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We kind of got derailed in Bangkok — we’ve been sick for several days. We haven’t gone out to see the city as much as we want. What we DID experience included:

– Australian sweet or savory pies at our guest house, Big John’s.

– Meeting an interesting Thai woman named Rinya who’s a massage therapist at Big John’s and has studied in Australia. It was great to hear her perspectives on Bangkok.

– Our first Thai massages, which helped to relieve our accumulated muscle pain.

– Eating chicken in pepper sauce at a Thai restaurant.

– Eating a proper Tom Kha Gai at another restaurant.

– Going to some Thai malls and seeing all the same luxury stores – Prada, Gucci, Choppard — as in any big city. It seems that mass-luxury is the new Gap. We also noticed there are plenty of affluent youth here. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t aware of what a power-house economy Thailand is.

– Buying a shirt by "Greyhound," a Thai designer. Then eating at his high design cafe.

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– Noting that the Thai typography on the Harry Potter posters successfully imitates the thorny style of the original Roman type.

– Salivating over the possibilities on the Nancy Chandler’s highly illustrative map of Bangkok. Her colorful watercolor map gives lots of local details and secrets. The bio says she splits her time between Bangkok and San Francisco — she seems to be an American graphic designer who’s formed a unique niche for herself in Thailand selling maps and Thai-themed greeting cards.