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    Tropical Heat Tour: Thailand Part 8

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012
    Bangkok, Thailand

    The Human Dolly stocks the 7-Eleven on Thanon Ratchadamnoen in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Pad Thai at May Kaidee's in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Since I stayed up until the wee hours the night before, I slept in today until the early afternoon. In lieu of sightseeing, I just hung around the neighborhood. At one point, I sat in front of 7-Eleven for a while, watching the pedestrian circus pass by. One guy wearing an odd, colorful outfit who looked like he could have been from France, stood in front of me waiting for the bus. All of a sudden, without warning, he busted out an accordion and started playing a delightful little ditty. I really wanted to take a photo, but my camera was packed away in my bag, and I was holding a drink. I kicked myself later for not shooting a little video of that guy.

    A typical scene in front of the Nat 2 Guesthouse in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Inside the chill-out room of the Nat 2 Guesthouse in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Then I noticed a Thai guy delivering boxes of product from a small truck into 7-Eleven. As an accomplice of his stacked up the product for him on top of a narrower box on the truck’s tailgate, this guy, who I later dubbed the Human Dolly, would back himself up to the stack, grab a hold of the two corners furthest away from him, heave them up, lean forward and gingerly march across a 40 ft. wide sidewalk into the store. The stack was tall, at least to the top of his head, and comprised of heavy stuff like bottled beverages, etc. I thought he would just make a few trips, so I was surprised when he repeated the process at least 25 times. I’ll bet he carried in enough product to restock the whole store. I shot a couple of video clips, but I noticed in the second one that he caught on to me and looked over. Twice. So, I deleted that one, and kept the first one, which was more candid. I wanted to take a good photo, but by the time I set my exposure, his work was done.

    Takuya Ando shows off a This Heat album on his iPad at the Nat 2 Guesthouse in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Inside the lobby of the Nat 2 Guesthouse in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    Later, I hung out in the lobby of the Nat 2 Guest House, where a gaggle of young Asian tourists in their early 20s seem to congregate at all hours–morning, noon and night–talking, laughing and screaming. I became buddies with a couple of them who were brandishing small, acoustic guitars, and made a recording of one of them–named Takuya Ando from Nagoya, Japan–playing a short improvisation. Then, he set up his iPad and recorded a video clip of both of us playing together. We also chatted a bit about music, and they were stoked to find out I knew about Keiji Haino, which prompted me to look through Takuya’s iTunes. I was surprised to see obscure artists like Boris, Nurse With Wound and This Heat among the most mainstream music you can imagine. After a few hours of talking and jamming, I headed upstairs to bed. Ill bet the rest of that crew stayed up until dawn. They never seem to stop…or leave this place.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

    2 responses to “Tropical Heat Tour: Thailand Part 8”

    1. Grant Brittain says:

      So rad Garry, let’s do a book when you return.

    2. Jim Davis says:

      If those boxes were full, that guy (“human dolly”), was a lot stronger than he looks! I like that picture.

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