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I think it is immensely difficult to get the U.S. interested in non-U.S. topics. I don't think this is because the average American reader is disinterested, but more because of publishers playing it safe: if a thriller based in L.A. is a sure winner, why spend money plugging one based in Paris - or Bangkok?
Shopping in Thailand is super cheap and generally high quality. Bangkok is also safe. If you see anybody wearing camouflage holding a machete, don't be scared. They sell coconuts.
Getting to places like Bangkok or Singapore was a hell of a sweat. But when you got there it was the back of beyond. It was just a series of small tin sheds.
The fact of the matter is that fewer people in Tokyo are able to do business in English than in many other big Asian cities, like Shanghai, Seoul or Bangkok.
If you are in Bangkok, you will find that people there will never speak to you without joining their hands. It's not that they are speaking to you like that because you are tourists. They even speak at their home like that.
I joined Khalsa College just opposite Don Bosco in class XI, but soon I quit studies and was sent to Bangkok by my father to learn martial arts, as that is the only place we could afford given that I would also work there to support my training.
Bangkok, like Las Vegas, sounds like a place where you make bad decisions.
I'm sure that President Johnson would never have pursued the war in Vietnam if he'd ever had a Fulbright to Japan, or say Bangkok, or had any feeling for what these people are like and why they acted the way they did. He was completely ignorant.
J. William Fulbright
Comedies are just never that expensive quite frankly. They really aren't. We aren't doing green screen shooting, so even Hangover II in Bangkok might seem like it's expensive, you're flying over and back, but they're just not that expensive to make when you do it the way we do it which is very focused and I've done it before.
When I was 18, I took a trip to Thailand with a friend. We stayed for a month. Bangkok was very raw for a teenager: there were no cellphones, no Internet, and the only music I had with me was this cassette by Liz Phair. I was writing a lot of poetry, and she embodied a talky style of songwriting that I found very accessible.
One of my favorite vacation memories was the Thai foot massage and Internet access salons in Bangkok, followed up by my testing cellphone coverage while wading in Provincetown Harbor on Cape Cod.
It's not like, I don't know, if Madonna has a new record out, then everybody from Bangkok to Birmingham knows what its called and can buy it the same week. But our stuff is not in that mass market.
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