Tim Yang is a copywriter, brand strategist and web developer living in Malaysia. He has under-graduate training in account planning and research and insists that differentiation and consumer insights rule his work. So if you need some copywriting done or an account planner to analyse your consumer research to add strategic value to your advertising campaign, call him.
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Latest pirated DVDs

Saturday, January 04, 2023
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Det Sjunde Inseglet (1957)

Sunday, November 24, 2023
Platoon (1986)
Man who wasn't there (2001)
Out of Africa (1985)
No such thing (2001)

Thursday, November 14, 2023
Aliens (1986)
Robocop (1987)
Vidocq (2001)

Wednesday, October 02, 2023
Elizabeth (1998)
Das Boot (1981)
Speed (1994)
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Tuesday, August 06, 2023
Calle 54 (2000)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Der Krieger und die Kaiserin (2000)

Latest pirated VCDs

Wednesday, December 18, 2022
Star Trek Nemesis (2002)
Die Another Day (2002)
8 Mile (2002)
Punch Drunk Love (2002)

Thursday, November 14, 2023
The Grey Zone (2001)

Wednesday, October 16, 2023
Kurenai no buta (1992)
Rough Magic (1995)
Belle de jour (1967)

Wednesday, October 02, 2023
Red Dragon (2002)
People I Know (2002)
The Italian Job (1969)

TimYang.com: The man, the blog, the butt-crack.

Saturday, June 29, 2023
India-Myanmar Friendship Road
I think one of my next trips ought to be to cross the recently opened India-Myanmar border on the new India-Myanmar Friendship Road. It stretches 160km from the eastern Indian state of Manipur to Kalemyo in Myanmar, over a mountain range and a river.

For the past twenty-odd years, until this year, India and Myanmar did not have diplomatic relations. Officially, India does not agree with military-held Myanmar's decidedly anti-democratic stance. And officially the border had been closed for security reasons -- thanks to rebellious insurgencies by indigenous Burmese and Indian villagers who also dabble in the drug trade and have been fighting Indian and Burmese forces to keep their lucrative business going. (It's heroin now, opium is sssooooooo 19th-century.)

But increasing amounts of unofficial but legitimate trade between citizens of both countries prompted politicians to go ka-ching and the road was built. This article states that there are trading posts on the border to facilitate over-land commerce between the two countries. Whether immigration rules have been formalised to allow crossings is still the question.

I could call the Indian consulate, but I've learned from experience that information from helpful Indian state sources tends to be nothing more than well-meaning rumours that are passed vertically then counter-clockwise, and to make matters even clearer, inside-out then forwards again. From the Myanmar consulate, I could expect a typical junta exchange with a lot of questions inquiring about why I am inquiring only to end in an efficient and honest 'don't know'.

If you're from either one of these countries or have news of what's happening on the new road, please write to me and let me know.
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Thursday, June 27, 2023
Growing up
It never occured to me for one moment that my father was a likeable person. I still don't like him. But in doing so I found out something about myself.

Everything my father does comes with the inherent belief that it is the right thing to do. It comes from support from his religious fellows and their praise of his kindness and goodness. After all, he generously hosts church gatherings in his house and office at least twice a week.

Assuming that everything he does is right, even if it irritates me, then it certainly doesn't make sense for me to dislike him or even hate him. At worst, one might say he was a misguided but well-meaning person.

He mentioned a few days ago that no matter what he did, I would be angry at him. And I have to admit he is right. I do expend a lot of rage at this modern-day quasimodo. I certainly don't pity him like Phoebus or Esmeralda, but I should at least start by recognising him as a human being.
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Sunday, June 23, 2023
Stupid business ideas, Part XXII
I've just been informed by a gay friend that there isn't a lesbian bar in Kuala Lumpur. Although is a gay bar -- with the blindingly-obscure name of 'Blue Boy' -- across from the Central Market.

So I dabbled with the idea of opening Malaysia's first lesbian bar which I would call 'Holes' (you know, short for watering-holes) where I would pour drinks every night and blissfully ply my stock phrase.

'Yes I'm straight, but please don't hold that against me'.
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Thursday, June 20, 2023
Freeze me (2000)
I bought this Japanese movie on VCD expecting a fantastic film noir and black comedy, but it did a slight detour into soft porn flick.

