2004-07-11

Back in Bangkok

Mike & green papaya salad
Not me, alas—Sieburg's there now, en route to Vietnam for another lengthy stay. Fortunately for us, he's putting his writing skills to work in a new blog, No Star Where, the Vietnamese translation for "no problem at all." I've been having random Bangkok flashbacks lately, mainly involving food, so I was happy to read in one of his posts that, "The pad thai is always tasty and cheap. And the fresh orange juice is the same." He's not kidding when he says cheap—a small dish of the best pad thai on the planet will cost you $0.25 from the street vendors. My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

His story gets better:
"I sat outside talking with our driver. He asks me where I am going next. And I say, "VN." And the first thing he says is "What are the gas prices like there?" Ha. Even people here have an almost compulsive fixation with gas prices. I do the math converting Dong into Dollars into Baht. And he smiles and says, "It's cheaper here." I can almost imagine motorbike taxi's in VN driving to Thailand for cheaper gas even though they are negating the cheaper price by driving to Thailand. It's kind of like when people drive from Marietta, OH to Parkersburg, WV for gas that is $.03 cheaper. Mom?"
And better:
"But earlier in the day, I had asked the tuk-tuk driver how much he pays for gas in one day. He told me 100 baht ($2.50). That's high. He was only charging us 10 baht for an hour of driving us around. At that pace, it would take 10 hours of work to pay for a day's worth of gas."

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