Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday June 23, 2011 (Winchester, Mass., USA)

THAI-ING ONE ON: Eager to "return" to the old neighborhood (Southeast Asia), Sandy and I did the next best thing. We went to a showing of The Hangover: Part II in Woburn. Once we heard the focus of the ongoing debauchery tale had shifted from Las Vegas to Thailand, we knew we had to go. It made me feel much better about the day I had in Bangkok. I emerged without a tattoo and free from any annoying contact with a chain-smoking monkey. I do wish I had actually gotten on the Chao Phraya River, which has a couple of scenes in the movie. I tried in vain to spot any footage of Tom's International Collection or of our hotel. I longed for more glimpses of the tuk-tuks (shown above in a clip from the movie). And who knew you could zip from Bangkok to the beautiful Ritz Carlton's Phulay Bay resort in Krabi on the Andaman sea in a matter of minutes? (In real life, such a trip requires zipping around all of Malaysia and Singapore.)
The movie, despite its concentration on the, uh, underbelly of Bangkok, did NOT deflect our interest in returning to the city or country. One message from the movie: Be prepared for the unexpected in Bangkok. As Stu says in one key point, "All I wanted was a bachelor brunch." As I mentioned in my blog entry, "All I wanted was a ride to the palace." This is a perverted twist on the saying, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy" (courtesy of the elder von Moltke, I think).
I loved the tagline in the movie: "Bangkok has them now."
Many Thais are evidently nonplussed by the depiction of the city and country.
Such a movie CAN help tourism, of course. The topic of the original Hangover movie surfaced in a cab ride in April from Sydney to the airport. The driver, who combined strong Pakistani roots with an equally strong Aussie accent, told us he'd like to visit the U.S.A.
We asked where he'd like to go.
He said he longed to go to Las Vegas.
We asked why.
He laughed and said, "We saw Hangover. I want to go there with my mates."