Harumi Inoue stars as a woman in her early twenties who five years ago was raped by a childhood friend and two of his gangster friends. Not only that, they make a video of it and sell '100 copies by direct mail'. Now she lives in Tokyo in a tiny one-room 'bachelor' apartment, but her rapists catch up with her and demand she makes another porn movie. The movie's title refers to the way she kills them one by one and freezes their bodies.

I liked the way Harumi's character parallels a feminine Macbeth with her conscious playing her up as Lady Macbeth. In her bathroom, as she contemplates killing the first of her rapists, she asks God for forgiveness. Then she does a scene where she starts talking to the corpses.

The movie is also an introduction to the inability of Japanese society to cope with the problems of being a woman in need in a Japanese society and the sexual insecurity of Japanese men. She doesn't tell her mother or anyone else of the rape, so as not to shame her mother, she just runs away. When her boyfriend is mockingly told of the rape by one of the rapists, he runs away, thinking that Harumi is cheating on him.

The only problem is after every murder she does a really long nude shower scene like she was washing away her sins. Several really long nude shower scenese. It got quite excessive. I mean, Shakespeare had Macbeth wash his hands once and then tried to find other ways to display his sense of guilt and remorse. But director Takashi Ishii was certainly not bored shooting those scenes...
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Tuesday, June 18, 2023
Received excellent news today on AIM.

Mitch and his girlfriend Rebecca are flying in from Ottawa in October for a three week whirlwind visit of five Asian cities, including Kuala Lumpur. Mitch and Rebecca had generously earlier offered to put me up when I got to Canada, but I wasn't able to make it, so they're coming here!
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Monday, June 17, 2023
I'm back
Introducing the new, improved and deeply-tanned Tim Yang.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled faffing about.

(BTW, sorry about the badly-serialised entries from Koh Samui. Blogger has a character limit of about 2000 for each entry. So I used a server side includes file for the long entry -- about 2,400 words. You can read it below. It's been cleaned up and all or most of the spelling and gramatical errors have been removed.)
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Sunday, June 16, 2023
Host server went down
This time last year, I was cursing Blogger because it kept losing my posts and frequently it was down and I was unable to post. I swore I would switch to a system like Greymatter.

Now I feel really glad I stuck to Blogger.

My host server at Primesource-hosting.com went down three days ago. The hard drive and the backup drive were corrupted. All data was lost.

I use Blogger to publish everything on my site from my 'about me' page to my archive summary page. So it was a simple process to get my site going again: hit the republish button on all the blog files and reupload all my images. Done in 20 minutes.

If I was on Greymatter or Movabletype and the host hard drives were corrupted, I would be left with nothing. Nothing.

I knew there was a good reason why I stuck to Blogger (besides being too lazy to apply a new system). Thank you, Blogger.
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Sunday, June 09, 2023
Taking the southbound from Bangkok
If you were to paint a water colour of Thailand, you'd need just two colours on your palette. Deep green and blue.

The view on the train ride from Bangkok to the town of Surat Thani on the east coast of southern Thailand, was split evenly in two. A waveless sea of ripening padi fields and a sky of absent clouds. Occasionally, a brown or white bullock would float into view on a mud pool made by yesterday's rain.

Perhaps today I'll have to add grey to the palette, I thought. Clouds were gathering. It was June and the rainy season that begins in July was threatening.

I sat up in my second class berth at 7am with anticipation, anxious to reach the coastal town of Surat Thani where I would catch the ferry to the island of Koh Samui for a week of sun-bathing. I declined breakfast from the insistent conductor who ran up and down the aisle from the dining car with cellophane-covered plastic plates and canisters of hot tea and coffee dangling from his fingers.

The train made various stops to let passengers off at the bans (villages) along the way and to drop off much awaited mail bags. Some sun-darkened villagers in clean shorts and t-shirts jumped onto the train, each bearing the local specialty of tidbits and foods to be sold to the passengers. One had lime green jelly cakes made of coconut. Another had fried bananas in batter mixed with sesame seeds. A third had fluffy white cakes with a bit of cherry on top for colour. Instantly, my passenger train turned into a flying bazaar.

My fellow passengers were a mixture of northern Thai and southern Thai. They're so remarkably different, you could easily mistake them for two completely different races. Yet they all regard themselves as Thai, bound by a language that sounds like sparrows and crickets sitting down for a slap-up meal. Northern Thais tend to be lighter in skin tone and have very visibly Chinese features. Whereas southern Thai tend to be of darker complexion and, living close to the border of Malaysia, have the harder aboriginal faces of the Malays.

