Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wrapped up warm for Bangkok

All wrapped up and ready to go

Sometimes I go to another country and it feels really foreign, like Chiang Mai at Songkran when everyone has gone mad and throws water at you. Other times it feels like I've travelled to the 1970s (Australia, rural Japan). But I never felt like I've travelled to the Antarctic before I went to Bangkok.

Perhaps it's peacocking. Perhaps the hotel is trying to prove that it's really good by cooling the air down as much as possible. Perhaps the organisers were worried that eight hours in a warm room would make us dozy - but I don't think exploring the lower limits of human"s operating temperatures is a good way to keep our concentration up either.

After the first hour of this, when my hands were going numb and I couldn't stop shivering, I went back to my hotel room to find my jacket. Unluckily, I'd left my jacket in Hong Kong, so I had to stick a t-shirt on under my shirt and scuttle back. I tried keeping warm by drinking coffee, hot, black hotel coffee, but that was also a bad idea, as I sept half the morning cramped up, desperate to flee the conference room and hit the toilets.

However, despite my initial worries about the day, the presentations weren't stultifying. It would have been helpful to have slightly fewer and covered some topics in more detail, but then it's hard to figure out what you should cover and what you shouldn't. Still, that was eight hours in a freezing cold room, so I would have liked to go back to my hotel room tonight and slowly heat back up. Instead we had a gala dinner to attend, possibly in fancy dress.

My costume was a roll of bandage that I got my roommate to wrap round my head, and which received quite a lot of attention from my co-workers. Given some of them had shipped kimonos over from Japan or at least purchased a wig, my $9 effort was a bit feeble, but they may have recognised the sacrifice I made to not being able to eat or drink.

An hour of this and I began to suffocate, so I relinquished my bandages, although due to popular request I dressed up again later in order to dance to dreadful music. Lucky there were no cameras to record my bandaged idiocy.

Oh. Oops. I suppose at least since not everyone could see my face, not everyone will know who I am. On the other hand, everyone already assumes I'm drunk all the time, so perhaps my image needs more than just some sticking plaster...


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