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10 thoughts on “Bangkok Days

  1. says:

    God how to describe this book imagine if O'Rourke were British and little less concerned with sociology and politics and a little philosophical and you can begin to imagine Lawrence Osborne First off a caveat this book which was just published this year is marketed almost as some sort of expose on the steamy sordid underworld of Bangkok As the subtitle says A Sojourn in the Capital of Pleasure which resides on the book jacket next

  2. says:

    This is the second book I've read recently where one's impression may be swayed by gender Having never been a woman I'm not sure but I think that Osborne's descriptions of the largely male characters in his Bangkok

  3. says:

    Borrowed this book from a friend while living in Bangkok This was my daily BTS read for a bit than a month It's hard for

  4. says:

    Readers of this book should take note of these words in chapter 4 memoirs are rarely empirical in nature They are statements of purpose descriptions of life as the writer WOULD LIKE IT TO BE His emphasis but the faultless memoir doesn't exist indeed it's a lame moralistic fantasy James Frey couldn't have put it better Th

  5. says:

    I read this book concurrently with Farang by Iain Corness as a sort of antidote to that books vanilla contentThe author travelled to Thailand to get some cut price dentistry and discovered he could live in Bangkok for practically no money so he stayed Throughout the book he comes and goes from Thailand but it

  6. says:

    A great book to read during a time when it's hard to travel Bangkok Days investigates various nooks and crannies of the Big Mango that while fascinating I don't particularly want to go to personally Osborne is “on the lam” in Bangkok a place he can live cheap he makes this discovery while visiting to have dental work done“The days were empty by design I didn’t have a job; I was on the lam as old Amer

  7. says:

    I suppose Lawrence Osborne's memoir Bangkok Days 2009 isn't for everyone since the Bangkok it describes is that o

  8. says:

    No one is a victim in Osborne's Bangkok or perhaps everyone is This is especially true in his interpretation of the sex industry which dominates the majority of the book's focus There are no villains either and on at least 3 occasions the book aims to dispute Bangkok prostitution statistics gathered from the U

  9. says:

    Lonely middle aged white man writes about lonely middle aged white men in Bangkok That's a real perspective and there's some good phrasing and a few fun stories but in the end it's too limited to be very interesting

  10. says:

    I visited Bangkok for the first time only weeks before reading this book and really enjoyed following the adventures of Lawrence Osbourne in a small underworld community of foreign transplants to Bangkok It's a tra

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read & download Ì eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ý Lawrence Osborne

W dollars a dayOsborne's Bangkok is a vibrant instinctual city full of contradictions He wanders the streets dining on insects trawling through forgotten neighbourhoods decayed temples and sleazy barsFar than a travel b. A great book to read during a time when it s hard to travel Bangkok Days investigates various nooks and crannies of the Big Mango that while fascinating I don t particularly want to go to personally Osborne is on the lam in Bangkok a place he can live cheap he makes this discovery while visiting to have dental work done The days were empty by design I didn t have a job I was on the lam as old American gangsters had it A perfect phrase The lam It means headlong flight according to my Webster s dictionary Lamming to run away The book is meandering and unstructured but Osborne is such a good observer and writer that this doesn t matter His days are not completely empty he becomes a fl neur a man who wanders observing society through the malls and nightlife districts and less accessible neighbourhoods This part of Rattanakosin just north of the canal which empties into the river is one of the few remnants of the old city that the authorities no doubt in a fit of absentmindedness have neglected to bulldoze The surfaces of the houses are a vertical maze of cracks and puzzles in which cicadas are lodged as if they have mistaken it for a man made forest Osborne covers the much talked about topic of middle to old aged Western men who have gone to Bangkok for one final hurrah before the big empty He does this well without moral sermonising or crass lionising of his friends libertine ways If there is any glue which holds the narrative together it comes from the bonds formed at the Primrose Apartments where Osborne initially stays in Bangkok There he first meets his cast of escapees running from their life of invisibility in the West The most developed character is McGinnis McGinnis was six foot seven He towered in doorways in hotel lobbies in the light of streetlamps There was something wonderfully sinister there and I love sinister men A sinister man doesn t just walk down a street he rolls down it like a superior ball bearing A sinister man cannot be amiable but he can be good company Despite his association with the science of air conditioning McGinnis was also subtly aristocratic and refined while doing nothing better with his life than selling mass produced cooling units Then there is Dennis a decrepit retired bank manager from Perth with the best lines about how Bangkok is the place to be where one can feel alive again Dennis often said to me that Bangkok reminded him of an ancient Roman city at least as we imagine them to have been Cities of polytheistic lust Nothing he added could be further removed from the cities of Anglophonia which were based not on a love of pleasure but on a worship of power New York by contrast where Osborne a pom lived for twenty years always sounds like hell when he mentions it not sure I have much talent I replied uite truthfully as it happened And if I did have some I wouldn t go around talking about it I come from New York where everyone does that even if they have no talent whatsoever It makes me want to vomit I think I came here to escape exactly that Osborne travels to Malaysia and Macau for journalistic missions and tries to relate these episodes back to Bangkok I found this an indulgence and the editor should have cut the non Bangkok parts Towards the end of the book he takes a break from the libertines to visit a priest and nun helping addicts in a slum He observes that a lammer like himself feels sorry for these missionaries alone and stuck in a foreign slum forever but at the same time they feel sorry for the likes of him and his purposeless brethren This reminded me of Graham Greene s A Burnt Out Case where the worldly man seeks refuge with priests in a leper colony Osborne has been compared with Greene In interviews he has said he is a long way from that level yet but is flattered by the comparison I haven t read Osborne s novels I have high hopes for themHe relates a couple of his own sexual escapades but there is nothing too raunchy He sleeps with a prostitute at the Primrose an introduction to the kind of pleasure that is on offer in BangkokThere is a word in Thai sanuk which embodies the idea of enjoying life to the full as a duty It is usually translated as fun or pleasure but it is really untranslatable Porntip was a bearer of sanuk She came every fourth day for a month with a curious punctuality as if she was coming upriver between classesWhether we Westerners should or can enjoy a sanuk lifestyle is a debate for the ages Can it be of benefit or just damage us and those around us If there is anybody around usMy favourite tale is of him buying bathroom plugs He rings his upper class Thai landlady but she has no idea how to say plug in her language or refuses to share this knowledge with a foreigner who couldn t possibly be able to use Thai words He eventually finds out that Thai for plug is pluk But at the store they can t understand him he has the tone wrong Eventually he points and gets his plug He goes through the process of buying a plug multiple times before he can ask for a pluk and the store assistant gets one right away He then has a bunch of plugs he ll never use but hey one word of Thai mastered however many thousand to go The same happens with a chicken dish he practices saying it and eating it everyday for a week before Thais can understand him He recognises that not understanding the language provides a kind of protective cocoon I know what he is about In China it was reassuring when I finally learnt to understand conversations Mainland Chinese shout so I thought they were constantly fighting in fact they were discussing lunch However from time to time I d pick up on rude comments directed my way I remember being at the Summer Palace and a mother warning her child in jest to stay away from me or I d kidnap him and take him to America the home of all Westerners obviouslyAnother time on Lamma island in Hong Kong a Mainlander said to his girlfriend look at the size of the great white hunter s feet If you don t know the language you don t have to hear these things But enough about meread Bangkok Days