Quite the opposite of some Western cultures, Thais find paleness to be attractive. Actresses and actors on local TV shows sport a look that I find both obnoxious and compelling -- like when I caught myself gazing too long at my grandmother's rouged corpse as it lay in its open coffin.

It was a restful night. I cannot recommend over-night rail travel in Thailand highly enough. It takes several hours longer by train than it does by road, mainly because the train slows down at night to allow passengers to sleep better. The comfort of my berth was a pleasant surprise in a country where the principle form of public transport is the tuk-tuk -- a kind of motorised trishaw dressed up like a Christmas tree. Instead of cramped accommodations, I was given a laundered cotton blanket and a white-sheeted pillow on a white-sheeted cushioned berth that could easily fit a 6-foot tall person, much less my 5'11" frame.

At about 8pm, each berth was made without word by a plump young Thai woman in a casually untucked white and blue railway uniform. She did 20-odd berths per car in four second-class cars. And she did them all amazing care as though she were paid by the hour.

The ride was certainly more pleasant than the first night I had on a Thai sleeper train a few days earlier -- in the first class cabin of the north-bound from Haadyai to Bangkok.

A first class train ticket is twice that of second class -- 1350-baht (USD$40). A very high price for this part of the world, about half that of a flight. I was quite prepared for something luxurious. But I got a phone box with a pillow. And I had to share it.

My cabin-mate was a southern Thai businessman (as was many of the passengers in the first class section). He wore a crisp light blue shirt, dark pants and tie with neatly-glued hair so he might have easily passed for a door-to-door salesman from some 50s TV show. He had some difficulty conversing in English, but had no problem speaking in Thai on his mobile phone at 5am in the morning.

* * *

The previous morning at 10am, I was at Bangkok's Hualumpong railway station, having bought my ticket for that evening's 7pm sleeper train to Surat Thani. I stood in front of the huge LED signboard displaying all the destinations the trains from platforms one to ten were headed.

Hualumpong was a destination itself. Built in the same Anglo-gothic style favoured by European architects of the late 19th century, I imagine it must have been the biggest structure in Bangkok in its day when King Rama V (the son of the king made famous in Anna Leonowens' book which was the basis for the movie 'The King and I') commissioned it in a flurry of modernising projects to bring his country into the 20th century. Its high wide roof reminded me of the grandness of Waterloo station in London and its opposite station on the Channel Line in Paris, the Gard du Nord.

From platform five, a 10am train was leaving for Ratchaburi in the north east of Thailand, a short distance from where Thailand shares a border with Myanmar, the former Burma.

My attention was drawn to it because the previous day in Ratchaburi two gunmen, reportedly dressed in Burmese rebel garb, gunned down a Thai school bus shortly after dawn on its way to school. Two dozen primary school children who would have spent the day yawning at history lessons suddenly found themselves under a hail of bullets from automatic weapons. Two were killed, before the bus driver managed to weave away, a third died in hospital the following day.

An occurance like this in Malaysia would have had the entire country up in arms (but not literally), or at least had everyone talking about it in the coffee shops. Yet not a single Thai in Bangkok seemed particularly disturbed or interested. Nobody was rushing onto the Ratchanburi train, anxious to ensure their relatives were safe and sound. The cover of a Thai language paper seemed more interested in the USA vs Portugal World Cup debacle.

I was reminded that the Thais live by a saying: mai pien lai, or 'what will be will be'. It's is a deference to the buddhist concept of fate and karma and at the same time a confucian philosophy of calmness. Yet it occured to me that it is also self-mockery, making fun of the listlessness and diffidence of a culture that would rather spend more time making more Buddha statues than resolving its social issues with its neighbours.

* * *

I then turned to my immediate problem. I was faced with nine hours to kill.

I was wearing a tourist t-shirt that day to mark myself as a farang (foreigner) as a warning and an apology to the Thai people for not being able to speak their language. Being Chinese, I could sometimes be mistaken for a north Thai. The t-shirt bore the logo of the local brew 'Singha Beer' -- a t-shirt popular with the European gap-year student tourists because it's the only thing they'll recall of their visit.

So it didn't surprise me when a Bangkok taxi driver approached me in English with an offer to visit the Cupidy ancient massage centre near Lumpini park. Ancient Thai massage is not to be confused with traditional Thai massage which is exactly what it advertises to be. According to a leaflet filled with blatant pictures that the taxi driver thrust to me, ancient massage at Cupidy consists of a naked nubile young woman who lathers soap all over her body and rubs herself all over you, turning herself into a human washcloth. After which there's fellatio and sex on the comfort of 'a big bed'.

