Saturday, August 9, 2008

888 in Bangkok.

Today was eventful. Eventful in the sense that it largely involved a concerted shopping blitz of an hour, another couple of hours just strolling round the humongous food section at Siam Paragon, buying various tidbits before settling on what turned out to be disappointingly average Japanese lunch. The delightfully crafted cakes from Visage Patissere more than made up for it though.

Bogged down with the buys and the very perishable cakes, I decided to give MBK a miss for today, which meant the latter half of the afternoon was spent inspecting the buys, demolishing the cakes cum tidbits while surfing the net. In short, a leisurely lazy friday, a luxury that is now sorely missed and all the more cherished. And the best thing, is everything's OTOT, no need to have to accommodate another's idea of a holiday (which we all know varies greatly for different people) and certainly no need to compromise on yours.

To cut to the chase, because it is 3am and I'm waiting for my hair to dry, after an excellent 'normal' traditional Thai massage (which incidentally always involves an awful amount of creaking and body twisting), I went off for my first sojourn at Boy Town after an equally blah dinner at a Thai franchise chain.

Crossing the street is always a hazardous affair, traffic lights (of the pedestrian variety) seem to be relatively rare at Surawong and getting over unscathed to the next side involves a finely timed dash that the most brazen ah ma at ang mo kio would usually not hazard.

So it was when I saw a group of youngsters, either from Singapore or Malaysia from the accent of their Chinese, crossing the road, I followed suit. Besides they certainly looked like they were checking Boys Town out and would serve as a useful distraction from the touting and physical assaults that invariably follows once you step into the zone.

True enough, they were set upon once they stepped in, gawking about at the neon signs and various sights. The touts and doormen closed in for the kill, snapping off their rapid machine gun fire accented chinese, cajoling and pulling various members of the group in different directions. They didn't even last me past the third bar whereupon some hapless sod let himself get dragged into some bar and a panicky member of the group yelled in alarm that so and so had gone into XX bar. And they were led like lambs to the slaughter.

Because the bar I had in mind was still some distance down the street, I had to go through the gauntlet of cajoling, insistent tugging at the arms, sometimes in two different directions and the odd pinch on the butt or nipple. Still I managed to reach Dick's cafe, an oasis in the desert and just opposite Dream Boys, a little tender perhaps but none the worse for the wear.

The cafes are like your glass enclosures in the zoo, you get to observe the action from the relative security of the cafe replete with a cozy ambiance as the entire cafe faces the street but at the same time you get to see others have their turn at being hassled.

Dick's Cafe was nice, dimly lit with a mixed clientele that included Asians and your western men with the smattering of Thai boys. It's always interesting to observe how the other parties interact, something I did while sipping the pleasantly piquant Earl Grey.

Time to end here, off to bed and breakfast at 1.00pm. I love this place where else can you have breakfast 24 hours a day. Perfect for slobs like me.

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