An American Abroad

Bangkok 2

It’s 3:45 am in Bangkok on December 23. I step out of a taxi and onto the set of Blade Runner. Bar carts, food stands, folding chairs and tiny tables dot the sidewalk. The bars close at midnight or 1:00, but the alcoholic and entrepreneurial spirits remain strong. Neon light illuminates the after-hours couples. Overhead the Skytrain’s concrete hulk makes the street feel more like a cave; it’s almost cozy. “See, I’m making a film . . .” I hear a guy say in an American accent to a doe-eyed Thai girl half his age and size. She leans across the table, if not truly rapt, then doing a damn good job of pretending. I find the modest entrance to the Ever Rich Inn. The night clerk has been expecting me. Five minutes later I lie down on the first real mattress to be under my body in months. I was here:

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