He promised to take me to Cupidy and wait for me for 'just one unred baht'. (I found out later from a website reviewing ancient massage parlours, he would receive 500-baht from Cupidy as commission for delivering customers.) I turned him down, not because I have a moral problem with prostitution. I've always felt that seeing a prostitute was for losers who couldn't get it any other way -- a declaration I now realise makes me a potential customer.

Thais don't have a moral problem with prostitution either.

"I tink because dey cannot choosing," said Am, a 25 year old tour guide from Chiang Mai who was on her way to visit relatives in Nakhon Si Thammarat. While we waited at a Hualumpong cafˇ, we struck up a long conversation. I had asked her what she thought of the farangs who bring their 400-baht-a-day Thai girlfriends with them on her tours. As a foreigner, I was fascinated with how Thais saw us, especially white farangs as they were so obvious especially when a dark Thai girl is hanging onto them. She added that some of the older-generation Thais feel that prostitution is unacceptable, but those of her generation disagree. I asked her hypothetically, if she was poor and had no other options, would she turn to prostitution.

"Yes, it very hot today," she replied.

"No, I asked if you would do it-," I said before plainly understanding that Am was feigning miscommunication. If the Thai played tennis, they'd know how to win by sending ricochets off the audience to knock their opponents senseless and smile while doing it.

It was clear that in that prostitution in Thailand didn't simply involve two consenting adults but also had a permissive society in the threesome. But it would be na•ve of me to think that was where it ended. I would shortly and unavoidably come across a victim of it who, like Am, found herself unable to blame the girl involved.

At noon, tired of waiting in the increasingly heaty Hualumpong, I left in search of amusement to the notorious Soi Nana district on Sukhumvit Soi 4 where tired farangs from embassy row would drag themselves to every evening for a nice tall drink of thinly-clad go-go girl.

I had no intention of visiting any of the numerous of wats (holy compounds) or chedis (temples) that Bangkok boasts of. These institutions amaze visitors for their expansiveness and the vast array of stone and gilded Buddha statues that fill every nook. Unfortunately, they are more of a symbol of indiscrimate waste than of reverence. Thais will install a statue for the birth of a child, for the child's entry into a good school, or for scoring 1000-baht on Blue Lightning in the third race. One chedi on the Chao Phrya river claims over 1000 Buddha statues, each one a symbol of hope for a Thai somewhere that he will less likely be a goat in his next life.

The taxi dropped me off outside a watering hole next to the Nana Hotel, a name that did more than suggest the goings-ons inside. It was crowded with white men in shorts and dark Thai girls in mini-skirts urging them to buy them 100-baht Cokes. Despite it being an open-air bar with no walls save the one behind the bar counter, I remember it being rather dark inside as if light and alcoholics could not escape its attraction. I sat at the bar next to a tall black woman with short frizzy hair who looked as if she might have been a great beauty 20 years ago but had since worn herself thin looking for the perfect bar stool and whiskey sour. She was clad in a beige and cream patterned frock of aboriginal Rajisthani design with tiny mirrors sewn into it. Around her wrists and neck were the wood bead jewellery that are to travellers in Asia what skullcaps are to Mecca pilgrims.

In an East London accent, she introduced herself as Kathy. We talked about an idea she had about writing a book about the coconut farming industry. I told her she ought to pursue it.

"Have you ever been in love? I mean really in love," she suddenly asked in the way that men and women always begin stories of heart-break, as if they were in some grand contest to make the most heinous Judas weep.

"Roy and I have been married 20 years, four children, five grandchildren," she recanted like a mantra, finding some comfort in the numbers. "But now he's gone. To some tart in Banglampoo. Some whore.

"I asked some Thai women, what to do. And they told me that Roy has found a second wife and that in Thailand that was a good thing. I would be the major wife and she would be the minor wife. The women here think men having more than one wife is a good thing! This would never happen in Europe!

"We went all over the world, Spain, Australia, Goa, then we came to Thailand," her eyes reddened. "Why, why did we come to Thailand!"

For Kathy, the rainy season had come unexpectedly. In this land of mai pien lai, she refused to accept that doctrine and was making the same mistake all women make when their relationships go wrong: she was blaming herself. I felt pity for her, but no remorse since she had wound herself into such a state she would accept no solution. When I told Kathy, perhaps too straight-forwardly, it was a good thing that she found out about her husband now rather than later, she wasn't consoled because she was still in love with him the way we often love things for no apparent reason other than that we own them.

