Go Go girls, fiery curries & the most sporting vegetarian in the world...Swissotel, Sukhumvit, Bangkok

Here I am at Bangkok for a conference on Diwali weekend. Honestly, not that big a thing for me. As Arindam reminded me, for us Bengalis, it is Kali Pujo and the growing up thrills of lighting 'chocolate' bombs, kaali potkas and dodomas (lour firecrackers) and then you are done with it. Saraswati Puja in spring and the Durga Puja later sap the festive spirit out of us...we recover just in time for Christmas or 'Borodin.'

I was last at Bangkok on '05 Started the flight otday with an hour of Obama helicopter induced flight delay at the Mumbai airport, over heated tasteless chicken biriyani korma and ice cold lumpy gulab jamun (why do all airlines flying out of India serve biriyani?) on Jet Airways and an in flight entertainment system that crashed as I tried to watch 'Once Upon a Time in Mumbai'.

The lobby of the Hotel Swissotel, Bangkok, looks like an old Hindi film set and you would expect Hema Malini to come slinking down the winding staircase, glowing under the chandelier. The room is fairly grand if old school and yes, K would approve of the bathroom. There's a separate shower cubicle so she wouldn't rant at me for getting the bathroom floor wet after a shower if she was here.

My fellow delegate, Pravin, landed before me but waited for me for dinner. The most sporting vegetarian that I have come across. He indulged me in my 'why eat in the hotel when we are at Bangkok' stand... bravely volunteering to eat just rice.

We managed to escape the bell boy who offered to fix us everything from trips to the Tiger Temple to 'special' wink wink massages. I had a sausage wrapped in bacon deep fried in a wok attached to a motorbike outside...finally it was Sawadee... sweaty salt of bacon hitting tiny voluptuous plump sausages...so is porn legal here.

Then an uninformed trip to Sukhomvit...empty roads...bars with Johnny Walker bottles in cycle carts...girls, or so it seemed, pouring out of their dressed smiling and calling out to you, this was heartbreak street...we finally reached a lane which seemed alive but turned out to be a street of Go Go pubs - 'live shows', 'more girls than you can handle inside', 'suzie wong show', 'twin massages' - everything but food. Yes, there were sausage and curry carts but that wouldn't be fair to Pravin.

Tuk Tuk guy who offered to take us to 'girl's massage' but changed track when we asked for restaurant...off he took us to a sea food restaurant. Our goofy traveller moment. Obviously a tourist trap. Exorbitant. But at least they had a separate vegetarian menu and sweetish phad thai noodles for good old Pravin.

I had a basic prawn red curry...tears of joy as the heat hit me with fish sauce and split bird's eye chillies... no massage could be as relaxing or rejuvenating, this was good stuff and it is so difficult to get a decent red curry in Mumbai....millions of prawns though what the hell were all the green beans doing in the curry?

So this is my first travel post on my new HP mini from the hotel room...no cyber cafes, strange keyboards or business centre woes this time...getting ready for the workshop on blogging today...'The Rise of the Bloggerazzi"... yes, it is Diwali for me

Confession time: I ordered a chocolate ice cream once I went to my room...needed to douse the curry

Swissotel Bangkok
for once I wouldn't have to worry about drenching the bathroom floor if K was there
First thing Mrs K checks in a hotel room
First Bangkok food moment...sausage off a mobike cart

Homer likes this

Not the street to go looking for food in
bird's eye chillies in fish sauce...my test for authenticity in Mumbai's 'Thai restaurants'
Sweetish phad thai from the sp vegetarian noodles
Pravin, the most sporting vegetarian in the world, travels the world without a qualm. His secret? 'Italian'
Red prawn curry which got tears of joy...what's with the beans...did my mom add them?
Curry came in a dish and it was difficult to scoop out the curry...every drop was precious
Good food...tourist trap...as Pravin says, you need to be ripped off once in a trip
Ice cream to douse the the fires lit by the red curry
Getting ready to unveil the 'Bloggerazzi' tomorrow