Whilst doing some screwdriver surgery on my little camera (removing the battery that ran that blasted date/time stamp that liked to turn itself on and ruin pictures) I guess I hosed the little gear that advances the film. Long story short? I'm back in Bangkok for a couple of days to pick up a new little snapshot-takin' camera. Man, I forgot how hot it can be here. I mean, yeah it's hot in Lao too, but I forgot how a city "holds" onto heat.

Two forty-five this morning... my train finally pulls in (please do not read any Hitchcockian suggestiveness into that statement) to Bangkok's Hua Lamphong station (which, no foolin', is a dead ringer for the SuperFriends Hall of Justice — the outside anyway). The clock strikes three and I'm in a cab heading for a guest house. Three-twenty finds me turtle-esqe with my backpack looking for a guest house with an available room — rooms are hard to come by tonight which I blame on it being summer rather than yesterday being Queen Sirikit's sixty-ninth birthday.

A helpful woman on the street helps me track down a guest house with a room. I'm a little puzzled when she has a key to the front security gate — although I later learn she also has a room there.

Ten minutes later I find myself saying

"No, seriously, I need to go to sleep in my room. There's your room right there... you should go in there...
And as I finish speaking I look back up the stairs that now separate us — me standing in front of her door, she a few steps from mine — and I see her standing there; looking down at me waiting for a response; silent. While I had been talking she had pushed her jeans and underwear down past her knees.

"Thank you for finding me the room — it was very helpful. And thank you for the kind and generous offer, but seriously, I just want to go to sleep."