“And,when you want to truely see the world, all the world conspires in helping you achieve it.”

Archive for February 2009

- - -- by Hotel @nyware»
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The Kowloon Report -Vintage Chaos

Where's all that Feng shui in Sardine land's "concrete forest" ?

Greetings from the user-friendly universe of Bangkok, to the most densley populated piece of real estate on the planet; at least according to The Guinness World Records, three blocks from the Mong Kok subway station 旺角, Hong Kong.

Caffine Central,Bean and Nothingness

At some point, inevitably, the "off-the hook-off-the-chain"- extraordinary becomes the ordinary. The steady diet of fast food, the 24 hour news cycle aka the CNN effect of knowing everything, the napsterization of cutting out the middleman, the tivoization of on demand time-shifted-content. Here comes everywhere again---this time in Chinglish.
So it was with Bangkok; and so it is with Hong Kongness. Giant escalator take me "up" to get a cup of coffee from my favorite drug dealer, Starbucks. Coffee is the new tea in China. The Starbucks Effect--Everwhere and Forever has its gravitational pull even on the locals---exerting almost cosmic influence on their lives.

I really enjoy being inside a Hong Kong Starbucks, especially after managing to dodge food poisoning from all that street vendor padi thai food on Khao San Road. Drinking coffee from that paper coffee cup, there's nothing better to remind me of where I was, and where I'm going.

I consume, therefore I am

I get to show that "I voted" for Starbucks again, just like all those Obama stickers on Hybrid Prius' in la-la- land Los Angeles---overkill. I'm a long nose, a round eye in the Far East. So I'm not Chinese, huh?"

It's not about the coffee; it's about the lifestyle. The Urban Monk attitude, no strings attached, living in this world but not of this world, telecommuting at location neutral, Hotel @nyware from a wi fi hot spot. I am back to that place that I have never been before.
Hong Kong- From Nation to Notion

I sit in one of their epiphany chairs to self-reflect, write about Hotel @nyware , and give in to a mood swing here or there. Besides it takes the edge off all these cars driving on the left side of the road, not to mention the impecably dressed generation text, especially in knock-off/ kitsch ready wear, and lots of folks in knock out uniforms. It's all just part of the landscape, full of magical rides patiently waiting for my wits to test drive---a business class ticket to cool, with complimentary mojo on take off.
Macau certainly prepares you to pay way too much dough for very little. I wasn't disappointed... The Grand Lisboa suite, howvever was over-the-top. Hey, you put Portuguese in my Chinese. You put Chinese in my Portuguese. A little bit of both and not enough of each.

In Kowloon, however, I low keyed it---Stayed at The Champion Guest House, By the MTR--it's not called the subway here; it's the MTR, by the Jordan Stop--- for $500 I actually know the value of those chips I have been splashing the pot with. I got a shoe box room with AC and a 1/2 bath.
That black action ($100) chip can buy me two meals. Starbucks is $40 Bucks.

Man, as I have said before--too much respect for money makes you a bad NLH I guess I'm a bad player today---because I actually can buy things with this monopoly money besides chips at The Wynn and The Grand Lisboa.

The map is not the territory, the statue not the saint, but the menu is the meal; when the meals are in Chinglish. Reputed to be the Culinary Capital of Asia,Meet Your Meat with these Hong Kong Signature they get Lost in Translation.

We serve dead shrimp on vegetables with a smile
Pork with fresh garbage
Dreaded veal cutlet with potatoes in cream

- - -- by Hotel @nyware»
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Instant Gratification Takes Too Long

- - -- by Hotel @nyware»
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Fish is now a vegetable

I'm in Vegan paradise---Soi Khao San, Bangkok,with one low price guarantee----an economy class ticket to cool, with complimentary mojo on take off.

I have just redefined what it means to be a Vegan--- thanks to a street vendor who curried up some Padi Thai with octopus and shrimp.

"We have located the durian smell to this room, please step aside."

Coconut Magic

I'm coo coo for Coconuts--- They are anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial. I'm up to six a day.The water is the purest liquid second only to water itself. It is full of electrolytes, calcium and magnesium. An average size coconut has more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg).

Coconut Water has more food value than whole milk; is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have in our blood; and, it contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother's milk.

