Senin, 26 Maret 2012

Burning Money For Quiet

Last January Jamie Parker and I were drinking at a bar on Soi Bukhao in Pattaya. Several sound systems competed for our attention and Jamie said, "I've never see a people more allergic to silence than the Thais.""The TV in my house is always on." Thais love their soaps. "What about the loudspeakers in the country screeching out the morning news at 4am?" Jamie had visited his fair share of Isaan villages."Or karaoke bars." I had never heard a Thai complain about this ceaseless din. Quiet on the other hand scares the shit out of Thais, as if ghosts or phi are slinking about the night to eat their flesh. "But they swear that they appreciate san-dti so-ok.""What's that mean?" Jamie glared at the bar opposite. The loudspeakers were blaring HOTEL CALIFORNIA."Tranquility." I grimaced at hearing the Eagles for the tenth time that evening."You remember that Brit group from the 90s? KLF. The founder has established a day in November which he calls No Music Day in the UK. No music. None at all.""Good luck trying that here." Even if an Electro-Magnetic Pulse knocked out the Thai power grid, they would find a way to vanquish silence. "Nietzsche said life without music would be a mistake.” Jamie was smart for a high school drop-out. He accredited his vast grip of useless knowledge to his reading in prison. "But KLF's founder was a wanker. Supposedly he burned a million pounds on a deserted Scottish island. Probably said it to keep from paying back his friends and I couldn’t remember a single song of theirs anyway. Jerk off. You don’t want to hear any music, then stick chopsticks into your ears.”"Their hit was DOCTORING THE TARDIS." I couldn't recall the tune, only the title. "They blew all their money to make a statement about art. It took them an hour to burn it."Couldn't have been too big a fire." Jamie was disgusted by art types trying to be rebels."Probably fit into a single carry-all bag.""Fucking stupid Brits." Jamie hated people who wasted money. The Pentagon led his list of assholes. "You don't see Thai people burning money."He looked around the bar. The girls were waiting for a farang. Back home in Isaan their family were waiting for money. "What you think they would say if I told the bargirls this story?" Jamie signaled for another beer."That we're crazy farangs." I lifted my finger to indicate for another beer. "Better to say nothing to reinforce their opinion of farang kee-nok.""You got that right." Jamie and I clinked beer bottles.Poor people never burn money or stay quiet.It must have something to do with the heat.

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