What she was doing -- in the unlikeliest of places -- in a bar on Soi Nana, Kathy did not explain. Whether she was there to hurt the girl or to spot her philandering husband, she did not say. But from the way uncomplicated way she spoke, I could easily believe this wasn't the first time she told this story. Kathy thanked me for listening, finished her beer, and as I turned away, disappeared from view into the perennially grey sea of Bangkok.
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Wednesday, June 05, 2023
Leaving Bangkok
At 7.15pm tonight, I have a second-class overnight train ticket to Surat Thani to catch a ferry to Koh Samui to spend a week tanning on my beach.

I'm ditching Bangkok. I never planned to stay long or go sight-seeing here. Don't want to either. Bangkok may be Exotic Asian City to many but it's Typical Trashy Asian City to me.

Once you've seen one and got caught in its traffic gridlock, you've seen them all and got caught in their traffic gridlock.
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Wednesday, June 05, 2023
Roy fine and well
Confucious say, "Man who can follow every World Cup match should spend 5 minutes answering email."

Apparently, Roy was given a couple of out-of-town assignments back-to-back and wasn't home to answer his phone. And I cannot stress this enough: "There are more internet cafes in Thailand than padi fields, Roy! Check the damn email!"

Anyway I'm meeting him for this afternoon's Denmark vs Senegal game at a pub called The Charming Bar off Sukhumvit Road.

(See? I'll use any damn excuse to go travelling. Roy, being an Englishman, is of course fully to blame.)

In other news, I got quite drunk last night at a bar in the backpacker district of Khao San Road. First with a Japanese guy called Mizu who was in town to try and patch things up with his Japanese girlfriend who'd arrived a couple weeks ago in Thailand on holiday. (He failed. I saw him again at 11pm alone.)

Then I was with an Irish girl called Sinead ("When Ireland win the World Cup, tell them Sinead told you so!"), her English boyfriend Dave ("Stick around for another one, mate!") and a London-based free-lance video editor called Tom ("My next contract is to edit the new Gorillaz video."). We were pouring Som Sang (a Thai whiskey which Dave kept insisting was amphetamine-based) with Coke and Thai tap beer.

Khao San road was a bit more festive than usual yesterday when a Korean drum troop on holiday commandeered the street with an impromptu dance with drums and gongs to celebrate Korea's well-deserved thrashing of Poland. The Japanese contribution was a minor drunken flag-waving parade outside "The Football Club" bar when Japan held Belgium to a draw. (Which was actually the most exciting game I'd seen in a long while.)

Which begs the question, what the hell are Japanese and Koreans doing outside of their countries during the biggest event in their respective nations since World War 2?
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Tuesday, June 04, 2023
No more Google
Before I get hit by all the British bastards looking for "good time in Bangkok" on Google, I've added a "noindex" meta tag to my blog. (I blame the British for everything wrong in Asia.)

My hit counters have become highly inaccurate over the last few months because of the serious number of hits from search engines. Up to half my hits are from search engines. And these people never stick around.

Oh, I'll still get hits from Yahoo and any other system that relies on Open Directory. As long as they are looking for weblogs of "an Asian guy".

Welcome, gay porn afficionados!
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Tuesday, June 04, 2023
Just arrived at Bangkok's Thon Buri railway station at 11am.

It's really hot in Bangkok. It's very bright, even though the sky is clouded grey. On every lamppost hangs a mayoral candidate poster featuring pictures of various men and women in business suits and military regalia. The Thais have had a long tradition of voting in military personel into office having not learned their lesson from the numerous military coups that toppled the Thai government over the last fifty years.

This isn't my first trip to Bangkok. I came here when I was a child but I stayed in the hotel the whole trip afraid of evil imagined monsters out there. Namely, the rest of my family.

I took a taxi over to Khao San Road, the main backpacker hotel district in Bangkok. Thanks to the daily flood of British tourists (I blame the British for everything wrong with Asia), there's more bead jewellery shops and Heineken neon signs in this 300m square area than the rest of the world.

I can't recommend my hotel highly enough. There's no way they can dig themselves out of the hole they're in.

The Lek Guesthouse cynically charges 170-baht (USD$4) for a tiny 7'x7'x10 cell with a rock hard (but "long-lasting") mattress and a fan. Probably in All-The-Hotels-I-Have-Not-Tried, they'd charge 100-baht for the same thing.