Budweiser may be the King of beers, but Durian is the King Of Fruits. You just can't get fresh Durian in the States, so I have been beasting out on Durian. Developing a taste for this may be an Asian thing, but I love the unusual taste and flavor...the odor is something else ---

Banned in public places such as subways, malls and hotels because it smells like lockeroom socks, it shouldn't stop you. If you are in Thailand, and don't try it, it's like living in America, and never having a slice of bread!

Here's a reprint from Hotel Anyware's last jet to Khao San Road -the most spectacular outbreak of mass delirium that you are likely to see

"I travel a lot. Travel means temporary freedom: Detachment, fractional ownership or no ownership at all, trying out new things, no commitments and no obligations, endless new experiences." ER

Khao San University

Like Vegas, Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down....what goes in Bangkok, stays in Bangkok, It’s the most spectacular outbreak of mass delirium that you are likely to see. I will,however, let you in on a secret---it's calledถนนข้าวสาร Khao San Road .

Khao San is "a short road that has the longest dream in the world", RPCV, ("the toughest time you'll ever kill") returning Peace Corp volunteers live hand to mouth on their paltry stipend, weeks on end. Khao San Road is a popular destination for 'alumnis' of world renowned institutes of higher learning.

Kaho San sees everything in quotations. It's "Kaho San" knockofff clothes and "Kaho San" pirated Cd's. "Kaho San"knockofff Clothes. "Khao San" rolex watches . Then there is, "Khao San University---fake educational diplomas--- a last stop for broke backpacers.

Cowboy Falang, (foreigners) who end up teaching English, if they have a good personality and speak the mother tongue, use these credentials as their meal ticket, or make plane fare back to wherever they are gowing to be picking up their mail.
Zencrafters, instant enlightenment in about 20 minutes or less.

The Edumacation at "Khao San Road University" is dirt cheap. Just spell your name on this piece of paper. They'll print you up a diploma cum laude if you like. No tests.No Books.Noone is turned down. You give them money. They give you a degree. I always liked the idea of reaching my human potential. I just never liked the price tag. At "Khao San Road University" The Price is right Bob, the low flat fee of 3,500 baht about $90 bucks, you can have three or four degrees---University of Texas, UCLA, and throw in a TEFL certificate to fast track your work permit for teaching English. This really pisses a lot of University of Spolied Children (USC) types, and Now Your Unemployed (NYU) defaulting on student loans types. "

" Wow, while you we're working for $22,000 a year at that law firm, I made just as much in six months in Thailand and ______." The real fun comes when they come back to the states, and try to use it to gain a position of trust, lying their way to the top. All the lies will be washed away by the truth, albeit, there is always a degree of suspicion. This is the real cult of the amateur. A"Little Miss Sunshine" moment-you don't really need a degree confered on you to be beautiful!

The whole thing about college being some higher education only experience is ridiculous. "What's your major? Vodka,now that's a major, with a minor in Beer. Excellent, the Grail!, Nacho. I know a lot of workaholic in college, mention the word work and all they wanted to do is get drunk. Let's get real.You have to know when to quit and try again later. That's what's so endering about the Backpackers, "stopping out" for a while, chilling.I undersdtand their logic: Why go through all the bother it takes to get a degree from an accredited institution? Diplomas from those same schools can be bought for $30 bucks.No one is turned down.

Cowboy English teachers, who quit school to travel around the world, or for whatever reason just didn't dig school, and buy these"non-traditional" degrees, I have no beef with (as long as they don't "enroll" at Kha San University and "become" a Dentist)-

A machine says “I was only following orders. It only does what it was programmed to do. That's walking the painted line, finishing school. Beasting out on degree and transcripts has replaced stamps and coin collecting as the hobby of choice for the Lonely Planet crowd. Although I couldn't find a hazmat Truckers card, this makes Alverado Avenue's Downtown Los Angeles, with its cheap green cards, fake SSN#'s and California Driver's license look like kindergarten.

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The Grass Is Greener Where You Water It

...Siam's gonna be the witness to the ultimate test of cerebral fitness....
...This place grips me more than would a Muddy old river or reclining Buddha...

- - -- by Hotel @nyware»
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- - -- by Hotel @nyware»
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Sweet Desert Rose
I'm coming out of my cage
And I've been doing just fine
Gotta gotta gotta be down
Because I want it all