We headed off first to pick up Mateo’s Chinese visa for his trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. He got it without a hitch, although it was a bit pricey. Afterwards we went to the local mall, Tesco Lotus, to have lunch at the same cafeteria we ate at a few days ago.
We decided to see a movie next, so we took the BTS line to The Emporium mall where we will be meeting our Thai friend from Japan, Saa, in a few days time. Our movie didn’t start for a few hours so we walked around the sixth floor of the mall where the movie theater is and discovered a design studio that had a few art exhibitions in it. The first we viewed is an exhibition of clothing by Vivienne Westwood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivienne_westwood), who is famous for sex-related runway designs. It was a real fun exhibit and we took our time looking through the lavishly-costumed mannequins and reading the stories related with each collection.
Afterwards we went into a smaller exhibition on the concept of “design” in commercial items from various countries. From the VW Beatle, which was created in 1930’s Germany as the people’s car, to Levi’s jeans, made for the gold miners of the California coast, the exhibition featured many common design innovations from all over the world and their histories. There is also a nice video presentation on the way Louis Vuitton bags are made by a bunch of French people. I tend to not quite believe that all Louis Vuitton bags are made by a bunch of “skilled craftsmen” in France. It seems much more likely that the job is outsourced to countries like Thailand, but what do I know about it. :P
After checking out the exhibitions and the ritzy museum store, we went down to the food court and had some Burger King vegetarian hamburgers and Dairy Queen Blizzards (oh-so-bad-for-you food!) before heading on up to the movie.
The movie we chose to watch is called “United 93” (http://imdb.com/title/tt0475276/) and is about the fourth airplane hijacked on September 11th, 2001. That plane failed to get to its destination and the filmmakers did a lot of research about the day and gave an educated guess about what happened on the plane on that fatal day. It is filmed in a matter of fact way that reminded me some of Elephant (http://imdb.com/title/tt0363589/). It is a very powerful movie and I would gladly see it again.
After the movie we went to my suit store and I tried on my newly tailored suit. It looks great! I got two ties with it and asked the tailors where I could find some nice shoes to go with the suit. They directed me to a place down the street and before I left they told me that they would keep my measurements for up to five years, so any time I need something else tailored to send them an email and they can ship it anywhere. I am v. pleased with the service and results.
We headed down the street stopping at various stalls until we reached the nice cobbler’s shop on the corner that the tailors recommended. I hemmed and hawed over various pairs of shoes and got some good advice from one of the workers about getting a shoe that fitted my type of foot better than one that I chose. I am always suspicious of salesmen suggesting things, but the shoes he suggested were actually less expensive than the ones I were looking at, so I got one in my size, a 44 European; grabbed a pair of socks; and checked out. I now have a complete suit with handmade shoes to boot!
We walked back to the hostel, on the way buying gifts for various family and friends. Mateo also got a nice shoulder bag that fits his hippy-chic look to a tee. One cool thing was that we went back to the place we had dinner yesterday, an open air Thai restaurant near our hostel, and they remembered us and what we wanted to eat, with our particulars and all (vegetarian and Mateo’s with no hot stuff). It is nice to feel like a regular at a place. Our hostel owner knows us by name as well, since we always come back here when we go to Bangkok. It is a pretty cool feeling.
Tomorrow we are off to the bridge over the River Kwai for the day.
Until then, take care.