounded by stray dogs, below the monorail with huge TV screens overhead covering the sides of skyscrapers is as near to Blade Runner as you can get.
I fucking love it here. I just thought I should mention all this for two reasons. One is that if you are full of fantasy and harbor ludicrous dreams of scifi scenes made real, then you should visit. The other is simply an excuse as to why I haven’t written much recently.
I’m off for a beer and a look at a lady with a snake.