I had such a fun time preparing for Pecha Kucha, I’ve decided to try that approach for a few blog posts, using photos I’ve collected during my travels.

On the way to the Skytrain station from the Hilton Sukhumvit on Soi 24, Khlong Ton, Bangkok last November, we passed this cluster of signs. Now I don’t know about you, but I’m conflicted about the ‘God Hand’ massage claim. I mean, would it be okay to ask to see the masseuse’s Shiatsu certification or would that be a smiting offence? The photos don’t strike me as very god-like, either.


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At MBK mall – eight gigantic floors crammed with more than 2000 shops selling everything you can imagine, real and knock-offs. Remember, many ‘designer’ products are manufactured in Asia, and if a few hundred handbag logos fall off the production line or the pattern for a crocodile or designer name logo ‘accidentally’ gets duplicated and applied to shirts, who’s to tell tales?

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When we first visited Thailand back in 2009, Hub bought a package of brightly patterned ‘Calvin Klein’ (or was that Klaim?) briefs, after the clerk assured us they’d ‘fit beautiful’.  When we got home and he opened the package, they fit beautiful, all right, but on the bum of our nine-year-old grandson. Lesson learned.Seems now the merchants are catering to a different crowd. Jumbo? Yikes. The aisles are so narrow, I’m not sure a jumbo-sized guy could navigate to actually buy a shirt.

The first summer we moved to the ‘country’, this was one of the signs I noticed on my daily ramble.

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You’d need a hell of a big shovel to scoop after those bovine babes. Ten years later, the land has been scraped raw, a fancy sales pavilion built and 200 cookie-cutter houses will be built shortly.

Unfortunately for the families who snapped up these overpriced boxes, there is no day-care to speak of, almost non-existent public transit and nothing besides a lovely country supermarket by way of amenities. The ‘locals’ (what Harpo called old-stock Canadians) are in for a shock when the complexion of the town begins to ‘brown’ when the newcomers arrive. At least then, Hub and I won’t be the most exotic-looking couple around.

Yes, we know from the onslaught of commercials that Valentine’s Day is next week. These are just two of the outfits in store windows at the mall. Who thinks up this stuff? It’s winter, for heaven’s sake. You could catch a cold.

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We always have a nice dinner with wine and soft music and something chocolate for dessert. Should I ramp up the romantic action? Uh, no. I can imagine appearing in the kitchen in one of these getups.

After Hub picked himself off the floor and stopped laughing, he’d feel my forehead and ask if I was all right. And I wouldn’t blame him.

On our way north from Hua Hin to Bangkok, the six-lane highway was choked with transport trucks and passenger vehicles whizzing along. About 90 minutes in to the three-hour journey, we stopped at a strip mall built on the edge of a salt field. Motown music was blaring from a speaker mounted on a post in the parking lot.

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We dodged the omnipresent street curs, a rooster and one merchant’s toddlers. Among the carts loaded with fruit, building supplies and soft drinks warming under the glaring sun was an old green pick-up truck sagging under the weight of painted plaster statues of local deities.

What do you call that cargo? A box of Buddhas? A gaggle of ganeshas? Makes you go hmmm.