read Bangkok Days

Bangkok Days

Ook Bangkok Days explores both the little known extraordinary city and the lives of a handful of doomed ex patriates living there 'as vivid a set of liars and losers as was ever invented by Graham Greene' New York Times. I suppose Lawrence Osborne s memoir Bangkok Days 2009 isn t for everyone since the Bangkok it describes is that of single middle aged men running away hiding searching or just living out their last days in a vital and potentially decadent city Bangkok is where some go when they feel they no longer can be loved when they give up It is also a city that I have returned to many times over the years as I have used it as a base to travel to other countries Laos Cambodia Myanmar Vietnam attended conferences in or in Thailand Khon Kaen Chang Mai and have visited friends who briefly lived there One of the many characters Osborne meets makes an observation about the lack of cleanliness in Bangkok I have also hated clean cities Cities should be as dirty as possible Dirt is the sign that they are healthy Not trash that s something else We don t want pizza cartons and Big Mac wrappers everywhere That s obscene no I mean decayed fruit and swill and pig bones and spittle Bangkok was the first Asian city I visited outside of Japan and the first one that felt truly Asian to my imagination of what an Asian city would be like that had that lack of cleanliness and the old world decay that I saw in my mindMy stomping grounds are similar to Osborne s Sukhumvit and the many Sois of pleasure and commerce along that stretch of road The author first arrived as a medical tourist to get his teeth fixed but he found himself returning and spending long stretches of time in the city Osborne has a very fluid and informed style in which he makes astute observations about the people he meets Thailand However conversant in Thai culture he will never get close to the bottom of it Buddhism Bangkok life We respond with instinctive bitterness to this loss of visibility but we also recognize the first taste of our future extinction and we accept it and himself Do we head to places which we know will undo us take the long hand of our clock and bend it backward throughout the book I am a sucker for this kind of memoir since it is not only a personal memoir but a love letter to Bangkok and a kind of analysis of the type of people who find themselves living in the vibrant city I have been waiting to read this book after spying it in a book store in Bangkok thus another visit to Thailand this year has inspired me to finally read it It was exactly what I was looking for in order to bring the city alive before I actually go there

read & download Ì eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ý Lawrence Osborne

Tourists come to Bangkok for many reasons a night of love a stay in a luxury hotel or simply to disappear for a while Lawrence Osborne comes for the cheap dentistry and then stays when he finds he can live off just a fe. Borrowed this book from a friend while living in Bangkok This was my daily BTS read for a bit than a month It s hard for me to put into words what I liked and did not like about this book But lets try It s an interesting introduction to the fucked up lives of dirty farang foreigner in Thai expats living in Bangkok that seek to escape their past There are many of them here and I bet this is one of the the best books written about them I liked it enough to recommend it to anyone with an interest in Bangkok It s well written and as shown in other reviews here it has some beautiful prose here and thereI liked the somewhat cynical approach towards Thai culture and the colourful farang characters I identify with the writer s appreciation of chaotic Bangkok and the urge to follow random roads until they end on late hours It s a bit of a travel book in that regard Bangkok is filled with little secrets unexpected sights hidden in side soi s or sometimes just unnoticed in that street you walk through every day This book describes these sorts of places analysing and writing about them I do have some different world views than the writer and sometimes he seems a bit fatalistic It s hard to describe what exactly bothers me here but I suppose I m a bit idealistic At the same time though while he distinguishes himself from the dirty sexpats and from the Thais themselves be it yaba addicts in Klong Toey or hi so housewives in Thong Lor it s without pretension or arrogance I appreciate that