Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Toto, I don't think we're in Kasas anymore... (Llama)

Ok, so I just returned from a 5 day, 4 night stay in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I don't know how much news of Bangladesh you get over there in Yankee Land, but there's usually at least one story about the country in the Thai papers each day. That country is currently being ruled by a "caretaker government", which is constitutionally allowed when the democratic process fails to produce an elected government. You see, the two main parties have been pretty much at war with each other for the past few years, and when it came time for a new election, each party became so obstructionist that the whole system just collapsed. So the caretaker government took over, banished the party leaders from the country, and set about rooting out corruption. Elections are now scheduled to happen at the end of the year, but, frankly, the country is really better off without them.

Anyway, I've been there a few times already, but it has been a while since my last visit. This time I was struck by the armed guards everywhere. They are at the airport, outside department stores, in traffic circles... everywhere. They aren't carrying whatever high-tech weapon we see our troops with, but rather old weapons with wooden stocks and iron barrels... like old Soviet era guns.

Another oddity appeared yesterday on my way to the airport. I was riding in a CNG - a three-wheeled, open-air mini-taxi that runs on natural gas, when we passed this one fellow walking on the shoulder of the highway completely nude. Buck naked. His glory exposed to the entire world. It reminded me of ... what is that classic movie about the African tribesman that finds a coke bottle? And if that wasn't odd enough, no one was paying any attention to this fellow. No traffic slow downs, no staring by others on the shoulder... nothing. And this is a Muslim country, remember, where nudity, at least by females, is practically worth a beheading.

Speaking of nudity, a couple of nights before, after work, I was flipping through the TV channels. Asian cable routinely shows really, really bad American movies. Sometimes they even try to pass them off as blockbusters: CEREBUS, BOA VS. PYTHON, and the like. These are movies custom made for MST3K. Anyway, something like this was on and I stopped to watch. Not a monster movie, but some silly movie about a crazed movie producer who starts killing his competitors so that he can record the murders and sell "the best footage you've ever seen" to some ambiguous group of buyers. It is probably the worst movie I've ever seen. (At one point, to show how maniacal the producer is, there is a scene where he is rolling around in money. Presumably all the money he is making from shooting this footage. This footage that isn't yet complete and hasn't yet been sold.) I write about it now because, here in the middle of Bangladesh, a country almost entirely Islamic, they were broadcasting, uncensored, the crudest language you can imagine and even some female nudity.

On another channel, by the way, they were broadcasting Spiderman 3.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back in the BKK.



pacatrue said...

Welcome Back!

Here's a restaurant in BKK that you might be amused by.

Sammy Jankis said...

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980). Love those films!