Friday, July 14, 2006

A cool 28ºC in Bangkok

Well I arrived yesterday afternoon Bangkok time, remarkably fresh as a result of flying business class by Swiss Air from Zurich, and the temperature here being noticeably cooler than it was on my first visit in April. Thunderstorms are forecast as the rainy season gets well-underway, but as of this morning I've seen nothing but blue/grey skies. I'm in the sumptuous Royal Orchid Sheraton again, which is particularly handy for getting to work: I can completely avoid the legendary Bangkok traffic and take the river taxi up the Chao Phraya. It's about 10 minutes and 18 Thai Baht (€0.40) and I'm practically on the doorstep of Silpakorn University of Arts where I'll be teaching for two weeks from Monday. If anyone in the UK wants to call me they should use my SkypeIn number (+44 121 288 9576) as my mobile phone is extortionately expensive. I'll be picking up voicemail a couple of times a day, at least. If I can get my old Sony Ericsson T610 unlocked here I'll put a local SIM card in it, for local callers. Who knows what the next two weeks have in store? The last time I was here the Multimedia Design course at Silpakorn was still being finalised. Since then there have been quite a few staff changes, and there's undoubtedly a lot to get my head around but I'm looking forward to it. The University, and Bangkok itself, has a great deal to commend it, not least the delicious food for implausibly little money. In the meantime I've some hooking up to do with various people, mostly farang artists, that I met last time around, starting with lunch today with lecturer, photographer and multimedia designer Peter Mantello, who I'll be quizzing about his research and his forthcoming exhibition back at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. It's a hard life, but hey, someone's gotta do it.

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