Saturday, December 22, 2007

Long Live the King

When you're in Thailand, it's impossible to forget they have a king. His image and 'Long Live the King' adorns highway billboards, bus stops, historical sites, and you can't watch an hour of TV without one of his 5 minute commercials coming on. What we've learned from those commercials is that the king is great--he's part adventurer, photographer, multi-instrumentalist, and diplomat, all rolled into one. Kind of a less-handsome Robert Redford. He's also the main symbol uniting the Thai people, especially during times of bloodless military coups, which happen fairly regularly (and recently) here. Anyway, not knowing anything about Thai politics other than their prime minister is in exile and there's a big national election around the corner, (and if you want to run a successful military state, dressing your police in tight sexy black uniforms doesn't hurt), we'll tell the world about the other king instead--Thai Elvis.

Now this isn't the same Thai Elvis that performs every Friday night in the restaurant behind Mark and Tracy's apartment in Hollywood--it's Bangkok's very own Thai Elvis, whose review show we were fortunate enough to catch on our one night stop over in Bangkok before heading up north. He's a younger and stouter Elvis--closer to your standard mid-1970s Elvis impersonator. He brought the house down, which consisted of an odd mix of young Thai and foreign couples, a Ford company outing (they brought their own Johnny Walker Black Label and had the bartender mix drinks at the table!), a pack of drunk Australians (go figure!), and the now all-too-familiar and disturbing combo of old white men with young Thai prostitutes. Did I mention we were on Soi Patpong, the touristy night market and red light district? We had to wade through lots of offers of ping-pong shows, which I was really disappointed to discover had little in common with real ping-pong matches, to get to Thai Elvis. But it was worth it for the king!

-K

1 comment:

Thomas said...

WOW...thai elvis! your smile says it all!

hope you guys had a nice christmas!