Shangri-La Ti Da

        Today, we fly fro Hong Kong to Bangkok, Thailand. Amanda’s parents are kind enough that we’re staying at the Shangi-La.
        My initial reaction is self-righteous disgust: looks like a lot of chubby white people inside somewhere quite nice with way too many skinny brown folks fawning over their every need and way too little authenticity: what’s substantially different between here and the waste of The Four Seasons in Austin, Texas or anywhere else?
        I even convince Amanda to wander the streets with me until we find tasty street-corner shrimp pad thai. With a big beer and seated at a plastic table in a lawn chair, my bill’s about 90 Baht (<$3). In response, I join Amanda for a foot massage, which feels nice enough that I think the Chuck Pahluniak novel with super-foot-masseuses (?) who can produce orgasm or even death is not outside the realm of possibility
        Back at foofoo hotel, I decide to utilize the 24-hour gym for a late-night workout. I’m given a basket with bottled water, towel, and headphones by an eager attendant who I think even called me “sir” as I enter. There’s an LCD TV in front of my elliptical, with a Bond movie’s second half accompanying my exercise. As I leave, I notice the stack of Ipod Nanos for guests to use as they exercise. Under a very hot shower back in our quite large room, I know that, love luxuries or hate them, I could get used to this.

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