The Lunatics

At Le Fenix Hotel, where I’ve stayed on my visits to Bangkok, this is usually what’s playing when you step into the elevator: a swanky bossa nova warning that the lunatics are in the hall. Yes, this is precisely the segment that gets played. Sometimes it’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II,” and now and again it’s a whispery “Hey You,” but mostly it’s “Brain Damage.” Fitting in its way for a hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11, but it’s surprising for the elevator to just come right out and say it. (And actually this hotel, which tries very hard to be hip, seems to be popular with Indian families.)

Then there’s the weirdnes of the view I see every time I walk down the long hallway to my room: a bunch of people sitting around a table in a parking garage, usually eating, and a gracefully illuminated toilet. Followers of artist Gina DeNaia know that hotels have odd corners that just might be worth examining, so I’ve started to pay attention to my little parking garage gang. They’re like my secret friends now. Once they had some pretty girls in fancy dresses with them. Now and again they’re just gone, and that’s a little sad.


Today is 40 days that I’ve been in Asia, 40 days in Thailand. That puts me at 20% done, assuming my trip is 200 days long, which it might well end up being. It’s a little milestone, I suppose. I’ve been here long enough that I’m into the flow of it, but there’s still a lot more ahead of me than behind. In those 40 days, I’ve been to eleven destinations — an average of a new place every 3.6 days, though it didn’t happen like that. I have moved 15 times, and I have stayed in 13 different places. Three hotels got repeat visits.

I have much to catch you up on: my time driving a rental car around the north of Thailand and the king’s birthday here in Bangkok, among other things. I’ll get to them, I hope soon. And there are more photos coming as well.

Also, I am headed for Malaysia after Thailand — I’ll be there on December 15. If you know what’s good in Peninsular Malaysia, do let me know!