Bangkok Archives

January 25, 2007

In Siam I Am

I arrived in Bangkok at the impressive new airport. My experience getting to the hotel was a bit difficult due to the language barrier with the driver. After some confusion as to which part of town the hotel actually was in--I had to boot up the iBook in the taxi to look up the address--once we got to the right road he kept insisting we were at my hotel every few buildings, but I knew the name was wrong. Luckily I spotted the President Solitaire around a bend as we backtracked and am now settled into pretty plush digs.

The dominant feature of my room is a huge flat-screen television and I got to the room just in time to catch the start of the Federer-Roddick semifinal from Melbourne. I guess this will delay my getting out and about to see Bangkok.

Roger Rolls On


Well, that didn't take long. Federer thumped Roddick. After 4-all in the first set, the Swiss player took 14 of the final 16 games. The Fed was devastating, playing nearly flawless tennis. It was hard not to feel sorry for Roddick, who had no answers for the dazzling winners his opponent hit from all corners of the court.

January 26, 2007

Song Of The Day #26

A trashy one hit wonder from the '80s is in my head for obvious reasons: Murray Head's "One Night In Bangkok."

Murray Head - Broadway's Greatest Leading Men


The part of the city in which I am staying--Sukhumvit Road--has a large population of expats, and hence good shopping, restaurants, and hotels. The streets are full of vendors and this is most apparent in the range of aromas that assaults you as you pass the various options for street food. All kinds of knock-off T-shirts, bags, CDs, and DVDs are on offer. As I walked into the city center--which is dominated by a few huge, modern shopping malls--the presence of vendors seemed to drop off and Bangkok looked much more similar to big cities back home.

The BTS Skyway is a cheap and convenient form of public transportation. It only covers limited territory, but it happens to serve my needs well, given where I am situated.

Gonzalez Advances


Fernando Gonzalez of Chile continued his dream run, manhandling Tommy Haas in striaght sets to move into his first Slam final. If he plays like this on Sunday, he might even be able to challenge Federer.

Interestingly, the quick finish to the match meant that the scheduled Australia Day fireworks--which awkwardly would have been going off while play was underway--began almost at the moment of Gonzalez's victory.

Hard Rock Cafe


Yes, admittedly, it's a touristy thing to do, but I enjoyed a good dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in Siam Square. Sometime you just need some good ol' American food. This restaurant happened to feature far more reasonable prices than its counterparts.

January 27, 2007

Song Of The Day #27

I, um, acquired online the second season of Extras, starring Ricky Gervais--a very funny show which is airing on HBO back home this month. This song--the title track of the Cat Stevens classic album Tea For The Tillerman, plays over the closing credits. (By the way, episode 4 in this season guest stars Chris Martin of Coldplay, who also stands in for Cat Stevens on this song at the end of the show.)

Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman - Tea for the Tillerman

Serena Is Back


In keeping with the lopsided results in the men's semis, Serena Williams just finishing an absolute pasting of top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the final of the Australian Open for her third Melbourne crown. The score was 6-1, 6-2, and it wasn't that close! Serena's path to her eighth major title evokes memories of Andre Agassi's phoenix-like rebirth at several points in his career; maybe she can enter a second phase of reasserted dominance, too? Today it was clear that even the #1-ranked player in the world could be outclassed by Williams in top form. (Maybe this will inspire Venus to get back on court, too?)

Bryans Prevail

I got to watch the entirety of the men's doubles final on Star Sports. The Bryan brothers successfully defended their title against the second-seeded Bjorkman/Mirnyi team, 7-5, 7-5.

I Need My Comedy Fix

No new episodes of The Office or 30 Rock this past Thursday. I guess I'll have to wait another week to download my little bits of mirth. Of course, there's always Sunday's Battlestar Galactica and the formidable Monday line-up--Prison Break, 24, Heroes, and Studio 60--to download and tide me over in the meantime.

News Junkie

As a media omnivore, I was happy to find a chain of stores in Bangkok called Bookazine that carry a good selection of international publications. I was able to stock up and get my fix from the International Herald Tribune and USA Today, as well as The Economist, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, and Time.

Bye Bye, Bangkok

I'm all packed up and about to say goodbye to the City of Angels in the Land of Smiles. Next stop: India.

About Bangkok

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