Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand
1. a farang flags down a motorbike taxi in a good shirt, blue, and linen trousers that will not survive the city’s grit.
2. an eighty year old Thai lady crawls by on her walker, defying death, she smiles gently at everything.
3. a trio of stout Thai men walk towards a rundown Toyota pick-up, cradling big boxes against their gut. they grunt and sweat.
4. the cafe plays Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. haven’t heard this in a while.
5. a young Thai male on the back of a motorbike taxi is bent over his phone, sending a quick SMS that he’s running late but on his way.
6. a Scandinavian couple with a baby in a carriage. they coo over him incessantly. obviously their first.
7. a thin, beautiful Thai chick exits her BMW, strolls into the cafe, knowing that everyone will stare. everyone stares.
8. the man with his cart of flowers stops in front of the cafe. I resist the urge to buy more plants. the couple with the baby buys an orchid.
9. a man, somewhere in his forties, with long black hair, glides past (makes me think of my cat); he smiles when he catches me staring.
10. an old Thai bloke sits in the b&b across the cafe and shouts at the cafe’s clientele in Thai. everyone looks up from their laptops and smartphones then returns to their machines. the old man will not be deterred so easily. he keeps at it for the better part of an hour. when he leaves, people stare at the empty chair and glance over at each other. there is a collective sigh of relief.
11. i’m writing this instead of my novel.