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(Visitors from #writecampaign, my challenge post is here.)

I’ve written about Thailand in my last post. Am still here, folks. And now, I’m just taking it easy—writing in teashops, walking the streets, sleeping in my room darkened by curtains.

I’ve been writing to my penpals. Yes, real, hand-written letters, like I had set out to do, weeks ago. Some of Thailand is trickling into my writing, and I present this flashfiction I wrote in my other blog as evidence.

Bangkok is a city of stories.

Masks In bangkok

Masks In bangkok

On its streets I see so much weird humanity:  a fat hirsute man in an orange wig and long blue eyelashes playing the guitar on one of the skywalks that criss-cross the city, a petite woman drawing a cart full of masks, our portly, smiling, driver on sightseeing trips, named “Porn” (and no, I didn’t just make that up!), our “Red Shirt” guide named “Diamond” (again, this is what he called himself) who hates the fact that the King owns square-kilometres of land while he, the common man, does not own a square-metre.

I’ve been to cities like Shanghai and Hongkong, where the energy is high, the streets are as crowded and colorful, the contrast between rich and poor just as striking, but somehow, Bangkok pulls me in as a writer. It reminds me of Mumbai.

Kitten Sleeping in a Dress

Kitten Sleeping in a Dress

I can’t take my eyes off the old, bent, vendor woman selling Phad-thai to a queue of folks under a flyover, I stare at Thai girls in trains and wonder at their fat lips and singsong voices, I’m amazed at a newspaper-recycler who has dressed up his kittens in frocks, I long to sit and talk to the massage girls draped over shop-fronts dressed in glaring pink, making frankly obscene gestures right next to the temple where they had bowed and prayed before starting on their “work”…something in Bangkok’s combination of sleaze and devoutness makes me pull out my pen and begin to scribble.

After my lunch, I’ll go for a walk again, in Bangkok’s train stations, shopping malls, temples. I’m done shopping after a few tentative attempts. What I’m after is far more elusive.

I know that though I’ll never decipher this city’s voice, or unveil its mysteries, I must keep trying for the duration of this all-too-short trip.


The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest,

The Rule of Three at Renaissance

And when I’m online, I’m Blogfesting.

I’m reminding all fiction writers of the Rule of Three Blogfest, a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza in October with some great prizes, and of course, a lot of exposure for your writing.

I’m telling folks it is one Blogfest fiction authors ought not to miss, and to please go ahead and sign up!
Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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