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There and Back Again The continuing travels of me

12 days till Tokyo

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 2 November 2009 | Views [508]

In 12 days I head to Japan.

I'm into my second week at this hotel in Wongwian Yai. It's about 30 minutes from here to Siam by the skytrain. That's an overhead train system built on a giant concrete track that fruns through the city.

It's a pretty good location, and after meeting Jess Allen, an old clasmate from Deakin who works in Bangkok now, I am less concerned about what I'm paying. She pays a not too dissimilar amount for her apartment. So it probably insn't a bad deal.

I finished the script on Saturday. The first version of it at least. It'll have to be re-written a few times before it's done. Currently it's 101 pages. That will probably increase a little for the next draft, if only because the formatting needs to be altered, making sure the spacing and everything is set to professional standards.

Plus, I may re-write the beginning and add a scene or two. But the basic story and structure are all laid out now, which is a huge relief. I don't know if it's any good, but I never really know that stuff, you just have to do your best and hope people like it.

After I finished the script I went in to Silom for a Halloween party that I'd heard about. According to the articles I read online it was the best place to be in all of Bangkok on Halloween.

Silom soi 4 is in a very touristy area. I had told some friends about it, but after saying yes (kind of) initially, none of them came along. When I got there it was dsappointing, the street was decorated, but rather than a party it was really just a bunch of bars and restaurant with outside seating. The serving staff had costumes, but only a few customers dressed up. I mean literally only 3 or 4 that I saw. Everyone else was in regular street clothes, but worse, because they were tourist street clothes.

I shouldn't complain, I bought a mask but when I saw the lame turn out I didn't get it out of my back pack.

So I went for a walk around the area.

First of all, I should say that my Thai friends were a bit concerned that this might have been a gay area. When I realised they were worried about this my reaction was "does that matter?"

It seemed to matter to them.

Well, Silom soi 2 is apparently a big gay hang out, the Halloween 'party' was in Silom soi 4, a little up the road. There were certainly some gay clubs and camp bar staff, but as always there wasn't anything to be concerned about.

I kept walking around and stumbled on a place called Patpong. I have heard about Patpong many times, but had no idea where it was. Now I know. It's infamous as one of the three red light areas in Bangkok. But the strange thing is that it has also become a mainstream tourist destination. So down this street there are bars on either side. Many of these bars have dancers in bikinis standing at the doors, and just inside you can see them dancing on tables etc. There are guys everywhere trying to sell 'sexy DVDs', or take you to massage places, or get you into the bars. The surprising thing is that there is a market that fills up the rest of the street. And the market is full of tourists, middle aged couples, young guys and girls, elderly men with their Thai 'girlfriends', young families with little kids and babies. All wandering around and looking at overpriced designer knock-offs, t-shirts, replica hand-guns, knives, jewellery etc.

The usual stuff.

It's a very surreal environment. It remnded me how tiring it is to be in the tourist areas, you just don't get left alone by the tuktuk drivers and touts. Unlike the street I'm staying in now, where I can walk from the station to the hotel, past the motorcyle taxis and street vendors, and not be hassled by one person. It's nice.

Anyway, I've been buried in this hotel working mostly. Now that I have finished the script I have some anmation to do for a short film I agreed to help out on. Can't put that off any more. That will keep me busy for a little while yet.

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