Apr 17, 2001
Bangkok seems to be a city of great cultural and ethnic diversity. There are white folks from every country in Western Europe. There are white folks from New Zealand. There are white folks from Australia. So many from Australia that I am wondering if maybe the two countries of Australia and Thailand didn't just trade their citizens with with one another. The King doesn't look at all like Yul Brynner from the King and I. He looks more like the doctor with the big glasses who created the replicants in Blade Runner. After a lengthy four day wait, our visas for Laos will be ready late this afternoon. We're catching the night train to Chang Mai in northern Thailand and then onwards to Laos and the mighty Mekong River. After spending these last four nights in Bangkok though, I am a little fearful that Apocalypse Now is going to wind up being simply Apocalypse Then or maybe Before. Will I find big bald Disney-designed hydraulic Marlon Brando's at every turn in the river waiting to lurch out at our boat? Will Colonel Kurtz's encampment now be a Colonel Sanders KFC? Will there be Starbucks, McDonald's, Pizza Hut? I feel the prospects of dining on boiled rat diminishing by the minute. I'll probably end up leaving my Indiana Jones hat in my knapsack too.