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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE: Day #15-On Indulgence and Zombies

I spent yesterday on pure indulgence, but did not carry my camera on purpose just to be totally free to do what I wanted.  Part of this is that, since Japan, I've been using a walking cane, which comes in particularly handy in Bangkok because the sidewalks have significant defects.  Also, crossing the street here is an adventure, and a person with a cane is treated with fear and respect.  Thailand has the second deadliest traffic in the world, 3.5 times worse than the USA.  #1 is Libya.  Amazingly enough, it has been almost a week since I bought the cane for $2 at Daiso, and I still have not lost it.  

The usual fabulous breakfast:


Then I strolled down Sukhumvit to Jackie's to order a few more safari shirts, but with two enhancements, and got a haircut, manicure and pedicure, for around $22.  Next a one hour oil massage for $17, followed by a dip in my personal jacuzzi:


It was already late in the afternoon, so I went to see Train to Busan, a Korean movie on the sixth floor of the adjacent Terminal 21 shopping mall.  Also across the street from the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is the Westin Bangkok, my stay tomorrow.


About the movie, Rotten Tomatoes gave it outstanding 93% reviewers and 91% audience ratings. But, yikes, it's a zombie film, and I avoid anything to do with this genre, especially vampirical ones.  Earlier in the month this movie reached 10 million viewers in South Korea, making it the most popular of the year.  There was an animated prequel, Seoul Station, that came out in June. 

While a bit far-fetched, where the "hero" and almost everyone else become zombies, it was gripping and well-made.  The end had a link to an earlier part of the film, and featured the song Aloha Oe (you will need to see the film to hear that version, but here is one from Hawaii), sung by his daughter, saving her life.  HINT:  zombies don't sing.    They go aarrgghhh.  There is something about Korean films that transcends anything Japan has to offer these days.

On the matter of zombies, I might add that there is no such thing.  Sure, perhaps a human kept alive in Haiti on some kind of drug associated with voodoo, but that person will not bite and infect you to become another zombie.

Bela Lugosi (above) was in the 1932 White Zombie (this is the whole 1:07 hour film, with sound), and Michael Jackson danced with them on Thriller (this is the nearly 14 minute version).  More recently, some of you might have seen Brad Pitt's World War Z, below, and, of course, the Z stands for zombie.


Let me end this lavishness with my dinner at the Plaza Athenee Royal Meridien.  As this is kind of a French hotel, and I haven't yet had a French meal, I went down to Reflexions.  To my surprise, it was closed.

Next door was Utage, a Japanese restaurant, and I could be seated.  I had a truly fabulous meal.

I ordered Teriyaki salmon, foie gras sushi, tofu, zora soba and garlic rice, with hot sake and cold beer.  I was so super-satiated that I actually left some food, sake and beer on the table, maybe my first time ever for the latter two.  Cost as a factor, this was my most enjoyable Japanese meal on the trip, for the price was just over $50.


Making the experience so wonderful were Thapanee (assistant manager), Chutinthorn (sushi chef) and Somroeng:


I should add that prior to dinner I had a champagne at the rather large Club Lounge, and took the following shot of the next door Hotel Okura Prestige and Central Embassy Shopping Complex (an ultra-luxury mall where at Water Library you can enjoy Wagyu Beef and Roasted Duck with Foie Gras):

That skinny tower in the background is Baiyoke II, the second tallest building in Bangkok.  I had earlier walked into that luxury shopping mall and took an inside shot:


My breakfast this morning at the Plaza Athenee Royal Meridien, showing first about 10% of the offerings (note six kinds of ice cream):


The buffet featured a variety of Thai, Chinese and Indian dishes.  Note the passion fruit and coconut, where the juice was chilled.  I could also eat the soft coconut meat.  Frankly, the duck noodle soup would have more than sufficed for breakfast.

Next, the Westin Grand Sukhumvit, then across the street to the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, where I kept my large suitcase.  On Day #17 I leave for Sydney.

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There are eight ocean storms, and in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Gaston is heading for the USA, and will become a hurricane:



But not to fear, for all computer models show Gaston eventually moving away from the mainland U.S.


There is also Tropical Depression Fiona that has been lurking ahead of Gaston, but models show her eventually dissipating without causing any serious harm.

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