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."