The video takes you from the sea at Negombo to Vil Ulyana , a stunning eco-friendly resort on the plain near the rock fortress Sigiria, with its lusty lady cave paintings, the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy, a look at ficus the size of a house, then up into the mountains at Hunas Falls and the tea plantatons of Nuwara Eliya.
Last month I visited doctors twice: in San Francisco to have a spot of sun damage checked, and in Bangkok for a physical. As Mrs. Kuchenbecker, my sixth grade teacher said, “Let us compare und contrast.”
Forget Mad Max, forget Bladerunner, forget The Matrix and all of the rest of those visions of a future of bombed out cities, leather-clad mutants and cyborgs on Harleys. I am looking at the REAL future, a tall, marble-floored tower of soft-spoken beings offering precious gifts of Gucci and Tiffany and YSL, every overpriced name brand on earth, in fact, and a grand piano that plays itself. A world sealed away from grit and random noise, stray animals and poor people.
Sonchai Jitplecheep, the protagonist in John Burdett’s novels “Bangkok 8” and “Bangkok Tattoo,” is an honest cop in a place where being on the take is a form of art. Sonchai lives in a tub of moral and ethical Jello, awkward for westerners until they become comfortable with shrugging their shoulders, admitting they don’t understand and uttering TIT, mai pen rai.
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