Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ragtime

In which I sort out all Britain's environmental and socio-economic problems in one go.

And talking of Dirty Old Men, my old schoolchum Mani just made a lightning visit to BKK, stopping off en route from the Phuket Film Festival to his regular stomping ground of Tehran. He demonstrated all his usual perversity: first he announced that Bitter Moon is Polanski's best film, and eXistenZ is Cronenberg's, which is self-evidently insane, but he's a proper movie director, so I let that go; and then after I guided him and his delightful lady friend through the sweaty fleshpots of Patpong, he decided that he'd pass on a final beer under the shadow of a bikini-clad bargirl's bumping-and-grinding loins, and opted for a nice pot of jasmine tea. Age, it appears, does weary them eventually.

I often feel slightly odd when showing visitors round Bangkok: I know it better than they do, but at the same time, I'm just another outsider, another flavour of tourist. But I'm quite OK with that. I had a worrying moment yesterday, when I read something in Private Eye's Pseuds Corner that had me nodding in recognition and agreement. It's from a piece by a Paris expat called Rick Owens, in the FT:

"I've been in Paris for four years and I still find it exotic. I haven't learned French - I don't need to for work, and it would spoil the excitement of my alienation if I understood everything that was said."

10 comments:

Valerie said...

Interesting column. As it happens, in a rush of post-fire-evacuation decluttering, I made enormous use of Freecycle today. The experience was almost surreal. Anything I posted -- even empty tea tins with the labels still stuck on them, which I'd been saving because "surely someone could use them for something" -- was claimed by at least one and usual five people within fifteen minutes. Most everything was picked up from my front door within two hours.

So I suppose I was right -- someone could use them for something. And now there's at least a path through my two-levels-deep shelving in the garage. I think this is a win/win, rag-and-bone-wise...

Valerie said...

Er, "and usually five." I'm not typing terribly well. It's all the Freecycle excitement.

patroclus said...

There was still a rag-and-bone man in Kentish Town when I left in 2003. He used to rattle down my street with his cart every Wednesday afternoon. I never saw anyone give him anything, though - probably because everyone was at work.

I was going to make the same comment as Valerie - everything I put on Freecycle gets snapped up within minutes. Freecycle is brilliant.

Molly said...

I love Freecycling. I wish I had still had my freecycle blog. Perhaps I should rebuild it. There is a huge amount of theft of metal going on at the moment in these parts. Man-hole covers keep getting nicked. Even though there's great comic potential for stolen man-hole covers - walking along, reading your paper....aaaaargggggh...etc (you know the kind of thing) it's quite sad that if it's not bolted down it's gone. Someone stole the whole roof of a primary school the other day.

I bet you are a good flaneur Tim. Sometimes it's nice to be a wanderer in a strange land.

dh said...

Yes indeed. Mani is completely off base with eXistenZ. Naked Lunch is Cronenberg's best by far. He's right about Patpong though. It puts me to sleep these days.

Tim Dim said...

in which tim retard uses words whose meaning he doesn't know, the dickhead.

Tim Footman said...

Yuh, Freecycle was a bit of a lacuna there, wasn't it. Every now and then my alien environment betrays me. In BKK, of course, the only people who'd be seen dead with second-hand stuff are the ones who aren't on the interweb.

Flaneurage (???) is a tough one in BKK, Molly, because of the heat and the wonky pavements. But I do try.

It's just to say they've been there, Dick. You're a Cowboy man, I presume? And it's Videodrome for me, with Rosemary's Baby on the Polanski slate.

Can someone get my troll a boyfriend, quickly?

patroclus said...

Oh arses, all this talk of Polanski reminds me that The Ninth Gate (surely the worst film ever made!) was on last night, and I missed it, rats.

Tim Footman said...

The Ninth Gate isn't even Polanski's worst film (that's got to be Pirates). But it is pretty bloody poor, I'll admit. When Emmanuelle Seigner started flying at the end...

dh said...

Cowboy is getting the same way Tim. I blame the BBC.