Bangkok, Saturday 14th February 1998
I experienced a day of shopping, which is what the locals do to keep cool. The driver (!) took us to various shopping centres (Pantip Plaza, Sian Square). I had an orgy of CD buying that I have only looked at in the past and not been able to buy because they were outrageously expensive. They only cost about £6 here for the latest CDs – mind blowing. I had to withdraw more money, and take advantage of the one free CD every 12, and a 10% classical discount; I ended up buying 36 CDs. I can not believe it; this triples my current CD collection. I had an Italian meal of chicken salad in a cool restaurant. I spent hours looking at CDs. I have never shopped so intensely before. A few coffees and shops later and I can not carry much more. I then moved on to an authentic Thai restaurant for more great food, including sticky rice with coconut sauce and mango fruit, spicy soup, and other wonderful dishes. There was some inevitable traffic crawling across the mini flyover. We returned to sample CDs and drink wine. There was good entertaining conversation and listening to marvellous Brahms. I need a rest after this spending festival. The price is also cheaper mainly due to the collapse of the Baht currency. I felt a bit of re-hydration was necessary. A normal sort of holiday day, doing an activity I would normally do at home, although not so intensely. It was humid again today. I wonder why Thais do not talk about the weather. I must not forget to send my postcards from this country. Oh, not much extraordinary happened today so I should expand on my thoughts or talk about something completely different. I can not think of anything though. I am feeling comfortable. There is a maid here that may do my washing for a small charge. I am living in a very luxurious manner. I have a slight throaty cold, which I am sure I must have picked up on the overnight bus journey to Delhi, but it is not affecting my mood very much. It is great trying all this food. I need to look after my diet and keep fitter when I return (revised direction comment). I am having a very relaxing period before Italy, which will probably be quite hectic with such a short time there. I am home in a week’s time. I am certainly having a very different experience of Bangkok this time compared to my last tourist visit.