It's noisy outside. There's European garage music mixed in with the sound of motorists gunning their engines. Not that any one can tell the difference between the sound of European garage and Honda carbs. (Sorry, that was too good to resist.)

I'm leaving for Sukhumvit Road after lunch to look for Roy's apartment, KTA Mansions. As I read the map, it's about 20km from here, on the waaaaaay other side of Bangkok.

By the way, I don't know how to read maps so it could be right next door for all I know.
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Monday, June 03, 2023
At noon, woke up on the bed of a woman with huge breasts and a dick.

Am I making this up? Er, no.

I'd arrived this morning in Haadyai, the border transit town 44km from Malaysian border. On the bus, I struck up a conversation with Amy, a girl-boy who works in Kuala Lumpur. Every month Amy makes this trip to Haadyai only to return the same day so that she can get her passport legalised with a Malaysian tourist visa frank. Amy is very slim, in her mid or late twenties, not very pretty, but woman enough for most men.

"What do you do in KL?" I asked Amy.

"Disco," was all she replied.

In context, that means she works as a hostess, a good time girl, a prostitute. One of many who do this kind of work all over Malaysia and Singapore. In fact, earlier she waved and chatted to several other girl-boys making the same trip on the other buses at the Thai immigration stop.

She turned out to be very helpful, first of all by translating Roy's address into Thai so that the taxi driver in Bangkok could read it. Then she called KTA Mansions and spoke to the KTA office operator for me to confirm that Roy did indeed live there. In fact, said the operator, Roy's rent is due this week and he should be in to pay it.

She invited me over to her place, a 2,500 baht-a-month one-room apartment about 3km away from the train station where I had just bought a second-class ticket to Bangkok leaving at 5.45pm. I was so exhausted, having hardly slept on the bus ride, I flopped on her bed and knocked out for 4 hours.

At about 12pm Thai time, I woke up when Amy's phone rang in a clean 25'x25' tiled and pastel-painted room with clothes at all corners and an unmade queen-sized bed with both of us on it in the clothes we wore yesterday. After she hung up, she went and took a shower while I was still bleary-eyed. She came back and dressed again, letting her towel drop, giving me full view of a pair of oddly-spherical breasts.

"Go take a shower," she pestered over and over again.

"It's ok, I don't need one right now. I'll take it when I get to Bangkok." And I added quite truthfull,"I'm just not comfortable with the Thai style of shower with the bucket and water jar."

For the rest of the afternoon, we watched the Mexico vs Croatia game with her two friends, Lalai and Pon at their one-room apartment downstairs. All over the walls were hung, rather imposingly, framed montages of naked Thai beefcakes in various stages of erection.

Is this sort of thing unusual in Thailand? I should think not.
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Sunday, June 02, 2023
Arriving in Bangkok on Tuesday
By the time I get to Bangkok, I will have been on the road for three days straight from Johore Bahru.

So the first thing I'll do is get a cheap hotel room in the Banglampoo district and probably rest there till the following day. And I'll need to get an English-language street map too.

I found the address of KTA Mansions, where Roy stays, on the internet. It's on a Soi (side-street) off Sukhumvit Road which is the main tourist district near many of the five-star hotels and embassies. One source says it has a pool. In other words, it's pretty swank. And any taxi driver can take me there.
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Sunday, June 02, 2023
I haven't left for Bangkok yet, believe it or not.

I had to take a trip to my home town of Johore Bahru, at the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia, to see my maternal grandfather. That blasted mother of mine did the old cry-over-the-phone trick and left me with the impression that the old man was dying and had asked for me at his bedside.

So I spent a few days there. My grandfather has reached something almost like 90 recently. No one knows his real age. He came from China to join his brothers here before the war and began creating a massive network of business contacts that eventually became a Fortune 500 conglomerate. I kid you not. One of my grand-uncles owns Coke in no less than the world's largest country -- China.

Anyway, my grandfather has been getting more and more frail since my maternal grandmother died five years ago. She hounded him every day of his life. But that kept him alive and chugging (probably in the hope of trying to figure a way to murder her and get away with it).

He can't walk without help now and he's constantly seeing the doctor. I owe him a lot, including my education and my housing during childhood. If he calls, I jump.

(And for you cynics, it's not because I'm expecting an inheritance... although it never hurts to try.)
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