aug 19th, 2006
that's right, she's learning from the white guys. blame indians for everything and abuse them. indians like pankaj mishra will be right there to support her.
it's more likely in fact that it was the chinese who brought prostitution to thailand. after all, they brought everything else. and half the thais are chinese.
in my trips to thailand and cambodia, i have noticed how even though their cultures are highly indic-influenced, their current big influence is chinese. chinese soft power, and chinese money, are big time in those countries.
the place where indians seem most visible in bangkok is in the made-to-order suits business. there are dozens of such tailoring shops in bangkok run by indians, mostly sikhs. they will make suits for you in 48 hours. this used to be a hong-kong specialty (in fact i have a suit i bought in hongkong years ago) but that place has now become too expensive. bangkok seems to have good deals, but i didn't buy anything.
i am not crazy about bangkok, although the food is excellent. interestingly, thai food in california is not all that different from thai food in bangkok, except the latter is hotter -- those tiny thai chilies are a killer. (i think they are like the 'kanthari' chilies in kerala: little and deadly.)
but i have to say, with nothing more of an endowment than a lot of rice fields and pretty girls (esp from chiang-mai): good fodder for the prostitution business and porn business eg. in patpong, the thais have built up a roaring economy in electronics and light manufacturing. i went to bangkok after 15 years, and the place has been transformed. it's so prosperous now! i remember the old ramshackle roads, now replaced by a gorgeous highway. the place looks like hongkong was 15 years ago, except the language is less abrasive and the people are better looking.